The most successful salespeople spend a more significant percentage of their time prospecting for their business. Hence, to be the best salesperson you can be, you must understand prospecting's best practices.
It's common knowledge that prospecting isn't the easiest part of your work as a salesperson. However, it's crucial. Being crucial, you'll find numerous random ‘hacks for effective sales prospecting.' Many of these work and several don't.
To save you time sifting through the whole array, we hand-picked the best sales prospecting methods for your business. However, let’s first go through a recap of what sales prospecting is.
WHAT IS SALES PROSPECTING?
Sales prospecting is the process of seeking out new clients and customers for your company. Sales prospecting is a technique more common with B2B organizations. As with every other sales-related activity, prospecting aims to irk interest about your product in another person.
Most times, you’ll be communicating with a stranger. Hence, the job is not always easy. Irking an interest in someone, then subsequently converting the interest to purchase action is tough. But when you follow the best practices we detail later on this page, the difficulty level drops.
In today’s world, sales prospecting is more than making random cold calls. People in the internet age don’t have much time to waste. Hence, you must ensure that you are reaching out to the right people. Now, determining the right prospects takes more than gut feeling; you need specialized business data.
With appropriate and rich data, you reduce the time needed to convert prospects down the sales funnel. Sales prospecting is the lifeline of B2B companies, and several other reasons to get it right exist.
WHY YOU MUST GET SALES PROSPECTING RIGHT
Sales prospecting requires a lot of time and resource investment. But the pay-off at the end makes it worth the stress.
Increased Customer Count
When you’re in an industry with fierce competition, each new customer you can acquire matters. Also, each business loses about 15 to 20 percent of its customer base yearly. Hence, it’s vital to gain new ones frequently. If you don’t acquire new customers, no one will be left in your customer base. Therefore, more customers translate to consistently increasing revenue annually.
Increased Customer Lifetime Value
Proper prospecting goes beyond just helping you get new customers. Consistent prospecting helps your sales team better understand marketing and consumer behavior. Hence, they get better at following up on prospects that will potentially stay for longer. Therefore, you aren't going after just any excellent opportunity. Your business is going after good customers that will last longer in partnership with your company.
Data has become very important in today’s world. Through prospecting, your company gets exposed to numerous customers. The exposure gives you a first-hand experience of response to your product. In the long run, you’ll notice patterns that may be vital to your business's future.
TOP SALES PROSPECTING METHOD TO EMPLOY
Sales prospecting doesn't end. Your whole team has to be consistent with it if the impact will be felt long term. In addition, sales prospecting has to continue to make up for the churn in your clientele. However, more than showing up every day, some top sales prospecting techniques can help you achieve your goals quicker.
Create a Map of Your Ideal Customer
The prospecting job becomes easier when you know exactly what your target customers are. Likewise, it'll be easier to target opportunities that will most likely convert to sales when you have the right customer target.
It would be best if you premised your customer research on a better understanding of your current customers. Identifying the peculiarities of your existing loyal customer base gives better insight into prospects you should target.
Identify Ways to Connect
Beyond understanding those you want to target, it's essential to know how best to reach them. For example, if your business is a B2B, ensure that you can contact the decision-maker. This points to the fact that you may need to devise a different approach to the one you use for B2C customers.
There's no one size fits for the different customer targets you may have. You should figure out the best way to reach out to them.
Warm Up Your Prospects
Cold pitches are great, but you need to understand that there are times they don't work. Cold emails are more like throwing mud at the wall and waiting for one to stick. In the real world, you need to warm up to your prospects. It can be frustrating for your prospects to receive numerous mail that doesn't appeal to them.
Hence, you need to be subtle in your approach. As much as you don’t want to waste time on a prospect, you should still ensure you have a base multiple contacts threshold per prospect.
It's also easy to warm up to contacts referred by your current clientele. If your current customers like you, they can even help you put some words in. It would be best if you established the initial familiarity.
Also, though your job is to sell, make sure you don’t sell. Prospecting is the first step in selling. However, in itself, it isn’t selling. When you try selling at the prospecting stage, you’re jumping the gun and may lose the customer.
Follow up on your initial contacts, ensure that you keep the prospect in the loop.
Most of your job during sales prospecting will involve you researching and studying. Hence, you should get tired of doing just that. Instead, spend time on social media, participate in networking events, answer questions on forums. To get people to trust you enough to buy, establish an initial profile in their minds. In everything, remember that sales prospecting is a continuous journey.