Maybe it happens after a year … or even within several months. There comes a point when you must decide how to retool your sales strategy, especially if your company’s profits are soaring or at a point of stagnation.

If you haven’t done so already, your business could do well by developing at least two tiers of sales team members – appointment setters and closers. By doing so, you can boost c by an average of 7 points, according to research released by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and InsideSales.com. So, if your close rate is currently 9 percent, you could move to a rate of 16 percent by separating those roles among your sales staff.

Not only that, if you have appointment setters that can respond to a  lead within 5 minutes — instead of 30 minutes — you significantly increase your odds of turning it into a qualified lead, according to another report by the Lead Response Management Company. If called within 5 minutes, the odds of contacting a lead drops 100 times versus calling in 30 minutes. Similarly, the odds of qualifying a lead drop 21 times with the same timeframe difference.

As a result, today’s sales challenges increasingly require specialization as a solution:

Companies realized that they could be more leveraged if they broke the sales role into closers and appointment setters. Ken Krogue, founder of InsideSales.com said in a Forbes article.

So, how do you go about leveraging a team consisting of appointment setters and closers? It starts by hiring the right people and clearly differentiating the roles and responsibilities. Here are several things to consider:

  1. Consider your volume. If you’re lucky enough to have a massive response to your lead generation efforts, you may want to invest in hiring a full-time person or team to act as your appointment setters. This option provides the opportunity for you to groom an appointment setter to become your next closer, especially if you anticipate expanding that team. Otherwise, you can outsource your appointment setter needs through a contractor that specializes in providing that type of talent.
  2. Provide adequate training. Just because your appointment setters are likely at the entry-level, take the time to train them adequately about your business, your industry and the solutions you provide. At the very least, they should be able to answer any basic questions a potential client has. Consider them the first introduction to your company.
  3. Clearly define roles and goals. There should be a clear distinction between where one role ends and another begins. Also, set expectations for how quickly your closer contacts a warm lead. If the appointment setter makes immediate contact only to have your next sales team member take an inordinate amount of time to follow up, your efforts could be wasted.

Need help to manage your B2B sales contacts? FatStax empowers your team with a mobile-friendly platform that helps you organize and quickly access sales, service, and product resources. Contact us today for a demo.

About J. Rusty Bishop, PhD

I've spent the last 5 years helping great brands create amazing experiences for their sales teams during one on one sales interactions. Helping sales people do their job is my passion. When I'm not working, I am on the ocean fishing in San Diego, Ca.