Sales Appointment Setting vs. Sales Development


We all have heard age-old advice to prioritize “quality” over “quantity.” However, in the sales game, you need both to build a busy pipeline of qualified leads. Right? 


But is there any sales technique that can grant you this wish? In today’s sales and marketing, many buzzwords are floating around to describe the latest and greatest ideas to power your business. 


You might have heard these terms, and now you are wondering what it is and if it’s right for your business. These sales tech stack terminologies spur a new interest for marketers like you to try them in the sales playground.


However, a key point to bear in mind is that not all sales terms are the same. Their interrelated systems and functions work hand in hand with each other to reach the final stage of the sales process, “sealing a deal.” However, your sales concepts remain the same, but all you need to do is add and remove some ingredients to improve your sales process. 


In this article, let us learn about “sales development” and “sales appointment setting,” the two most essential sales terms that must be listed in your dictionary. Read on to grasp their importance so that you can later capitalize on them and optimize your sales process:


What Is Sales Development?



Sales development is the process that is responsible for managing the front end of the sales cycle. For example, it carries out early-stage tasks such as customer research, prospecting, and initial engagement to find and qualify the best-fit prospects for the sales process. 


The goal of this method is neither to close a deal nor to advertise a specific product or service. Instead, the whole premise behind sales development is to sell to a potential customer rather than a stranger. Therefore, it integrates all elements, including people, technology, and process, to achieve that.


What Is Sales Appointment Setting?



If you get in front of a prospect, you close your deal. Right? Well, the sales appointment-setting process does the same thing.


Sales appointment setting is an essential sales strategy companies employ to maximize sales opportunities. This progressive sales technique allows sales representatives to reach out and speak with potential buyers, converting them into paying customers. 


It involves multitasking activities such as researching target accounts, learning more about the customer, setting up meetings, and following up after the initial sales call. By engaging customers on a personal level, sales appointment setting opens up lines of communication needed for continued sales growth. 


In addition, it increases interaction time and allows sales reps to better understand their customers’ information needs before making a sales pitch.


Did you know that this method is said to be the most common roadblock for many businesses? 


Related: Top Inside Sales Tools To Set More Qualified Appointments


Sales Development Vs. Sales Appointment Setting


Now that we have a basic understanding of these two sales terms let’s get to know them better by understanding their differences.


1. Focus


The main objective of sales development is to build a network of sales-qualified leads. Therefore, it places a greater emphasis on identifying qualified leads and moves them under the category of sales-qualified leads. On the other hand, a sales appointment setting focuses on scheduling an appointment with someone who meets a minimal set of requirements and is open to conversation.


So, sales development offers a clear road map for the sales teams to choose their well-fit leads and schedule an appointment. Hence, a sales development operation is the cornerstone for setting up appointments with your prospects. 


Therefore, formulate a solid sales development plan to set good appointments that can more likely convert into sales.


2. Depth


When considering “depth” as a factor, sales development and sales appointment setting are poles apart. In the sales development process, you must pass through several stages, such as researching leads, identifying their wants and pain areas, and filtering leads to obtain qualified prospects for your pipelines.


So, it’s evident that the sales development operation has to dig much deeper than the appointment-setting approaches. In contrast, sales appointment setting doesn’t need to dig as deep as sales development because its sole purpose is to schedule an appointment with prospects.


3. Impact


Both approaches positively impact your sales process, but their functioning ways differ. The sales development process delves deeper into the sales process to let you know the predictable outcomes so that you can enrich your sales resources more effectively. 

While sales appointment setting increases activity in your sales process by building strong connections with your prospects. In a nutshell, it drives higher engagement and conversion rates and, thus, stimulates your sales process.


4. Process


As said earlier, sales development and sales appointments exhibit a high degree of variability in carrying out their tasks. Sales development operation is prime in sales because it takes care of lead-generating activities and deals with intricate sales scenarios. 


On the flip side, with the sales appointment-setting approach, you first compile a list of contacts and then begin scheduling meetings with as many prospects as possible. Once your appointment has been scheduled, your salesperson will move on to close the deal. 


Are these two terms two sides of the same coin? Yes, it’s accurate to say that because although they have a different focus, they complement your overall sales process. For example, sales development ensures that the right leads get into your pipelines. 


While sales appointment setting nudges those prospects to convert into buyers, they work hand in hand with each other to help you achieve your goal. If sales development is the primary part of your sales objective, the sales appointment setting is an integral part of your sales process. 


Their ultimate aim is to aid you, and your team in exceeding your daily quotas. We hope you will soon employ both techniques and set your team to seal more deals successfully.


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