Appointment Setting Strategies and Implicit Bias

With the celebration of International Women’s Day, some people take it as an opportunity to talk about issues like implicit bias. Apparently, you can find it everywhere (even within, oh-so-professional confines of your software appointment setting strategy).

In all seriousness though, worrying too much about it is not the best attitude if you’re already having a hard time just getting any prospect to give your software company a chance.

You want an easy way to handle implicit gender bias in marketing? Simple: Don’t. Sure, it sounds crazy (and even blasphemous to those firmly convicted that playing the gender card has given them solid sales and marketing numbers).

The problem is that things get really messy when the numbers are wrong. And since we’re on the subject of enterprise software, gender doesn’t much to do with technology. (Or at least, in an ideal world.)

But if you want to talk about the real world, there are plenty of real cases where assuming gender as a factor makes for really bad marketing. This is perhaps the only actual scenario where implicit bias rears its ugly head.

  • It jumbles up simple targeting strategies – Why separate prospects between male and female when they more likely all have the same pain points anyway? Better for you to write it off as irrelevant and organize your prospects under more objective categories (e.g. budget, industry, employee size etc). It is in the objectives that a prospect finds value and where you can figure out the benefits that appeal to them.

software lead generation

  • It skews new initiatives – Presuming a gender bias can lead to a skewed interpretation of new approaches to appointment setting. For example, suppose you decided to make your website more mobile friendly by allowing appointments to be set straight from the prospect’s palm. It seems pretty messed up to assume it’s because more women stereotypically want to do everything from their phones more than men. (Not to mention harvesting the stats to back up an initiative is more likely a waste of research dollars.)
  • Same gender, different agendas – You’d be surprised at how people, even those who seemingly support gender equality, have two differing approaches to executing the idea. It just goes to show that individual agendas trump just about anything (not that this actually a bad thing). The strength of an appointment setting process lies in its ability to figure this out instead of relying on weak generalizations.

Implicit bias isn’t such a big threat if you stay focused on real objectives (such as functionality and cost-effectiveness).

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