Monday, August 13, 2012

Appointment Setting - Don't Depend Too Much On Individual Influence

appointment setting, sales leads, call center
There are times during an appointment setting campaign that certain individuals start to influence your market more effectively than the rest. This happens whether it's in the marketing or sales stages of the process.

In marketing, this happens when you rely on a key influencer to refer their friends and followers to your business. For sales, it can happen when a particular salesperson has gained a sort of celebrity status by making success out of even the least qualified sales leads.

At first, it sounds a lot like the celebrity endorsements of B2C. And for the most part, there are similarities. The only difference in B2B appointment setting, in fact, just lie within the products and services involved. In either case however, an excessive dependence on individual influence is risky. These same risks could affect the success of appointment setting for three reasons:

  • #1: They won't be around forever. - Look at Steve Jobs. Despite how many mourned his passing, many more still became uncertain of his company's future. The success of Apple seemed very hard-wired into Jobs' image. Though touching on the subject of death is a bit drastic, it should teach one thing: nothing lasts forever; even clients gained from quality b2b appointment setting services. The decision maker you've often had close contact with may not always be in that position or even work in the same company. They have goals of their own too and it might take them places where you can't do much business anymore. The same goes for a celebrity salesperson. He or she won't always be there. They may even have their own dreams that would take them outside your company. How are you going to fill the large gap in sales that they'll leave behind?

  • #2: They won't always influence the market - This isn't as hard to believe as some might think. Remember, nothing lasts forever. It not only goes for an individual influencer but also for their own influence. It could be the result of something as terrible as a loss in credibility or relevance. It could also be something as simple as a decision to not influence for personal reasons. It's the same thing with salespeople. Some might feel overconfident and start toeing the lines of professional behavior. Others might start feeling the pressure and this would affect their original capacity for making a successful sale.

  • #3: Laziness – This doesn't mean laziness of the influencer. Rather, it's the laziness of you and the rest of your company! Do you seriously think it's a good idea to rely on an influencer to refer their followers for appointment setting while you're being lax with your own marketing and sales? Given the above two reasons, the role of key influence can be a lot more limited than you think. On the other hand, overestimating it can lull your marketing into a false sense of security while placing the burden of sales on a single salesperson all because of popularity.

Both reasons center on the mortality of both the key influencer as well as the influence they exert on your market. Therefore, your dependence on them shouldn't strain that mortality. It's an extreme word but again: nothing lasts forever. It's also more proof of why it's unsafe to mostly depend on outside factors to influence your market using b2b appointment setting.

Instead, your marketing strategies shouldn't depend on a single individual while leaving out the rest. Just because popular fiction puts the fate of the world on the shoulders of a single hero doesn't mean you should do the same in real life, with your real company! Follow good appointment setting practices and all the beneficial things will follow through.

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