Ready...Set...Wait

Posted: August 15, 2019

I was a rookie Account Executive and the first day on the job I was given the formula for six figure success.  The formula was easy, book 16 initial meetings, convert 50% to a presentation, and close 25% of the presentations.  Do this for 12 months and I'd earn $100K. Alright, game one let's go...but wait

I was a rookie Account Executive and the first day on the job I was given the formula for six figure success.  The formula was easy, book 16 initial meetings, convert 50% to a presentation, and close 25% of the presentations.  Do this for 12 months and I'd earn $100K. Alright, game one let's go...but wait something was wrong.  To do this I had to first determine the activity to set those initial calls and for me this was the real work. I had to pick up the phone and start dialing.  This was the year 2000 and we did not have all the shiny tools that are available to the average salesperson today. The phone was my lifeblood and it felt like a 50,000 pound weight.  A few things were happening here.  First, I did not have a great view of selling at the time.  Second, I was in my early 20's calling on CEOs and CFOs and the view of my abilities was off.  Why would this C-Level exec listen to me on million dollar decisions effecting his/her business?  

Reality for me was I was not booking the 16 initial meetings but I was booking meetings and I was closing  much more than 25% of my presentations.  This made it easy to justify to my boos why my activity was off each month.  "Boss I don't need to book 16 appointments, I'm a better closer and can get to $100K with less appointments!" After boldly declaring this to my boss he said "You are right but imagine what would happen if you booked all the appointments we asked you to do with your closing ratio."  Well the answer was I'd earn $160K. Now, I knew this already, but I was justifying my poor activity and really fear of picking up the phone with "I'm a better closer".  The only person this was hurting was me.  This real conversation with my boss started a chain reaction.  Each win I had led to an increased view of my abilities (confidence) and my views on selling changed as I saw the impact that our solution had on the businesses I was serving.

Today, many companies will hire  BDRs to hunt, qualify, and set the appointments. They typically will make this an entry level role that then leads to becoming an AE.  The data we have says this might not be the best strategy as a lot of folks have hidden weaknesses that hold them back and prevent them from being hunters.  You can read more on this here.  The good news is we have options.  We can hire people we know will be strong in the area of hunting, we can identify the weaknesses holding us back and get coaching, or we can outsource this to the experts.

Our friends over at OutboundView recently put together a comprehensive article on B2B Appointment Setting. Whether you're building an internal inside sales team, or looking to outsource inside sales or appointment setting, there are some great tips to consider. In this post they walk through top appointment setting companies, how much this typically costs, and steps to build an internal inside sales team (data, technology, management, and compensation). 

Once again, here is a link to the article: https://www.outboundview.com/b2b-appointment-setting/


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