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Dos and donts for virtual appointment setting during COVID-19

Maximize lead generation with these virtual meeting tips

Cathy Schmid
Cathy Schmid
EVP Sales and Client Services / Partner

Much has changed in the past year, thanks to the upheaval caused by COVID-19. For most marketing and sales teams—as well as your customers and prospects—it means a pivot from face-to-face encounters to virtual selling.

By now we’re all familiar with the technology choices like Zoom, Google Meet or Microsoft Teams that facilitate virtual appointments. But, it takes more than just access to a videoconferencing platform for your business development team to succeed in this new environment.

COVID-19 creates positives for sales appointment setting

If there is an upside to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s that securing virtual sales appointments on the calendars of busy executives may prove faster and easier than in the past. That’s because these key sales decision-makers now have less business travel and a reduced commute (in many cases, just steps from the bedroom to the laptop!). That frees up more slots each day to connect with suppliers who have relevant and timely solutions.

B2B lead generation appointment setting services can help you find and engage those sales prospects who are ready and willing for an in-depth conversation or product demonstration. Outsourcing some of all of your lead generation appointment setting lets you build momentum quickly while using your sales team’s time wisely.

Strong virtual sales appointments must conquer distractions

One of the biggest challenges with virtual sales appointments is focus. It’s far easier to get distracted during a virtual appointment, especially when working from home. Whether it’s the barking dog, delivery driver at the door, children in another room or simply fatigue from back-to-back video calls, virtual sales appointments can come with unexpected baggage.

Multitasking is another obstacle, one that’s especially prevalent on calls where attendees do not show their faces onscreen. The more you can prepare for and guard against situations like these, the more impactful your virtual sales appointments will be.

Best practices for effective virtual sales appointments

Once you’ve booked your B2B sales appointment, follow these Dos and Donts to engage your sales prospects in the best possible virtual sales appointment.

Do:

  • Know your virtual technology platform and its capabilities
  • Practice! Training and role-playing are a must for business development staff
  • Pause regularly to allow others to ask questions and contribute
  • Ask attendees to turn on their video so you can respond to visual cues
  • Look for spots to make your discussion interactive with polls, questions and use of the chat function
  • Open your meeting on time or a few minutes early
  • Have a backup plan if communication fails midstream

Don’t:

  • Fill the entire time with screen-sharing or slides—allow space to make eye contact and build rapport
  • Assume questions will flow naturally; be prepared to call on attendees individually for feedback and interaction
  • Panic if tech glitches occur, just try to recover quickly
  • Forget to invest in quality equipment such as your microphone, webcam and appropriate lighting
  • Overlook the importance of coaching; consider recording certain sessions to obtain constructive feedback from sales management

The content for your virtual sales appointment will vary based on where you’re at in the sales cycle. For large-group meetings and complicated product demonstrations, consider having two individuals manage the meeting. One can facilitate dialogue and monitor the reactions of your sales prospects; the other can handle the technology.

Virtual sales appointments, like any other sales activity, take specific skills and experience. The more your B2B inside sales team leverages this virtual sales channel, the stronger their performance will become.

Need help setting virtual sales appointments for your B2B or medtech company? Volkart May has 30 years’ experience with lead generation appointment setting services. Learn more about how our appointment setting campaigns can help you.

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