Appointment Setting Services South Africa: Costs, Benefits and Pitfalls
Sales is the lifeline of every business. Companies are always looking at ways to increase their number of sales and their first point of call is usually to add sales reps. The challenge or pitfall of taking this approach is:
- 1) Good sales reps are notoriously hard to find.
- 2) If recruitment agents are used there is a significant cost incurred with each new hire.
- 3) The success of sales reps often depends less on their closing ability and more on their prospecting ability (i.e. how adept they are at finding new business) What often happens when a company adds sales reps is their total sales numbers remain the same even though their number of reps increases. This phenomenon happens as adding a sales rep usually doesn’t increase the number of leads generated – Typically the same number of leads is now just shared amongst more people.
- 4) Performance management in South Africa is a long and expensive process - The success of sales reps is often difficult to predict. If a sales rep unfortunately doesn’t perform, it is very difficult and time consuming to performance manage them out of the company in South Africa, which results in a lot of extra frustration and costs.
Because we ourselves have experience above scenario over the last 8 years, we are such strong believers that the best approach for companies to increase their sales is to increase their number of appointments rather than increase their number of closers.
Appointment Setting Services vs. Lead Generation Services
There are two options when it comes to increasing the number of appointments that your sales reps go to. You can either invest in lead generation or you can invest in appointment setting. We offer both services but we launched our appointment setting service after seeing so many companies struggle with converting a good percentage of leads into ready-to-buy customers. Just because someone expressed interest in your product or service (a lead) doesn’t mean they are the right fit for your company or that it is the right time for them to buy at this time even if they are the correct fit.
We have seen so many companies spend fortunes on lead programs (with ourselves and other companies) just to see their results fall flat as they couldn’t close the loop from lead to sale. What a company needs are hot leads who are ready to meet because they are at the decision stage in the buyers journey.
B2B Appointment Setting Services:
Most companies that use our service have B2B businesses as B2B customers have, for the most part, higher lifetime values for the company and therefore most B2B companies can afford to spend more to acquire a customer compared to those in the B2C space. Also, most consumer products are not complex to the degree that meetings are required to close the sales whereas in the B2B space there is often more of a need for the prospect to meet a salesperson who can assist them in the purchasing process. We currently set meetings for companies in the following industries:
- >>Water Cooler Rentals
- >>Coffee Machine Rental
- >>Office Furniture
- >>Medical Industry
- >>Insurance Industry
- >>Chemicals Industry
- >>Security Industry
- >>Automotive Industry
B2C Appointment Setting Services:
Depending on the package selected the cost of an appointment translates to somewhere between R400-R1500 to setup depending on the product, likely conversion rate and industry. For a lot of consumer products this results in a cost per appointment and cost per customer which unfortunately often results in a negative ROI. For this reason, when selling consumer goods we usually recommend only to consider appointment setting services when the business is selling:
- 1) An annuity product – annuity products inherently have ongoing billing which typically results in a high lifetime value
- 2) High value items – Cars are a great example of this. There is enough margin in each sale to warrant this type of service.
Benefits of outsourcing your appointment setting:
When it comes to getting sales appointments for you and your sales team, it is for sure possible to do it in-house. In fact, most companies still manage and run their own lead generation and appointment setting service themselves whether it’s through their own cold callers or from their own digital marketing efforts. There are however a number of advantages in using an agency to do it for you. We believe the big 5 benefits are:
- 1) This is what we do – we are specialists at lead generation and at setting up meetings. This is what we live and breathe every day. Most companies are not experts or specialists at appointment setting. When you have a leak, you call a plumber. When you need more sales, we believe most people are better off using a company who are experts in this department.
- 2) Far Lower Risk – If you outsource your appointment setting to a company and you are not happy with the results, you can simply stop using them. If you hire your own staff and they aren’t successful you have to go through performance management and a firing process which can takes months and is usually a very expensive exercise.
- 3) No recruitment costs - It is not easy to find good salespeople and because of this most companies use recruitment agencies. Recruitment agents are expensive which increases your cost of each hire which therefore raises the risk of each new hire.
- 4) No training required – Although there is an alignment needed between your company and the company you choose to outsource your sales to, there is far less upfront and ongoing training required.
- 5)Scale – Lastly, if you are happy with the performance of your outsourcing appointment company you can always just scale the results. This is not easy to do in the case of hiring one’s own reps as scaling involves going through the whole recruitment process again and no two salespeople are alike.
Disadvantages of outsourcing your appointment setting:
Although there are lots of advantages of outsourcing there are some reasons why it might not be right for your company:
- 1) Costs - If you are not selling good or services which have a high enough margin then outsourcing probably won’t be the best fit for you.
- 2) Very Complex Products – If you are selling very complex items which only a few people understand then it might be hard for an outsourced company to grasp the complexity of what you are doing.
- 3) Long sales cycle – Ideally you want to measure the ROI of your outsourcing. This is difficulty to do if your sales cycle takes a few months or even a few years. Outsourcing can still work in these industries but the risk increases greatly as you are only able to measure the effectiveness and ROI after a number of months or years.
Appointment Setting Services Costs:
The costs for appointment setting typically depend on the company that you are using and the industry which you operate in. We have a fixed cost regardless of the industry you are in and have three packages to choose from depending on the number or appointments that you want: