Sales Prospecting Tips: Do you remember building a house out of LEGOs? What about a house of cards? Lego’s main business model? The LEGO Group’s business model can be attributed to the product models since so far the main product is sets of LEGO bricks. At the same time, the company was engaged in the development of its theme parks and clothing.
Prospecting takes time and getting replies to your outbound efforts is just as much of an art as a science. These compound challenges lead sales reps and newly appointed VPs to dive into questions like:
- Is there such a thing as ‘best practices in sales prospecting?
- What are the most promising sales prospecting techniques?
- How do you establish a sales prospecting process?
Prospecting is a numbers game but it doesn’t have to be a slog.
Table of Content
What is B2B Sales Prospecting?
It is a first-stage sales process which means that B2B sales prospecting is the act of looking for potential buyers, customers, or clients to convert into new business. The ultimate goal is to nurture your prospects through the sales funnel until they eventually make a purchase.
- Leads: Decision makers from a target market that fit your ICP. Initially the targets of cold calling and cold emails
- Prospects: Decision makers who have expressed interest in your product or service, ready for a demo or discovery call
Sales Prospecting Stages
Lead generation: Sourcing leads from LinkedIn Sales Navigator or a database, tracking down contact information for outreach.
Lead Qualification: With an initial cold call or email, XDRs qualify leads by interest, budget, authority, and other factors.
Opportunity: If a lead matches a company’s ICP and expresses interest the XDR will pass them on as a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL).As the conversation continues the lead becomes a prospect.
Sales Prospecting: Stats to Set the Scene: Prospecting is the first stage of the sales process in which sellers search for potential buyers. The goal of prospecting is to create interest and then convert that interest into a sales meeting.
- Most sellers will tell you that creating conversations with prospects is critical to greater success in sales but the dynamics of how to do it can be baffling. Unfortunately, when sellers seek to understand it better they often find conflicting advice
- Research shows that 40 percent of salespeople consider sales prospecting to be one of the biggest challenges in the B2B sales process. It involves identifying potential customers and reaching out to convert them into buyers
- Just 13 percent of customers think a salesperson understands their needs
- Sales reps have less than 10 minutes to prove they have something valuable to offer prospects
Common Sales Prospecting Techniques
Sales prospecting methods are anyway a salesperson conducts outreach to source new leads or engages with existing leads. Effective prospecting methods can vary by sales organization and industry and can include email outreach, social selling, event networking, and warm outreach over the phone.
- Warm Calling: Warm calling remains the most effective way to set up appointments with the right decision-makers in your target accounts. If you want to get your prospect’s attention you need to have something compelling to say so dig deep to understand them when your gather sales insights
- Referrals: Referral prospecting simply means prospecting through people that you know your existing contacts, clients, or business partners
- Content Marketing: Content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent
- Social selling: Using a personal brand on Twitter or LinkedIn to connect with decision-makers on industry topics
- Networking: Networking like sales prospecting is a process and not an event. It takes time to develop a network especially if you’re new to the working world or still trying to establish yourself in your industry
Other techniques include cold mail event prospecting and follow-up with marketing qualified leads.
Sales Prospecting Needs Your Attention Now
It’s why the Gong team says bad quarters start with five words: I’ll coast for a while. If you coast with prospecting when your pipeline is full, you’ll end up with an empty pipeline in no time at all.
They call it a sales funnel for a reason; you’re always going to end up with fewer leads than you had in the previous stage. But starting with 5,000 high-quality leads can give you the same results as starting with 10,000 low-quality leads.
Remember that foundation analogy? Let’s switch it up a bit.
- If you don’t match your leads to your ICP, you’ll lose more opportunities
- If you don’t make sales prospecting consistent, you’ll end up with an empty pipeline
Now means more opportunities down the line.
Sales Prospecting Techniques
The Sales Development Representative put in long hours denotes cold calls, CRM notes, and emails. That time can either be productive or unproductive. Unfortunately, it’s often unproductive sales activity that eats up the most time. Nearly two-thirds of sales reps’ time is spent on “non-revenue generating activities”, with only 35 percent of working hours dedicated to actual selling.
In the conversation, you can do with your Hard work combined with smart strategies and processes that will improve your sales prospecting efforts in no time.
#1: Make a Consistent Process That Works for You:
If you expect to survive (let alone succeed) in sales prospecting you should set up a sustainable prospecting process. Prospecting doesn’t usually come easy to anyone. The board, sales prospecting should always be:
Consistent: Choose a handful of activity metrics (calls made, emails sent) to hold yourself to and build up from there. If You can’t expect to send a handful of emails and be done with it. Set aside time every single day for sales prospecting.
Strategic: An up-to-date sales stack will let you segment your target audience, send cold emails at scale, track responses and integrate with your CRM.
Personal: Don’t sacrifice quality for quantity.
If you want to send or dedicate mornings to email and afternoons to calls, go for it. If you batch your work by setting up all of your email campaigns at the same time every week, more power to you. The key to keeping the pipeline full is to make sales prospecting consistent, work strategically and maintain a personal touch.
#2: Keep Your Ideal Customer Profile Crystal Clear
Keeping your customer profile crystal clear is the most important thing that the right people Start with your ideal customer profile (ICP): what your ideal customer looks like, why they need your product, and how they make tech decisions.
But that doesn’t mean you should target anyone and everyone in the industry you’re selling into. After volume, effective prospecting is about generating the right leads. The Ideal Client Profile I use with all of my clients helps you understand exactly how to take your business to the next level.
The majority of salespeople report that 50% of the leads they contact are not a good fit for the business. Is it any surprise that just 25% of salespeople meet their quota?
Can we step into your sales prospecting workflow to match your outreach to your ICP:
- Use filters on LinkedIn Sales Navigator to narrow down your lists. Build Trusted Relationships that Lead to Increased Sales Performance with Sales Navigator
- Adapt your messaging to qualify leads. You have to adapt your lead qualification processes to your business model. The next steps in this post will help you
Look at the entire account, not just the lead. Lead forms help you generate leads by letting people submit their information in a form directly in your ad. In this article.
If all users Look at your most active users or highest-value customers — the top 10% should suffice. Dive into what they have in common: industry, seniority, business challenges, and locations.
#3: Automate Your Process Whenever Possible
Process automation refers to the use of digital technology to perform a process or process to accomplish a workflow or function. The term “business process automation” is also used to describe digital process automation.
But here are a few other ways you can introduce automation into your sales prospecting:
New lead alerts: About the Leads Assigned to You. When you are assigned a new lead, you will receive an email alert and also a text message. Sales Navigator will send you an update with all the leads added to that search, and you’ll have a fresh list of leads without having to lift a finger.
Hands-off follow-up: Having a hands-off manager can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, these bosses give employees considerable initiative and empowerment. Better yet, extend your follow-up automatically by scheduling out emails a few days, a few weeks, and a few months into the future.
#4: Focus on the Message — It Matters
Focus on the Message, Not the Messenger. Diverse leaders share advice they wish they could tell their younger selves. If you’re making cold calls, change up the way you greet leads and the way you introduce yourself. Take a mental note of which is received better. If you’re sending cold emails instead of making cold calls, get creative with your copy to improve your cold email response rate.
Mention something personal to their role: If they’re new to the job, congratulate them. If they have a technical role, ask them about their biggest challenge. If their company is in the news, mention it.
Go crazy with your subject lines: At least you until test out what works it is (see below). “Quick question”, “Sales Navigator?” and “What do you think?” have all worked for us.
Edit yourself: Sales are not marketing, but good copy still matters. Instead of sending off your first email draft, sit on it for a day and ask yourself how you can make it Snapple.
#5: Test, Test, and Test Again
It’s still important to the business field. Just start testing out what works. You don’t even have to limit it to test your CTAs, your subject lines, which variables you include when you drop your value property, and even the way you sign off any property and documents.
- Some questions to consider: Which subject lines get you the highest open rate? Subject lines that include words that imply time sensitivity–like “urgent”, “breaking”, “important” or “alert”–are proven to increase email open rates
- Does a more demanding, action-oriented CTA The CTA works because it grabs the user’s attention and offers great value for little-to-no hassle or exchange of information
- Which elements of your value prop lead to the most favorable responses?
- For 2020 and beyond, do emails that mention COVID-19 get higher or lower engagement?
#6: Put a Face — or Voice — to Your Outbound Efforts
Outbound calling means outgoing calls made by agents (or sales representatives) for sales, follow-ups, renewal reminders, or updates. Only in very rare cases is a sales org best served by only sending out cold emails or only making cold calls.
Mix it up instead. it’s the lowest tier of leads, Outreach recommends 6 emails and an additional call over 20 days. For marquee accounts, they recommend 20 emails, 12 calls, and 10 LinkedIn touches over 90 days.
Start sending videos within your follow-up emails and LinkedIn Connection requests. Vidyard or Biteable to create short, personalized videos to insert directly into your outbound messages. Making personal gives more interesting and experience.
#7: Build Your Social Presence
Using LinkedIn directly gives you, especially when targeting high-value accounts. It’s a great way to amplify your prospecting efforts. Even if you’re not actively ‘social selling, it always helps to be a friendly, helpful presence on LinkedIn or Twitter.
A foundation of trust is actively working social selling into your sales prospecting process and consideration below:
Save your pitch: When you send a Connection request, make it about the relationship rather than the product.
Consider the long term: Long-term” refers to the extended period that an asset is held. Depending on the type of security, a long-term asset can be held for as little as one year or for as long as 30 years or more.
Keep the conversation for email: Marketing emails have come a long way. What started as simple email blasts are now AI-powered, fully automated, interactive conversations – otherwise known as “Conversational Email.” After taking your time to engage on social media, send your intro email (or follow up, if you’ve already connected) via email. Just export your leads from LinkedIn to reach them via email.
Improve Your Sales Prospecting Process in 7 Hours — Today
1. Review your ideal customer profile. In writing.
Time: 30 minutes
2. In Before you can Write out 5 subject lines and 5 introductions to test with your next outbound campaign. That needs to be more creative, the better.
Time: 2 hours
3. Take a figurative red pen to the cold email you have now. Pare it down, and make it sparkle with your own hands.
Time: 1 hour
4. Schedule at least 2 hours of prospecting time every day for doing next month. Something you can stick into a process.
Time: 2:30 hours
5. Build a future targeted list using your calculations and using LinkedIn Sales Navigator’s custom filters. Narrow it down to 300 leads for better personalization.
Time: 1 hour
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