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The Current State of Appointment Setting

Survey reveals how well companies are doing helping reps meet with viable new prospects.
The B2B technology sales cycle is often a journey of a thousand miles.

And as the saying goes, that journey begins with a single step—the first sales meeting.

To create and maintain a healthy sales pipeline, companies need their reps out in the field taking as many of those first steps, meeting with viable new prospects, as possible. BAO recently conducted a research study of field sales reps at high-tech companies of every size, which included data on how organizations are doing in this one critical area.

The results of the survey
show that companies are investing time and resources in getting first sales meetings.
In fact, 40% say that
appointment setting for the field is a top priority for their inside sales teams, and 38% say their marketing teams are investing in outsourced appointment setting.
And yet, 45% of field reps say
their biggest challenge is “getting my foot in the door of brand-new accounts.”
If almost half of all reps are struggling with getting a first meeting,

what does that portend for the pipeline those reps are responsible for?

It’s no secret that appointment setting is really hard. It’s tough enough when you already have a relationship, let alone convincing a new prospect to devote any part of their insanely packed schedule to meet with you. The survey didn’t dig into specific reasons, but the driving trends aren’t a big mystery. People are busier than ever. There’s a lot of noise in the marketplace. It’s easy to access a wealth of information without ever talking to a rep.

In response, many organizations turn to technology to solve some of these challenges—to identify buyers based on intent signals, to personalize messaging at scale, to automate communications, and more. But these approaches simply aren’t helping sales reps get their foot in the door of brand-new accounts.

We don’t want to say that appointment setting is an art, but it kinda is—and the numbers prove it.

BAO has spent the past two-plus decades helping companies secure those critical first meetings, so we know exactly what it takes.

Appointment Setting is where we started and we’re still the best in the business. The proof is in the results. We’ve set more than 450,000 appointments to date, and 55% of our secured meetings are converted into second sales activities. That’s a success rate 35% higher than the industry average, and it translates to approximately $10 million in pipeline each day. But we learned something in the survey that astounded even us.

Overall, only 28% of respondents rated their marketing teams as effective or extremely effective when it comes to outsourced appointment setting. But when we break the responses out based on whether they’re BAO clients, we found a stark difference. In organizations that don’t work with BAO, the number plummeted to 16%. But in client companies, the effective or highly effective rating was at a staggering 65%.

We truly believe this number reflects our decades of experience and the incredible team of professional, skilled, and effective Inside Sales Reps (ISRs) who work on behalf of our clients every single day.

Set your reps up for success with appointment setting that delivers.

In order for your reps to build pipeline they first have to connect with prospects—and helping them do that effectively should be an important focus, especially since this is clearly a major challenge area. And it’s not enough to implement just any appointment setting program. Who you partner with matters.

Ready to boost your sales and marketing results?

Speak with a pipeline expert to build a program that meets your needs.