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Thursday, March 26, 2009

One of the things we always recommend when considering an appointment setting campaign is to run a pilot or proof-of-concept.

This is effectively a time-limited version of the intended campaign which enables us to test the waters.

To fully evaluate the success of a pilot appointment setting campaign it's important that you look at both the number of meetings that are booked as well as the quality of the meetings. To me, until you close that loop you can't effectively evaluate the success of any appointment setting campaign.

We've found that a 3 month period is the best period to make that judgement.

Here's why:

1) The first month of any campaign is about getting traction. For many high-level B2B propositions it's likely that it will take at least two touches to book the appointment. For example, as a minimum most people want something sent over by email and then followed up. All this takes time.

2) By the end of the first month you should start to see appointments being made. I say should because, after all, this is a pilot. Some pitches are just not that easy to nail and it can take us a number of iterations until we get it right. But, for the sake of this point, let's assume that we hit the ground running and book some meetings in Month 1. If they're with a senior decision maker (and, let's face it, who else do you want to see?) then they will certainly be around 3 to 4 weeks away. Which is Month 2, right?

3) So, in Month 2, if all is going to plan, you should have the opportunity to go on a number of sales appointments we've booked. This is your chance to judge the quality of the appointments. Are they with the right person? Are they correctly qualified? Will they progress to a proposal?

4) While you're attending the appointments, guess what, we're still working away to book more meetings for you. So, during Month 2 you should be not only be attending appointments, but you should be see a flow of new meetings. We also use the feedback from your initial appointments to help refine our qualification process.

5) Finally, Month 3 is all about replication of the process. If all is going well, we should be hitting somewhere near the run-rate for the campaign (this helps us determine the scope of any future or ongoing campaigns). If things were a little sticky in Month 1, we should now have a clear view of a working pitch and process. The pipeline of leads should be shaping up and we are usually in a position to predict results of a longer term campaign. Plus, some of the meetings you attended in Month 2 will be showing signs of life (or not) in the form of proposals, demos, 2nd meetings, etc.

For anyone used to B2B sales this process shouldn't come as any surprise.

Opening doors at senior levels isn't easy. It takes persistence and tenacity and, above all, time.

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Posted by: David Regler @ 7:42 am |   | Links to this post  

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