As a business owner or sales manager, managing your resources and allocating tasks to maximize your revenue is your top concern. So when it comes to outsourcing certain tasks, such as appointment setting, you need to take a S.W.O.T. inventory of your sales team.
Human capital is your company’s most valuable resource, and if you expend the majority of that capital on busywork, poor quality leads, or trying to fill the top of your funnel, you are not allocating your resources in the most effective or financially responsible manner.
A S.W.O.T. analysis of your sales team will reveal where the most time is being wasted. If you are like 57% of the leaders who responded to the Digital Marketing Community’s survey, their biggest challenge is the time spent getting their targeted prospects to engage.
When you do your analysis, there are signs you need to pay attention to that tell you when it’s time to outsource your appointment setting or lead generation.
#1 – You Are Getting Leads But No Results
Your number one metric is your bottom line. Without revenue, your business fails. Too often, companies focus solely on contacting and getting leads but don’t pay attention to how well those leads convert.
Conversion rates matter, but so do the quality of your conversions. One high-value converting client may be worth more than a dozen low-value clients who consume a high percentage of your time and effort.
If your marketing team is great at filling that top of funnel, but you notice a weakness when your sales team is turning those leads into paying customers, it may be time to hire a lead generation service that can better target your audience and generate higher quality leads through appointment setting.
The problem may not be the quality of leads either, though. A lead generation service can also analyze your lead nurturing system and identify failures in the process.
#2 – Your Lead Generation Efforts Aren’t Working
Watch which way the fingers are pointing. If the marketing team tells you the sales team isn’t converting leads, then you have a weakness either in the quality of leads or in the lead nurture process. If, however, the sales team is complaining about not having enough leads, then you have a weakness in your lead generation strategy.
In the Digital Marketing Community survey, 39% of the respondents said they had problems finding qualified names and 55% said they had problems finding leads that convert.
A strong lead generation strategy is essential to not only generate leads but in generating the right leads. Otherwise, you are allocating a large percentage of your sales team’s human capital addressing leads that go nowhere or to ‘tire-kickers’—people who are simply browsing.
Part of that lead generation strategy is appointment setting. A good lead generation company will have appointment setters that weed out those who may be ‘just looking’ and will focus on the leads that are more likely to convert.
#3 – You Don’t Know Your Numbers
A major weakness of many companies is dirty data. Your CRM may be full of old or inaccurate information. Or you may not have your lead generation efforts tracked properly, so you really don’t know your true ROI.
If you get blank looks when you ask about certain KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators), such as conversion rates, cost per acquisition, or lifetime customer value, it’s time to call us. Of course, your most important KPI is your revenue, but if you don’t know the other pieces of the puzzle, you may be operating inefficiently.
One bad sign that you have dirty data is if your email lists have high bounce or unsubscribe rates or low open rates. Too often, disreputable lead generation services will send you leads that are not targeted or are unqualified.
Clean data gives you the information you need to make better business decisions and to correctly target your efforts. And if that data is dirty, you may be making expensive mistakes or are spinning your wheels with no results.
A good lead generation service will help you eliminate repetitive and inaccurate data and will help you manage your new data. If you hire professional appointment setters as part of your lead generation services, they will extract more information from a potential lead helping you better segment your audiences.
#4 – Your Sales Team Isn’t Connecting With Decision Makers Early
Pay attention to how long it takes a lead to traverse your lead funnel, from point of first contact to final sale.
Now, most buyers on the customer journey are not ready to purchase on the first point of contact or at the ingress point. Many are in the browsing and information gathering stage. You can help your buyers out at this stage by providing ample accurate information that persuades them to return or to ask you for something, such as a downloadable lead magnet. Exceptions to this may be e-commerce sites. Generally, the higher the price point of your product or service or the more complex the offer is, the longer your average lead time will be.
However, if you notice that your lead time is much longer than you think it should be or if you have noticed an increase, it’s time to engage a lead generation service to off-load those early lead nurturing tasks.
One reason for this is that the person looking for the information is not the final decision-maker. They may have been sent on a research mission and are simply collecting information for the person who is in charge.
Off-loading appointment setting to a lead generation company is the best way to cut through the chase and go directly to the decision maker. Your appointment setter will make sure they have the best person possible to engage with your sales team.
TIP: If your product or service is above $1,000—or you engage in long drip campaigns—you are more likely to be successful with a lead generation service and it will be more financially effective for you to work with one than to do your appointment setting in-house.
#5 – You Are Not Retaining Clients
If your retention rates are down, there’s a mismatch somewhere. Perhaps your customer was testing your product or service, or maybe they weren’t quite sure what they were purchasing. A good lead generation company will weed out customers that just aren’t a good fit for you and will provide you with leads that give you a better lifetime value from that customer.
A repeat customer is cheaper than a newly acquired customer. And, someone who patronizes your business often is someone who understands your business and who will refer you to better matched customers.
Another reason your retention rates might be down is that you are too focused on generating new leads, and not focused enough on managing client relationships. A good client management strategy is just as essential as a lead generation strategy.
However, a lead generation company can assist you with your client management. Discuss your goals with your lead generation company and they may be able to help set follow-up appointments and conduct remarketing campaigns to older or expired customers.
#6 – You Don’t Have The Resources Or There Is A Bottleneck
Another sign you need to outsource your appointment setting is if you notice a bottleneck in your sales funnel. Perhaps your sales team can’t keep up with leads and are burning them, but you don’t have the budget to add another team member quite yet. Or, you are a rapidly growing company and you can’t train your new people fast enough to handle the volume.
There are multiple reasons that a growing company needs to outsource their lead generation or appointment settings. Entrepreneurs with smaller businesses or budgets often feel like they can’t compete against the larger players in their industries. However, with smart allocation of your resources and outsourcing your lead generation and appointment setting tasks, you can get the manpower you need to compete directly with the big dogs.
Choose The Right Lead Generation Service
Don’t outsource your lead generation and appointment setting needs to just anyone. Research your company and spend time consulting with them to make sure they are not just sending you bad leads that are not targeted to your audience. Your lead generation company should provide you with strong leads that lead directly to an increase in your revenue.
If your lead generation company is too focused on metrics like traffic rates, and doesn’t care about that all-important bottom line, you won’t be happy with the results. Traffic to just have traffic won’t matter much if you can’t afford to run the website. Launch Leads prioritizes appointment setting that not only focuses on increasing sales opportunities for companies, but they are experts in matching companies with the right decision makers who are already interested in your products or services. This is key to a successful lead generation and appointment setting strategy. Call us today to learn how we can help you.
Post by Scott Smith