Being a leading SDR, you already know the importance of maximizing sales productivity. One of the...
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Are you a fan of lemons, pickles, or both? When it comes to business growth, the same dynamic exists between lead generation and appointment setting. You can have one without the other, but not the other way around. Choosing the right strategy depends on your preferences.
So, let's dive in! In this blog, we'll explore the key differences between lead generation and appointment setting. We’ll also help you decide which approach is best for your business.
What Is Lead Generation?
Well, let's start with the basics. Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting potential customers into leads. It also involves individuals who have shown interest in your product/service. As such, it's an essential part of the sales funnel. In fact, it can make a huge impact on your bottom line.
How Does Lead Generation Work?
Typically, lead generation services involve reaching out to potential customers through outbound/inbound marketing techniques. You offer value to your target audience to capture their attention. You can also persuade them to provide you with their contact information, such as an email address or phone number.
Examples of Lead Generation Techniques
Top 3 lead-generation techniques include:
- Email marketing (78%)
- Event marketing (73%)
- Content marketing (67%)
Other common and popular outbound techniques include cold calling, direct mail, paid advertising, and trade shows. Let’s dig these down in more detail:
- Warm calling: Researching the buyer is crucial before conducting a warm call. In fact, 75% of sellers do significantly more research before reaching out – via Google searches or checking LinkedIn profiles.
Warm calling involves connecting with a company that fits the profile of successful customers – even if they haven't shown interest in the product or service yet.
- Email marketing: Sending targeted emails to prospects can be an effective way to generate leads. It includes sending a newsletter, promotional offers, personalized follow-up emails, and cold emailing.
- Direct mail: While less common than other methods, sending physical mail to prospects can be a way to stand out from the competition and grab their attention.
- Paid advertising: Running targeted ads on search engines, social media platforms, or other websites can help drive traffic to your website and generate leads.
- Events and conferences: Attending or hosting events and conferences can be an effective way to network with potential customers and generate leads.
- Social media marketing: Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook can be powerful tools for reaching and engaging with potential customers. LinkedIn outreach/InMail is particularly effective for B2B lead generation.
Why Is Lead Generation Important?
Well, it can help you generate more qualified leads, increase your brand awareness, and ultimately drive more revenue. In fact, companies with a strong and automated lead generation strategy see a 10% or more increase in revenue in just 6-9 months.
What Is Appointment Setting?
Both in-house and outsourced appointment setting is the process of scheduling meetings between potential customers and your sales team. It's a critical step in the sales funnel. Why? It helps you move leads further down the pipeline and ultimately convert them into paying customers.
How Does Appointment Setting Work?
Typical skills for appointment setters involve contacting qualified leads and convincing them to book a meeting or demo with your sales team. This task is mainly done by appointment setters – well-versed in some unique skill sets. Now, some of the critical B2B appointment setting skills include
- Identifying decision-makers effectively
- Being adaptable and flexible to go "off-script" while keeping the objective in mind
- Asking relevant questions that establish rapport with prospects
- Active listening skills
- Effectively communicating the value of the product or service
- Continuous learning and honing of skills.
Next, if you want to know how to get more sales appointments through outbound methods, there are a few steps you can follow to make the process more effective:
- Identify your ideal customer: Before you start reaching potential customers, know who you're targeting. Think about the characteristics like budget, authority, need, and timeline that make someone a good fit for your product or service. Then, create a profile of your ideal customer.
- Create a list of leads: Once you understand who you're targeting, start building a list of leads to reach out to. This can include people who have expressed interest in your product or service or those who fit your ideal customer profile.
- Choose your channel: There are many different channels you can use to reach out to potential customers. Some of them are – phone, email, social media, and direct mail. Choose the channels, most likely where your target audiences are.
- Develop your scripts and templates: When you contact potential customers, have a clear, concise message that communicates the value of your product or service. Develop scripts and templates that you can use as a starting point for your outreach.
- Handle objections: It's likely that you'll encounter objections when you're reaching out to potential customers. Be prepared to handle these objections with confidence and empathy. Plus, have responses ready to go that address common concerns.
- Follow up: Persistence is key when it comes to appointment setting. Follow up with potential customers multiple times, using a variety of channels, until you're able to secure an appointment.
Why Is Appointment Setting Important?
Now, let's talk about the benefits of appointment setting. By setting up meetings with qualified leads, you can increase your chances of closing deals. As such, you’re likely to generate more revenue.
In fact, businesses that carefully manage their B2B appointment setting pricing as part of their sales strategy can expect to see a substantial boost in conversion rates while maintaining financial prudence.
4 Key Differences Between Lead Generation and Appointment Setting
Well, before digging into this, let’s first ask you a question – have you ever used the terms "leads" and "prospects" interchangeably? If your response is “yes,” don't worry. Many people do. But the truth is they are not the same thing.
So, what exactly is the difference between a lead and a prospect?
A lead shows initial interest in your product or service. They may demonstrate this by providing their contact information voluntarily. On the other hand, a prospect engages with a sales representative or appointment setter. They show an active interest in making a purchase.
To sum it up, lead generation focuses on capturing contact information and generating interest. On the contrary, appointment setting involves qualifying prospects and guiding them through the sales process – toward a purchasing decision.
Now, let's take a closer look at each method. We havel broken them down into 4 major categories based on their:
- End Goals
This will give you a better understanding of how these two methods differ. You’ll also know how they can be used effectively in your sales strategy. Let’s dig in!
1. End Goals
The main objective of lead generation is to attract potential customers who may be interested in your product or service. You cast a wide net and wait to see who responds. This is typically done by filling out a contact form or subscribing to a newsletter.
On the other hand, appointment setting is all about determining which leads are truly interested and qualified to make a purchase. This is also known as prospecting. First, you need to prepare your sales prospect list. Then, you can start booking appointments and handing them off to your sales team.
NOTE: Lead generation can exist on its own. But appointment setting requires lead generation as a prerequisite. After all, without lead generation, there won't be any prospects to set appointments with!
A lead generation strategy is designed to attract potential buyers. It motivates them to share their information via a submission form on your website or landing page. Following this, they are integrated into the sales pipeline.
Your sales and marketing teams then review their information. Next, they decide what to do with it – based on the lead's qualifications. If the lead meets the criteria, they’re likely to be followed up with a call or email. On the other hand, unqualified leads may be removed from the sales pipeline and not contacted again.
However, B2B appointment setting techniques involve contacting and nurturing leads that match your company's ideal customer profile. Sales representatives typically reach out to these leads via phone or email. They then present the leads with valuable insights or sales enablement materials. This is done to encourage them to set a sales appointment.
Again, appointment setting goes beyond simply compiling a list of prospects. It also involves scheduling a meeting between the prospect and the sales team. This implies setting a specific time for the contact and fixing a date on the calendar.
It's worth noting that lead generation and appointment-setting services have distinct processes. Lead generation involves advertising/info-sharing tactics that resonate with your target audience. This is mainly done to cater to your core demographic’s interests and buyer personas.
By implementing a strong lead generation roadmap, potential buyers are more likely to provide their information. They do this in order to learn more about your company and its offerings. However, choosing to share their details depends on the strength of your marketing strategy.
On the other hand, the appointment-setting process follows a different path. Although the process may be simple in theory, it can be challenging in practice. To generate sales, appointment setters first need to secure a sales appointment.
From there, you or your internal sales team can attend the meeting, deliver a compelling pitch, and negotiate with the lead to close the deal/ make a purchase.
Both methods have different impacts on your target audience. Lead generation’s success determines whether your leads are qualified enough to move into the sales pipeline.
While appointment setting offers a more straightforward solution. Once an appointment is scheduled, your sales team contacts the prospect to finalize the purchase decision.
Again, lead generation mainly focuses on creating a larger sales pipeline. Meanwhile, appointment setting aims to establish connections with leads in the sales pipeline.
Therefore, lead generation is a process that fuels appointment settings that deliver results for your business.
As previously mentioned, appointment setting cannot exist without lead generation. Therefore, the crucial question is whether appointment setting is a suitable approach for your business. For B2B industries, the answer is a resounding yes. Therefore, an appointment setting is a must-have.
By combining lead generation and appointment setting, you can enhance your marketing and sales strategies. As such, you can achieve greater conversions for your business.
If you want to learn more about B2B appointment setting services, Revnew can help. Contact us today to discover how we can assist you in connecting with more decision-makers and increasing your sales conversions.