Should your sales team be booking their own appointments?
Sales staff either love it or hate it! Some will like to book their own appointments as they feel it gives them control right from the start. Others will loathe it as they feel their time is better spent on the road and in face to face meetings closing the deals.
The argument of maintaining control is a valid one as anyone in sales is taught from day one to take control of the flow of conversation. So logically the best way to maintain control is to start the conversation in this way and for them that means from the first point of contact.
The problem here is that this is not always an option. This can be for many reasons, some of which could include any of, but not limited to the following.
How many inbound leads do you get per day?
If you do receive a lot of inbound calls you risk losing your best closers to the task of filtering out and qualifying the prospects. This is a skill in itself. The flip side here is that often this task is given to a receptionist who doesn’t have the experience or knowledge toqualify leads in or out and you risk missing opportunities.
How big is your sales force?
If you have a large salesforce then keeping them selling is the only logical choice. The problem with sales staff setting the appointments here is that they will only set the appointments for themselves. This could lead to missed opportunities if they can’t fit it in themselves. By giving out the appointments you can be confident that you are maximising every opportunity by controlling the calendar.
Are they out of the office a lot?
If your sales person is out of the office that can only be a good thing right? Well yes and no, as this all depends on if they need to set their own appointments. If they are out of the office then how can they manage this efficiently? Then when the appointments run out it becomes a mad scramble to get more booked in. However by having the appointments pre booked you can maintain a steady flow keeping your sales team out and about.
They may not be as strong on the phone as they are in person?
If they are good in a meeting then they must be good on the phone! Not always everyone has a preference, some love being out meeting people and travelling to the next destination. However others may hate that, getting stuck in traffic, dealing with the pressure of getting to the next appointment on time and often starting early and getting home late.
Also qualifying and closing someone on the phone is a completely different skill set to face to face sales. You need to be able to pick up on the tone of voice, ask the right questions and control the flow of conversation by audio only without visual support.
Your use of language and the words you use are weighed far more heavily than in a meeting. You must be succinct and to the point whilst maintaining courtesy but delivering the critical value proposition in a comprehensive way.
Ultimately as with everything, the only person that knows what is best for their business is you! However by feeding in a steady stream of targeted pre-qualified appointments you can keep your top closers on the road and in the meeting rooms closing deals allowing them to maximise every opportunity.