Sales prospecting is not an easy task. 1 in 3 salespeople surveyed in HubSpot’s 2016 State of Inbound report said prospecting is the most difficult aspect of their job. Sales prospecting generally involves salespersons who have the responsibility to seek out prospects for businesses using a variety of tools. Prospecting is undoubtedly a necessity for salespeople and their companies to attract customers and grow revenue.
Let’s take for example that you have a database of 100 people. Obviously, you won’t know in advance who amongst them will show interest in what you are selling, who will totally ignore you, and who is going to respond positively. The act of finding out potential leads from a neutral database is known as Sales Prospecting. Another definition of sales prospecting is, reaching out to people to find out which amongst them can be a potential customer.
Accomplishing your sales goals requires a consistent approach to prospecting. Even when there are many prospects onboarding as a customer, the prospecting pipeline needs to stay full. This helps to avoid inconsistent results of many sales to no sales. The following ways will help you make your sales prospecting more effective:
Emphasize on consistency: prospect daily!
To have positive prospecting results, it is essential to begin with setting aside the time and the energy to prospect each and every day. It would be ridiculous to suggest that you could only close sales on Thursday afternoons or suggesting only a single time for prospecting. Besides, it is also unreasonable to suggest that your prospects are only open to taking your calls on Mondays and Fridays.
Take advantage of social media
Due to the advent of social networks, each salesperson has an audience (i.e. LinkedIn Connections or Twitter Followers) and a platform for publishing content to them. Hence, taking advantage of that can bring positive results for sales prospecting is concerned since it enables them to connect with prospects.
For example: for B2B salespeople, LinkedIn is key. However, in order to get the most out of LinkedIn, your salespeople need to be using it in the smartest way. The first thing to do for effective prospecting on LinkedIn should start with your salespeople optimizing their LinkedIn profiles. Consider what a prospect would want to see if they went to check out your sales rep’s profile. Thus, from there, they can work on connecting with potential clients by joining groups, liking and commenting on relevant posts, and exploring 2nd and 3rd level connections. The same applies for other social platforms. According to a report, 75% of B2B businesses market on Twitter.
Provide the right sales prospecting training
Sales prospecting training is an important element to consider in order to prepare sales people to establish a sound approach when using the different methods for prospecting. For instance, a salesperson should develop a script for leaving voice-mail messages. It is essential that these messages are clearly communicated by outlining the features and benefits of a product or service and at the same time give a compelling reason for prospects to return the salesperson’s call.
Through training, sales reps learn the techniques for getting referrals and networking with other business professionals to sell collaboratively. Sales prospecting training also provides participants with resources, such as videos and podcasts that provide advice from industry leaders. An innovative training in the form of scenario-based training videos, can can dramatically improve a salesperson’s results that are sustained long term.
Look for Referrals
One of the most powerful ways to generate high-quality sales leads is through sales referrals. The biggest advantage of getting a customer referral is that it helps establish trust quicker with the potential customer. 84% of B2B buyers now start the purchasing process with a referral. Hence, it’s key for your salespeople to take a pro-active approach to gaining more sales referrals as a prospecting method.
Normally, most customers are willing to give a referral for a product or service they’re happy with, it’s just a matter of asking your sales team to follow up.
Make a list of prospects spending on similar products
It is important to note that your prospecting efforts will be useless if you are acquiring leads that are not even willing to pay the amount you desire.
Therefore, it’s important to look for the prospects who have been already spending money on services or products similar to yours. Recognizing prospects that are likely to have budget allocation required for your product starts from when you’re building a list. Moreover, your target should be on key decision makers and concentrate on people who are more likely to buy and continue consuming your product or service.
In this way, you ensure that your list is ready for prospecting and has more chances of conversion. Therefore, this sales prospecting technique allows you to focus on qualify potential leads that are more readily available to spend money with you.
Sales Prospecting Tools
Sales prospecting certainly takes up time. A good way to be effective with your resources is by utilizing the innovative sales prospecting tools and services available such as websites/apps which provide prospecting services.
When using advanced sales prospecting tools, you can find verified contact information from various websites and social networks with expending minimal resources. Besides, there are numerous lead generation tools that help you manually find prospect information as per your necessities and build a targeted prospects list.
If you want to go for a more innovative solution, you can automate the entire process by utilizing qualified lead generation services that build custom prospect lists exclusively for you that best suit your requirements. In fact, these lists are built from scratch exclusively to suit your prospect requirements and have reliable, verified information.
Nurture Existing Leads
One of the most effective ways to find relevant prospects is by looking at your existing lists of leads. From there, you can nurture prospects by reconnecting with them with relevant information. Let’s take for example, HubSpot which was able to get the most by reaching out to people on its list who had either not responded or fell off during the sales process by inviting them to participate in a webinar with valuable, relevant information. As a result, in one month, HubSpot generated 1,200 leads and converted at an incredible rate. Moreover, HubSpot was also able to target prospects it already had at its fingertips.
The key is not to just stick to the same old sales prospecting techniques because it is what you have always done. What you can do is to practice different techniques until you find the right combination of modern and effective sales techniques that effectively support your prospecting efforts and your sales goals.