Sales Prospecting: Everything you need to know
You cannot close deals if you don’t have prospects. You cannot have prospects if you don’t prospect. Prospecting is very important in the sales cycle that is many times ignored by multiple sales people. This is because of the rejections that come along with prospecting. The phones don’t get picked up.. The negative reactions rang from .. I am not interested.. Don’t call me again.. I dont have the time.. I am not the right person.. And many more..
Prospecting is the first stage in the sales funnel. The objective of prospecting is to reach out to the ideal buyer persona list given by the team. The job is to reach out to them, have an initial short conversation with them and then figure out if there is an interest in the services or the products. Having said that, we will, in this blog, see what is prospecting and why is it so important?
What is prospecting?
Sales prospecting is a technique of building business relationships with potential prospects. The objective of sales prospecting is to make the suspects in the ideal buyer persona database aware of the services or the products. The subsequent objective is to move the suspects who show interest into the sales funnel and convert them into prospects. The eventual goal is to generate revenue for the business by gradually educating the prospects and making them purchase the products and make them customers..
Prospecting is also the first stage in the sales cycle. This stage is when you get introduced to the buyers for the first time. From the customer’s viewpoint, this is the stage where they get the awareness about the product or service you are offering.
Why is Sales Prospecting important?
Helps you to bring in more leads.
Helps you to understand your customer.
Helps to qualify better leads.
Will eventually lead to more revenue for the company.
Sales prospecting process:
The sales prospect process starts with building the ideal customer profile and ends with building a relationship with the prospect. This process goes through 4 vital steps as outlined below.
Ideal prospecting of leads:
The prospecting process begins with a thorough study of your ideal prospect. When you are ready to sell your product, you need to know which buyer segment is ideal for your products and services.
The buyer segments can evolve from the existing sets of customers. You will be able to figure out the types of buyers that are likely to adopt your products or services. Additionally, you can also work on finding your direct competitors’ ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) records and add those as well.
These resources will help you make a list of the industries, titles and the size of the ideal companies. The lead generation team can then begin making a database of these companies..
Prioritize your prospects:
Not all prospects on your list can become your customer. There are several factors associated with your prospect becoming your customer. That can be the prospect’s needs at that time, their ability to buy, their affinity towards your company, and their buying behaviour. If you focus on every perspective in this scenario, you will lose a lot of time and effort.
So, prioritizing your potential customers can solve this problem. You can get behavioural analyzes of your existing customers and create ideal customer profiles for your products. This allows you to distinguish between effective and ineffective perspectives.
Executing sales outreach:
After prioritizing and identifying your effective prospect, it is time to make your first pitch. You can do it by a cold call, cold email, or a social media approach whichever is best applicable for you. The initial prospecting or the conversation can be initiated by doing a cold call, by email, or through a LinkedIn message.
The first sales approach should always be a short and a business benefit driven one. You can provide generic benefits the industry or the target company can make. It should not be seen to be a sales pitch to sell your product at the first attempt, instead, it should be an interactive session for building relationships.
This is the stage where you will need lots of patience and perseverance because people will not always nod on the first go. Once the initial pitch is done the genuinely interested customers will ask for more information while the other potential customers can be nurtured constantly by following up. You need to follow-up with your prospects multiple times until you get a response.
When initiating engagement with your prospect, take some time before planning your next engagement or follow-up.
Now let us see what are the most widely used techniques in sales prospecting.
Sales prospecting techniques:
Cold email is the initial email that is sent to a set of customers about the product/service.
Cold email is considered to be one of the best ways to generate leads and research. All you need to do is build an email list and use an email automation tool to set up and schedule emails.
Cold calls are unsolicited calls to any prospects by doing some basic research and pitching about the product. When a prospect is interested in your product, they’ll continue the conversation to learn more about the product.This can be followed by various follow-ups which may also result in the inclusion. The best way to do a cold call is always after sending a cold email.
Sales professionals also reach prospects through various social media platforms such as Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook. Social media is more than just socializing and making friends. You can also use it to find behavioural analyzes, pitch your solutions and invite them to a call.
Sales Professionals are the key point of contact for any prospect towards the company. So, it is valuable to build relationships with their prospects. Further, sales prospecting should always be a continuous process and the salesperson should keep in mind to keep the pipeline full. Always focus on quality leads rather than quantity.
To conclude, you must have a strong metric on prospecting as part of the sales reviews. You will have to ensure that your top of the funnel is constantly filled with new prospects. This is because any prospective customer can churn out at any given point in time for a variety of reasons known to them only. You will have no control over that. Maximizing prospects at the top of the funnel will ensure that you will maximize the chances of hitting your quota month after month.
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