Let’s admit that prospecting isn’t as interesting as closing a deal. As a result, companies often skip or delay proper prospecting tactics when it comes to the checklist of “important things”.
However, without a sales pipeline full of high-quality leads, no new purchases can be made. That’s why it’s important to realize that prospecting triggers the whole sales process, indicating, to a great extent, whether or not you should chase the account, and if the deal is going to be signed.
Even though it is usually the marketing department that is associated with lead generation for sales, it does not mean that the sales team should abandon their own prospecting activities and wait for the leads to come in. Here are some of the best ways to master the art of B2B prospecting.
Block Time for Sales Prospecting
It is important to set aside dedicated time for the prospecting process. Mark it as a regular task in your schedule if your day looks a little busy. Prospecting isn’t that easy. In fact, almost 40% of sales reps agree that it is one of the most difficult and the most critical aspects of the selling cycle. You need to determine the optimal moment when prospects are likely to respond to your emails or phone calls. For example, it is often pointless to expect an answer, a response, or a meeting on a Monday morning.
Make Warm Calls and Emails
The cold calling and emailing are two heavily debated subjects. You’ll find people saying that they are dead while there are others who believe they are still useful. That said, the first touch with potential prospects does not have to be a cold call.
You can do a warm calling. Yes, that’s a thing; warm calling is the new-age cold calling. You can spend some time researching or use sales intelligence platforms to identify the prospect and access information that helps you better create a better outreach including technographic data, firmographic data, and intent data. Having this information helps you understand your prospects’ business, create relevant conversation, and keep them engaged throughout the call.
You can also make your prospects familiar with your name or company before before your first touch by connecting with them or posting on LinkedIn. The aim is to get into a substantive conversation based on the initial details you have acquired.
Be a Thought Leader
Your competitors are talking about the same thing as you are. Thus, differentiating yourself from your competitors starts while you are prospecting and continues throughout the sales cycle. How can you make yourself different from the other? Why should they talk to you instead of someone else?
The best way to do this is by clearly communicating your expertise. A generic approach will only make you blend into the crowd and, let’s be honest, we all know when we receive the “standard” outreach. Before reaching out to prospects, you need to establish yourself as an expert in your industry to help create credibility. You can consider this as an extension of your warm calling as it will ultimately support you in your endeavor to initiate communication with your prospects.
Emails and LinkedIn are the best channels to make an impact. You can create original, industry-specific content and utilize LinkedIn pulse to create the authority.
Here’s an example of someone who has created a personal thought leadership brand to fit their industry and personality.
Hold Your Pitch!
Can you sell a product or service with a 1-minute pitch? Is it possible for you to sell it in a one-page e-mail? Of course not. If that were possible, a company would not need sales reps. On average, 8 separate touches need to be made before you make your move.
Always remember that prospecting is only the first step to get your foot in the door. Prospecting is identifying which prospects are good-fits and selling them the following steps in your sales process. Timing is crucial.
Your primary goal should be to check interest levels and qualify potential leads for the sales funnel while building a relationship with the person. If you are trying to sell from the get-go, you are immediately putting pressure on the prospect. By having real conversations, with consistent follow up, you will make your prospect feel comfortable, and set yourself up for a more natural transition into your sales conversation.
Utilize Social Media Channels
Social media, especially LinkedIn when it comes to B2B businesses, is one of the best ways to reach your prospects. Thus, it becomes important to have social media as a part of your overall sales strategy. B2B companies who use social selling practices regularly are 40% more likely to hit their revenue goals than those who don’t have a social selling process.
These companies have realized channels like LinkedIn can be a wealth of information if you know how to find it. You can also follow your prospect’s posts to answer their queries or share your views.
First, identify the social media channel(s) that your prospects are on and then decide what content formats you should create to best engage them. It might be Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or even YouTube. Though LinkedIn is considered the best fit for B2B, it is important to reach them wherever they are.
Use The Right Prospecting Tools
Prospecting tools have come a long way from automated dialers and spreadsheets. According to Salesforces’ second annual State of Sales survey, high-performance businesses are 2.7X more likely to automate sales processes than low-performance businesses. Also, increased technology usage is a top priority for a third of sales teams.
It is important to succeed in sales with the appropriate prospecting tools, as you need someone to sell in order to close your next deal. Creating a healthy funnel starts by creating a steady stream of qualified prospects into your sales cycle. There are technologies that can help you accomplish this.
With hundreds of prospecting tools available, our team will help you with purchasing, integrating, and configuring the right mix of tools according to your business needs.
Prospecting Using Past Client Relation
You must have developed a good relationship with your past client. Have you ever tried to check where your past contacts are right now? If not, you are missing out on getting the low-hanging fruit.
People change jobs and many companies lose their advocates in the mix. Yet, it doesn’t mean that you lost a client. Instead, you can track them across organizations and connect with them to explore a new opportunity. It can be a time-consuming process when you want to track multiple past clients, but it’s not impossible.
Using BuyerMovement, you can simplify the prospecting process and make your sales team more productive. Our team tracks down your highest converting leads who loved your product or service at a previous employer. Since they are your happy customers, they are more likely than any other lead category to purchase your product or service.
While prospecting is a challenge for the sales reps, if done right, it not only creates a steady sales pipeline of potential customers, it helps to position yourself as a trusted advisor to them. It also helps you qualify which accounts you should be chasing after.
We work as your extended team that helps you to identify the right prospects who are good-fit for your offerings.
SalesIntel is the top provider of accurate and affordable sales and marketing contact data with highest number of direct dials and human-verified contacts in the industry. SalesIntel is your resource for contact and business intelligence.
Our combination of automation and researchers allows us to reach 95% data accuracy for all our published contact data while continuing to scale up our number of contacts.
Ariana Shannon – Creative Director and Marketing Coordinator