You’ve heard the buzz about sales prospecting strategies but not sure how to go about it? 🤔
Do you want to enhance your sales pipeline? Generating leads that turn in to sales? 🤑
If you answered yes, then this article will help you achieve all of that. It will explain what sales prospecting strategies are, why they are important, and how you can use them to enhance your business. 😀
Table of Contents:
- What is Sales Prospecting?
- Why is Sales Prospecting Important?
- 7 B2B Sales Prospecting Strategies You Might Want to Consider for 2019
- Our Final Word
The process of sales prospecting is one of the initial steps in the sales cycle. It is the process of generating leads, searching and making contact with businesses that can be potential customers.
There is a specific way to go about the prospecting process. You want to make sure that the lead generated is a qualifying one, which will eventually turn into a sale. For this to happen, agents have to do the following:
- Assess the lead’s profile and see if it fits the “ideal” customer profile for your services.
- Determine the needs of the lead.
When initial contact is made and the lead shows interest in the product, it is then forwarded to a senior sales rep. or account managers to close the deal as a qualified lead.
The whole process is to generate qualified leads who may need your services. It is then up to the veteran sales rep. to work their charm and convince the lead of exactly how your business can benefit them.
All of this may sound easy, but it actually isn’t. In fact, a HubSpot survey showed that almost half sales rep, 42%, surveyed found prospecting as the hardest part of their job. To ease the process for them, your business will have to employ multiple strategies so they have plenty of avenues to approach possible leads.
There is no way around it, in business today the business prospecting performance correlates with revenue. It should be the process your business puts a lot of focus on so your sales rep. have plenty of leads to sell to.
The process may seem tasking to agents but if your business wants to succeed, it will have proper strategies in place for sales prospecting. These strategies will allow you to stay ahead of your competition and constantly have your sales pipeline flowing, if not overflowing.
Cold calling is still one of the most effective methods for sales prospecting. It may not be one that agents enjoy, however, it is effective. There is a way to go about cold calling to make it more effective.
Having your agents pick up a directory and call everyone on it won’t benefit your business, it will just waste time and effort.
They will need to pick out specific businesses that would benefit from your services and target them. This will help them qualify leads in a more effective manner. In order to be an effective as a cold caller, the agent needs to:
- Be confident
- Build a rapport with the point of contact (gatekeeper or executive)
- Explain to them how your services will benefit their business, leverage their pain points
- Keep track of all communications
Let your agents know to stay the course. They won’t turn every lead into a qualified lead and the process in itself may take time. One aspect of cold calling that needs to be emphasized is following up.
There is a rare occurrence when a lead is contacted and turns into a sale at first contact. Cold leads need to be nurtured and broken down to warm leads which then turn into sales. The best way to do this is through following up.
Set reminders on the CRM system or keep them in a notepad. Ask them when a good time would be to call back and discuss things further. Be sure to follow up on time, it will show them exactly how professional and efficient the service is.
Another issue most agents face when cold calling is getting past the gatekeeper. The gatekeeper is the person that forwards the call to the decision-maker, usually their secretary. Build a rapport with the gatekeeper, they can actually prove to be useful. Engage them, don’t hang up if they refuse to transfer you.
Instead, speak to them and let them know how beneficial your services can be for their business. Chances are they will inform the decision maker of these, improving your chances of them getting back to you.
Social media has rapidly become a marketplace for businesses to target their customers. According to Statista, there are 2.46 billion number of users on social network globally, think of the people you could reach with a social media presence. This is the reason why a lot of businesses have developed strategies that revolve around social media to prospect clients.
If your business hasn’t already, it should start targeting leads on social media.
Some social media mediums are more effective for sales prospecting than others. LinkedIn and Twitter are your best bet to target if you want to either hunt for leads or have them contact you.
LinkedIn even has a Sales Navigator that has an algorithm in place that will help you connect with prospecting leads. The system takes into consideration your prospecting requirements and shows you matches. It can even be linked to your CRM.
Social selling is easier in the sense that there is no gatekeeper and you reach your target audience directly.
Email is one prospecting strategy that agents don’t mind doing. It allows them to say more without having to face the possibility of immediate rejection or the phone being hung up on them. It also gives them a chance to make a professional, lasting impression on the client, if the email is drafted in the right manner.
It all starts with the subject line. You want to grab their attention with it, prompting them to open the email to read what is inside. It should be professional and short of course.
The content you provide is important. The email should be personalized, in the first three lines, you need to also let them know how you have helped other companies like them and the results they have achieved due to your business’ service.
Rather than having the email focus on your business, be sure to focus on theirs. Focus on their pain points and challenges and let them know exactly how your services can help them overcome them.
Keep the email short and don’t pitch too much. Just stick to services that would benefit them and how. Throwing in a link to testimonials can also help.
With email taking center stage as a mode of communication, you would think that mail for sales prospecting isn’t effective.
However, it has its own benefits.
For one, you will know that it reaches the intended person. As long as you have the address right, the sales pitch you send will reach the person you want it to.
There is a better chance they will read it rather than an email.
Think about it, how many emails do you receive compared to mail?
People generally open the mail they get, while as soon they may sniff a sale pitch, they may avoid that specific email.
Mail also allows you to pitch more things at once. The business has a better way to articulate exactly what they offer and personalize it for the targeted person.
Events have become a great way to network and find leads for your business. You just need to know which events to target. One great way to get leads is to target events you know your clients attend. This would mean there are other companies with similar needs that would be there. This will give pretty much a room filled with possible leads.
Events such as expos give you an even better stage to showcase your services. They allow you to demo your services and meet interested leads.
This already breaks the ice and allows them to know your service before they approach you. Which means that they will probably approach you because of what they saw. Making it easier to convert them into qualifying leads.
This is where social media comes into play again. You will find that there are groups for almost any and everything on Facebook. Other than Facebook, LinkedIn is once again a good place to start.
So if your business is an IT firm, you can search for groups that have members from small and medium-sized businesses that could use your services.
Some groups have meet-ups and get-togethers so be sure to attend these. This will give you face time with possible leads and allow you to get to know them better. This will make pitching to them much easier as you can find out exactly which solutions would be good for them. You can find numerous different groups online you can join to generate leads.
Happy customers don’t only have to result in the possibility of selling more services but can be a great source for referrals.
A good referral program can entice your customers to refer their friends and fellow businesses to you.
At times, you don’t even have to wait until their project is complete. You can ask if they know anyone else that would be interested in your service immediately after the sale is made. However, they are going to be more willing once they know exactly how wonderful your services are.
Referral websites are also a great way to generate leads. You can provide these links to your existing customers to forward to anyone that may be interested in your service. Just make sure the website catches them.
No need for too much content, keep it short. Instead, have a video that highlights your services and explains things in a minute or less. Videos are better in terms of converting possible leads. The website should have a form where leads can fill out their details.
In return for the referral, you can offer your existing customer discounts on additional services. This will also prompt them to look at other services offered and possibly opt for them.
Prospecting may seem like an annoying process, but it doesn’t have to be. Your business can employ different prospecting strategies to ensure the leads keep coming in. Some techniques may be more effective than others so try them all to see which ones work better.
This will allow you to devise a prospecting plan for the long run putting more emphasis on the strategies that actually work. But remember like any sales plan, it will take time to be in full swing.