Appointment Setting and Qualified Leads


Appointment Setting and Qualified Leads

Are you getting qualified leads with appointment setting callers?

Performance-based and pay-per-lead appointment setting services can be tempting. An agency will make calls to your prospect lists, and you only pay for those that result in a set appointment.


When setting the budget or convincing your CEO that you need to outsource in order to generate qualified, actionable sales leads, this type of no-risk program might seem like a no-brainer.


But it’s important to understand what kind of leads are often generated from performance-based programs, and if those are a good fit and will prove profitable for your business.


What is the quality of the caller and the message?

A telemarketing company that only gets paid if an appointment is set is going to only be interested in one thing – setting an appointment.


As a result, the quantity of calls is very important, and the callers will tend to burn through a prospect list quickly looking for low hanging fruit.


Your good company name is also being mentioned to hundreds, maybe thousands of prospects, in hopes of getting that “yes” answer and the fee that will follow. The goal is never to highly qualify the lead to discover if their business pain meets with your solution but to lightly qualify them in order to set an appointment, hand off the prospect to your sales team, and get paid.


That may sound harsh, but I have heard the horror stories from my clients who have tried this approach when it wasn’t a good fit. In one case the outsourced caller said: “If I try to qualify the lead too much I might lose the appointment.”


Exactly, because the goal of an outbound B2B cold caller should never be to get someone to do something. The goal should be to offer a viable solution to a business problem and find those who are interested based on business pain, need and interest.


“Pay per lead” is a system that can work for certain industries and certain commodities, and if your goal is to get as many lightly qualified prospects into your system for a call or presentation, it may be worth a try.


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Not all leads are created equal.

If you offer a complex, high ticket solution, service or product and want to hand off a highly qualified opportunity to your sales team, a  seasoned, skilled, professional business development rep is more likely to make that happen. If a real SQL is what you are hoping to hand off to your sales team, then an appointment-only service is more likely to fall short.


In order to uncover a real business opportunity and qualify a lead, there needs to be a memorable conversation. We’ve heard from our own clients that have tried pay-per-lead companies and many times, even though next steps have been set up, they often don’t take place.


The prospect doesn’t remember the call or conversation, and the lead drops off or effort must be taken in-house to try and re-qualify and nurture leads back into the sales pipeline.  


Lightly qualified leads can end up costing your sales team time and money.

It’s important to consider several things when choosing between a pay-per-lead telemarketing service or a professional lead generation firm: How professionally will your company be represented, what kind of communication will take place between the outsourced caller and the prospect, and will the sales lead be truly qualified?


Make sure to answer these questions thoughtfully and consider how important the quality of your leads are before choosing an outsourced business development partner.




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