Appointment Setting Versus Lead Generation

By Shaun Thompson

Appointment setting and lead generation are both strategic business options that most companies employ to accelerate their sales, but they’re often commonly misunderstood. The question is, what sets these two apart?

Generating Leads with Lead Generation

B2B sales lead generation starts your sales process. It’s the initial step towards making a sale that involves sparking consumer interest and swaying them to be open to consider your products or services. Concisely, lead generation is all about captivating consumers’ interests, especially those within your target market and industry.

Outbound sales lead generation is also about generating leads. Lead generation has three types of leads: nurturing leads, qualified leads, and unqualified leads.

  • Nurturing leads refer to customers who’ve shown interest in your products and services but aren’t ready to make a purchase. Nourish customers who fall under this aspect by staying connected with consistent follow-ups and providing product information until they are ready to make a purchase.
  • Qualified leads are ideal. These are the types of leads that belong to your target market, are interested in your products and services, and are ready to purchase at any moment.
  • Unqualified leads are those who are not interested at all in your products or services, and they don’t belong in the spectrum of your target audience.

The primary goal of lead generation is to generate and keep your sales pipeline filled with qualified leads. A good flow of leads in your pipeline creates a chance of boosting sales.

Leads may come from various sources such as search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, and digital ads. But one of the leading practices in conducting effective lead generation is telemarketing. B2B telemarketing lead generation is discovering leads through cold calling. Marketing executives reach out directly to prospects to stir and capture their interests.

Telemarketing lead generation has several benefits.

  • A Proven and Tested Method: Some say cold calling is dead. Yet research shows that telemarketing is still an effective medium in lead generation. In a study by Rain Group, 57 precent of C-level executives say that they value information provided by marketing executives over the phone.
  • Helps You Better Align with Leads: Since telemarketing is direct in terms of approach, it’s easier to understand your prospects. Hence, you’ll have a better idea of how best to capture and nourish their interests.
  • Targets Your Ideal Market: Telemarketing lead generation is a personal approach. It can ensure that your appointment setters target your ideal audience, unlike other strategies that use scattergun approaches.

Securing Meetings Through B2B Appointment Setting

Appointment setting comes after lead generation. B2B appointment setting refers to the act of calling qualified leads, specifically key decision-makers, to schedule appointments with them. Appointment setting, in general, picks up the generated leads from the lead generation process for possible appointments. More appointments booked translate to more sales.

As much as lead generation is an essential aspect of the sales process, appointment setting also plays a vital role. Appointment setting opens the door for sales opportunities through scheduled meetings where sales teams can conduct their sales pitches to sway and convince key decision-makers to make a purchase.

While it may look easy to schedule appointments, appointment setting is tedious work. It needs a certain level of trust, rapport, and consistency.

Telemarketing appointment setting also has benefits.

  • Measurable Results: Unlike other sales approaches, appointment setting is immediate. Therefore, it’s easier to measure if your number of scheduled appointments is increasing.
  • Marketing Pipeline: An appointment setting requires a high volume of calls to create higher chances of scheduling appointments. Those calls are also marketing opportunities that can help increase brand awareness and get your brand recognized and noticed in the market.
  • Relationship Building: Appointment setting builds on human connection. The presence of the human element makes relationship-building easier, which later helps in influencing buying decisions. A good relationship level also contributes to building trust, which is a key factor during negotiations and in obtaining referrals.

Lead Generation Versus Appointment Setting

Appointment setting lead generation works together and is an essential strategy employed in your sales and marketing mix. Nourish and generate qualified leads through lead generation. Meanwhile, translate these leads into appointments through appointment setting. Lead generation can occur without an appointment setting campaign. However, it’s best if these two work alongside each other to maximize results and accelerate sales.

Executing appointment setting lead generation campaigns is vital in achieving your sales target. To manage these two campaigns effectively requires experience and expertise.

While you can execute these in-house, partnering with appointment setting lead generation companies is an option, especially if you’re looking to generate fast results and achieve your goals promptly. Why? These companies can help you create strategies aligned with your business. They also have a well-trained staff, necessary technology, and experience to help you get the results you seek.

Shaun Thompson is a director of Telemarketing Professionals, an organization of leading industry specialists in marketing within the lead generation and appointment setting space. Learn more about appointment setting lead generation and other telemarketing services at

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