Qualify Your Appointments
Anybody who works in sales will know that not all appointments are created equal and only those that are properly qualified are really worth your time and effort to attend. There is nothing worse for a sales person to turn up to an appointment which they have prepared for only to find that the customer isn’t faintly interested and that they only said yes to the appointment maker to get them off the phone. It’s even worse when the customer tries to start selling to you!
As a sales person, time is a precious commodity. Time is taken to prepare for the appointment, to set aside time for the appointment and of course, the drive time to get there. When it’s all a complete waste of time it actually costs you money in real terms. This is why it is so important to thoroughly qualify appointments and make sure that the customer is genuinely interested in finding out more and has the propensity to buy.
So what is the best way of qualifying an appointment to ensure that the customer is serious about finding out more?
Well, this is where a little process called BANT+A comes into play. BANT+A is an acronym for Budget, Authority, Need, Timescale and Attitude and any specialist in appointment making should know this process like the back of their hand. So let’s expand on this a little:
BUDGET – Is there an appropriate spend level? …or in other words…can they afford it?
AUTHORITY – Is the contact senior enough to make or influence decision?...or in other words, are they the person who holds the purse strings and can make the decisions?
NEED - Does the company have an appropriate requirement and will your solution meet it?...or in other words, will it really be a meaningful solution for them?
TIMESCALE – Are they looking to select a solution within an appropriate timescale?...or in other words, do they want to do this now, in the next couple of weeks or sometime way in the future?
ATTITUDE – What is their attitude to the overall value proposition?.....or in other words, are they just giving you lip service or are they chomping at the bit to get your product or service?
An experienced appointment maker will be able to ask all the right questions to get a true understanding of where the prospect stands and by following the above process, they will know if the prospect is really interested. As a sales person, when you’ve received an appointment that you know has gone through the BANTA process, it really puts a spring in your step because you know there’s a real opportunity to be had.
The Icing on the Cake
Things are pretty competitive in the B2B world and it’s more important than ever to have a robust outbound lead generation strategy. If you want to drive revenue, create a consistent sales funnel and build a sustainable pipeline then you need to be pro-actively contacting your prospects and generating their interest.
In any organisation, driving qualified sales leads is a top business challenge. To tackle this challenge effectively you need a good handle on your data, good insight into the types of industries you’re targeting, and a way of creating a meaningful dialogue with your prospects. Qualifying your appointments is the icing on the cake. It will allow you to use your resources efficiently and make your sales forecasting more accurate. The time and money you save by keeping your sales force in a good mood will also be a major bonus!