B2B Appointment Setting Services: The Complete Guide to Boost Your Sales Pipeline

July 25, 2023

ViB Editorial Team


Topics we'll cover

In the fast-paced world of B2B sales, finding the right prospects and securing appointments can be a daunting task. 

That’s where B2B appointment setting services come in. 

Despite being a lesser-known service, 90% of B2B marketers say that B2B appointment setting is effective in generating leads, according to our latest B2B marketing trends report. Interestingly, only 21% of marketers have a place for appointment setting in their current strategy.

In this post, we’ll explore what these services are all about, how they work, and why they can be a game-changer for your business. 

Whether you’re a sales development representative (SDR), a business development representative (BDR), a sales rep, or a performance marketer, we’re here to help you make an informed decision about incorporating appointment setting services into your B2B sales strategy.

B2B appointment setting services like ViB Appointments help you schedule meetings with new prospects, so all you have to do is focus on closing each deal.

What is B2B appointment setting?

B2B appointment setting services are a specialized solution that help businesses connect with potential customers by arranging appointments or meetings

These services focus on identifying and qualifying leads, before handing them over to your sales team for them to focus on closing deals, such as through a product demo or initial consultation.

Benefits of B2B appointment setting services

  • Connects your business with potential customers by handling appointment scheduling.
  • Identifies and qualifies leads based on your ideal customer profiles.
  • Streamlines the sales process by engaging leads through personalized communication channels.
  • Leverages the specialized expertise of professionals in lead generation and appointment scheduling.
  • Cost-effective and efficient solution compared to in-house lead generation efforts.

In short, B2B appointment setting services help you generate meetings with new prospects, potentially keeping your B2B sales pipeline really full.

How do appointment setting services work?

Now that we understand the essence of appointment setting services, let’s take a closer look at how they operate

The process typically involves the following steps:

Flow chart of how appointment setting services work

Step 1 – Lead research: 

To start, skilled professionals utilize various resources to identify potential leads who match your ideal customer profile.

For example, they conduct in-depth research to gather information about target industries, company sizes, decision-makers, and other relevant criteria. 

This research may involve leveraging B2B data providers, industry directories, lead lists, social media platforms, and other sources to create a comprehensive list of prospects.

See the 10 B2B data providers we trust

Step 2 – Outreach and nurturing: 

Once leads are identified, the appointment setters begin the outreach and nurturing process. They utilize personalized communication channels such as emails, calls, or social media to establish initial contact with the leads. Some services even leveage appointment setting websites and platforms. 

These interactions are designed to build relationships, convey a positive brand story, and generate interest in your product or service. 

How long and detailed this nurturing process takes varies widely. It usually depends on how niche your offering is, and the approach the agency or rep uses to nurture leads (we’ll also give more tips on how to choose the right provider later). 

Appointment setters could go as far as employing tailored messaging strategies that highlight the value proposition of your offering, and address the specific pain points that the leads may be facing. 

Take ViB Appointments for instance. For messaging, it’s all about putting the spotlight on the problems each solution solves. Because of that, we use a brand agnostic messaging approach that works expecially well for startup marketing. The outreach is also laser-focused, reaching the buyers who are a perfect match with the right interests, firmographics, and demographics.

The process is hard work! However, it’s not something marketers or reps can take lightly. According to a recent B2B marketing trends report, 54% of B2B marketers say their top challenge is improving lead quality and conversion rates. 

Having a personalized nurturing phase is crucial for cultivating trust and rapport with the leads. That ensures that they remain engaged and receptive to the idea of scheduling an appointment with you, and convert optimally down the funnel.

Thumbnail of ViB B2B Marketing Trends Report

Discover the latest trends and statistics — and the key actions B2B marketers and leaders need to take today. 

Step 3 – Lead qualification: 

After the nurturing stage, the appointment setting team now evaluates each lead’s relevance and interest level, ensuring they meet specific criteria to increase the chances of a successful appointment. 

They use a combination of qualifying questions and criteria set by your business to assess whether a lead has the potential to become a valuable prospect. 

This qualification process helps to filter out leads that may not be a good fit for your product or service, allowing the team to focus on prospects with a higher likelihood of conversion.

Qualification is a central theme in lead generation. In fact,

Step 4 – Appointment scheduling: 

Once a lead is qualified with expressed interest and a readiness to move forward, the final step is to schedule a meeting or call. 

Here, the provider either hands the lead over to your sales reps, or liaises between the prospect and your team, finding a suitable time and date that works for both parties. 

Additional appointment setting services also include progress tracking and campaign management, to help you measure the effectiveness of the appointment setting campaign, and provide valuable insights for refining the strategy moving forward. 

For ViB, this supplementary insight is offered as post-meeting intelligence — where we survey each lead after each meeting to get feedback on your salespeople, product, and messaging, to ensure you nail your follow-up appointment.

By following this systematic approach, appointment setting services help keep your B2B lead generation process repeatable, and provide a consistent flow of qualified appointments for your sales team. 

This allows your sales representatives to focus their time and efforts on closing deals and nurturing relationships, while the appointment setters handle the initial stages of lead engagement and appointment scheduling

Are B2B appointment setting services right for me?

Now that you have a better understanding of how appointment setting services work, you might be wondering if they’re the right fit for your business. 

To answer this, let’s compare the challenges typically associated with in-house sales processes and how outsourcing can provide significant benefits.

Pros of outsourcing appointment setting

  • Expertise and efficiency: Appointment setting service providers specialize in lead generation and have a wealth of experience and industry knowledge, allowing them to generate high-quality leads efficiently.
  • Time and resource optimization: By outsourcing appointment setting, your sales team can focus on closing deals and maximizing their productivity, while the experts handle the time-consuming process of lead generation.
  • Cost-effectiveness: While there is an investment involved in outsourcing appointment setting services, the long-term benefits often outweigh the costs. With a steady stream of qualified appointments, your sales team can maximize their efforts and drive revenue growth.

How much do B2B appointment setting services cost?

The cost of B2B appointment setting services can vary based on the provider, scope of services, and customization required. 

Especially for B2B tech, standard rates could start at $500 to $2000 per meeting generated, before considering any one-time set up or training fees that could cost a few hundred dollars too. 

However, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see meetings sell for as low as $50, or has high as $3,500.

Factors affecting the cost of B2B appointments:

  • Provider expertise
  • Lead quality and your industry
  • Qualified meeting guarantees
  • The scope of services offered
  • Additional customization requirements
  • Different pricing models, such as subscription-based or performance-based options

There are way too many factors that influence the cost per meeting, and the best way to get a clearer idea of your price is to reach out for a quote, and maybe even get some personalized tips from the experts.

Making an informed decision when evaluating the right B2B lead agency doesn’t have to be rocket science. Get the one-page checklist of the 15 must-ask questions, to cover all your bases, easily.

On the flipside, considering the potential return on investment (ROI) and value they bring to your sales pipeline is crucial too.

With the B2B appointment setting industry, it’s often the situation where “you get what you pay for”. 

Considering the ROI and value of B2B appointment setting:

  • Outsourcing appointment setting increases efficiency
  • Qualified appointments enhance the sales process
  • Appointment setting services offer scalability and flexibility
  • They can be cost-effective compared to in-house teams

By weighing the cost, ROI, and value of B2B appointment setting services, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your budget and business objectives. 

Remember to consider the benefits gained, such as efficiency, qualified appointments, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. Collaborating with a reputable provider can yield significant returns and accelerate sales success.

Learn how Paula achieved a 60% conversion rate from lead to opportunity

“Working with ViB helped us find new audiences and put us in a much better spot. In just a few weeks, our conversion rate grew!”

Paula Ellis, Director of Demand Generation at Guardicore

Understanding pay per appointment lead generation

Within B2B appointment setting services, the “pay per appointment” (PPA) model is a common pricing approach.

It ensures payment only for qualified appointments, aligning incentives and focusing on quality for both parties involved.

Benefits of B2B appointment setting – pay per appointment

  • Quality focus: Emphasizes high-quality appointments that align with your target audience.
  • Risk mitigation: Minimizes the risk of paying for ineffective leads.
  • Clear ROI measurement: Provides a measurable ROI by tracking qualified appointments.
  • Mutually beneficial partnership: Creates a partnership focused on successful outcomes.

We’re big fans because the PPA model offers a fair and results-driven approach to B2B appointment setting.

It focuses on quality, mitigates risks, and enables ROI measurement. Clear qualification criteria and effective communication further enhance the partnership for successful lead generation.

➡️ Check out our guide on this topic: What Sales Leaders Must Know to Evaluate the Pay-Per-Lead Model in B2B Appointment Setting

Types of B2B appointment setting providers

Ready to explore this topic even further?

When exploring B2B appointment setting providers, you’ll come across several options. Let’s take a closer look at three common types:

1 – Contract B2B appointment setters:

Contract B2B appointment setters operate solo on a freelance, fee-for-service basis. They offer flexibility and are able to effectively engage with prospects on a personal level.

Contract appointment setters can be a cost-effective option, especially for businesses with specific requirements or short-term projects. 

The main downside is that finding a qualified contractor can be tricky. Because being an appointment setter has become a popular side-gig, you might stumble upon less experienced freelancers, and need to invest more time in experimentation or training.

2 – Outsourced SDRs and agencies:

Outsourced sales development representatives (SDRs) and agencies specialize in providing comprehensive business development services, including appointment setting. These third-party agencies employ dedicated teams of SDRs who handle the entire appointment setting process on your behalf. 

They’re similar to solo contractors – with the added management aspect.

Outsourced SDRs and agencies often offer various pricing models to accommodate your specific needs, such as a fixed monthly fee, pay-per-appointment, or a combination of both. Their structured approach and professional teams can provide consistent and scalable appointment setting solutions, allowing your sales team to focus on closing deals.

If you’re in niche industries like high-tech, consider outsourced SDRs carefully. Like contractors, the manual approach to lead qualification and nurturing means that you need extra effort to train SDRs well on your messaging, offering and targeting.

3 – Opt-in B2B appointment setting solutions:

Opt-in B2B appointment setting solutions — like the innovative approach offered by ViB Appointments — present a unique alternative to traditional appointment setting models. 

ViB leverages a network of prospects who have willingly opted-in to receive product demos and engage with potential solution providers

Instead of training and utilizing SDRs, ViB’s model guarantees a pay-per-lead framework. Interested prospects self-qualify by expressing their interest in seeing a demo, ensuring a higher conversion rate for appointments. 

This opt-in approach maximizes the quality and relevance of leads, as they have already shown a level of interest in your offerings. ViB’s model provides a streamlined and efficient process, eliminating the need for extensive training and increasing the chances of turning leads into valuable customers.

📈 Watch David’s experience with ViB Appointments to understand its unique approach, and how it helped his team at Automation Anywhere convert 50% of appointments into opportunities.

“ViB delivered what they promised. We were blown away by the quality of the leads, the quality of our meetings, and the high rate of conversions.”

When considering B2B appointment setting providers, carefully evaluate your business requirements, budget, and the level of customization you need. 

Each type of provider offers distinct advantages, and selecting the right one depends on factors such as your target market, industry, and desired outcomes. 

Whether you choose contract B2B appointment setters, outsourced SDRs and agencies, or opt-in B2B appointment setting solutions, partnering with the right provider can significantly enhance your lead generation efforts and contribute to the success of your sales pipeline.

Tips for choosing the best B2B appointment setting companies

When selecting an appointment setting company, consider the following tips to make an informed decision:

1 – Industry experience:

One of the key factors to consider is the appointment setting company’s industry experience. Look for providers with a proven track record in your industry or niche. A company that has worked with businesses similar to yours will have a deeper understanding of your target audience, pain points, and industry dynamics. 

Their industry expertise will ensure they can effectively engage potential leads, tailor messaging to resonate with your audience, and position your offerings in a compelling way. By leveraging their experience, you can increase the likelihood of securing high-quality appointments that align with your business objectives.

2 – Lead generation approach:

Inquire about the appointment setting company’s lead generation process. Understanding how they research and qualify leads is crucial in assessing their ability to generate quality appointments. 

A transparent and thorough methodology will help you gauge the quality of appointments they can deliver. For example, consider asking these questions:

3 questions to validate your provider’s lead generation approach:

  • What sources do they use to identify or generate leads?
  • What criteria do they use for lead qualification?
  • What are the steps involved in nurturing and converting leads into appointments?

A robust lead generation process should involve comprehensive research, effective lead qualification techniques, and tailored outreach strategies.

By ensuring that the appointment setting company employs a well-defined and effective lead generation process, you can have confidence in their ability to deliver qualified prospects to your sales team.

3 – Results and communication:

Clear communication channels and regular reporting are essential to establish a strong working relationship and stay aligned. 

Inquire about the communication channels they use to keep you updated on the progress of the appointment setting campaign. This could include regular meetings, email updates, or dedicated project management tools. They should be excited to feel like a part of your team!

Additionally, ask about their reporting practices and the metrics they track to measure the success of their efforts. A reliable appointment setting company should provide detailed reports on key performance indicators (KPIs) such as the number of appointments set, lead quality, conversion rates, and any relevant insights or feedback.

This regular reporting allows you to assess the effectiveness of the campaign, make data-driven decisions, and collaborate with the provider to optimize results.

By considering these tips when choosing an appointment setting company, you can select a provider that has industry experience, employs an effective lead generation process, and maintains clear communication and reporting practices. 

These factors will contribute to the success of your appointment setting campaign and help you maximize the value and impact of the appointments generated.

Pay per appointment examples

Before we wrap up, let’s look at some examples of B2B appointment setting services for high-tech, done right.

Customer story 1: Ermetic

Ermetic, a cloud infrastructure security platform, reveals and remediates security gaps in your network. With only a handful of people on their global sales team, they had little time to research, personalize, and communicate their value propositions to clients, let alone backfill their sales funnel. 

With the help of ViB, they created a brand agnostic landing page with an appointment scheduling CTA (call to action). Because of that our approach captured prospects who had real interest in their solution, rather than branding. 

The results?

  • 50% lead-to-opportunity conversion rate
  • $100,000 average opportunity size
  • 20% higher opportunity size than internal sales and other lead generation vendors

With a full funnel, the global sales team had time to focus on what they were hired to do – sell their exceptional product. 

Customer story 2: Abnormal

Even one of the fastest-growing security startups in the nation experienced the benefit of working with a B2B appointment setting agency. Abnormal Security uses employee behavioral data to stop email attacks. 

Looking to further increase cost-effective strategies, their Director of Demand and Digital Marketing, reached out to our team because he found our network of vetted professionals to be qualified as in-market for new services.

Together we launched our appointment setting service and within no time, his team received high-intent, enterprise level leads.

The results?

  • 82.5% lead-to-opportunity conversaion rate
  • 67x ROI from appointments
  • High-quality leads who personally opt-in to meet the client, delivered within a couple weeks

Getting started with ViB's lead generation and appointment setting services

As a beginner to mid-level sales professional, leveraging a reliable and results-oriented appointment setting service like ViB can supercharge your lead generation efforts.

With a focus on self-qualified leads and a pay-per-lead model, ViB can help you unlock new opportunities and drive revenue growth.

Get the full specifications, including the features, benefits and how it works with the ViB Appointments datasheet today.

Learn more about ViB's appointment setting services.

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