If you’re not excited about the prospect of prospecting, you’re not alone. 40% of salespeople said that prospecting is the most challenging part of their sales process*. The most obvious reason sales prospecting is less popular than sales is that it’s harder work. Additionally, it’s not as exciting to prospect as it is to close a deal. The purpose of this company is to change the way people think about sales, because without a consistent stream of leads, it will be difficult to close any deals. . Use the following tips to improve your sales prospecting process.
What is Prospecting in Sales?
Sales prospecting is finding potential customers and trying to convince them to buy your product. In order to convert prospective buyers into actual customers, you need to find those who are qualified and have a problem that your product or service can solve. In general, the goal of prospecting is to develop a pool of current and potential customers.
Lead Generation and Prospecting
Sales prospecting involves looking for new customers to buy your product, while lead generation is the process of bringing in new potential customers. Lead generation is a long-term marketing activity that uses data to reach many people. It is designed to build awareness and engagement with a larger audience. Sales prospecting is a short-term activity that sales representatives are responsible for, and therefore it is a one-on-one approach. This is in contrast to sales activities that are focused on long-term customer relationships.
Suspect vs Prospect
The main difference between the two is their level of qualification.
A sales suspect is someone who is interested in your product or service but has no intention of buying it. You believe they meet your target customer profile, but you have no other details about them, and they are unwilling to participate regularly.
A sales prospect is someone who is a potential buyer of your product or service. Even though they have not interacted with you or started your sales process, they are still a person who meets your ideal customer persona. The ideal customer is someone who has the power to make a purchase and is interested in your product, but they have not been contacted by your company yet.
Why Is the Sales Prospecting Process Important?
You want to get more leads, but you need to do some prospecting first. If you go straight into selling your sales pitch without trying to generate leads first, it can have negative consequences. What’s the importance of the sales prospecting process? Find out below!
Filling your pipeline
The sales pipeline is essential to any organization’s success. By attracting more prospective clients and turning them into buyers, sales representatives play a vital role in the modern economy. Sales representatives usually lose 15-20% of their potential customers every year to attrition. Therefore, it is important to prospect in order to decrease the likelihood of your customer base disappearing entirely.
Nowadays, data is very important because market research is crucial for understanding what our potential customers’ greatest needs, challenges, and problems are. If a sales prospect does not convert into an immediate sale, sales representatives can explore why and how the prospect entered the sales funnel. This information can be used to connect with similar prospects in the future. The data collected about potential customers not only allows for a better understanding of them and their specific needs, but can also be used to plan future sales strategies.
Your audience can provide valuable feedback that will help you streamline your sales strategy and sales pipeline. You can improve your sales or marketing efforts by asking for feedback and then testing to see if it is working as intended. If it is not working, you can try to determine why.
Ways Buyers Are Already Ignoring Your Emails
They’re relying on email less.
It’s really helpful because we can set up specific channels for each project and topic, and people can subscribe to only the channels they’re interested in.” My company uses Slack for internal coordination instead of email now. It’s great because we can set up specific channels for each project and topic, and people can choose which channels they want to subscribe to. “One of the benefits of having a Gmail account is that we are not as frequently distracted by unsolicited sales emails,” says Chris Handy, founder of Thinkhandy Marketing.
I found most of the information for this article in a Slack group, where I also asked Handy for a quote. Employees who use Slack are able to communicate with colleagues in real-time without being interrupted by sales emails. As email becomes less popular for companies, fewer buyers will respond to emails, or even see them.
They’re using software to route your messages out of their inbox.
“SaneBox has truly cleaned up my inbox,” says Joe Jerome, founder of BrandBuilders. “On a typical day, I’d come into the office with about 60 to 100 unread emails. SaneBox learned which emails are important to me by observing which emails I acted upon. I also trained it by setting up some filters. Now, I have only 15 to 20 unread emails per day, all of which are high priority.”
Tools like SaneBox and Gmail are making it easy for users to sort important messages from unwanted ones. I bet that email service providers will eventually solve the problem of buyers once and for all.
They use a separate email alias for web forms.
Gmail has a feature that allows users to create multiple email addresses that all get delivered to their inbox. Users just have to add a “+” and anything else after their email alias and before the “@” sign in order to access their email. I have been using the alias email@example.com to sign up for subscriptions for some time now. I created a filter that routed messages from that sender into another folder.
Some buyers create a new account or use an alias to conceal their identity when filling out web forms. This prevents salespeople from sending sales and marketing messages to a prospect’s inbox by simply removing the text after the “+”.
They filter messages containing commonly used sales phrases.
Are your prospecting messages predictably scripted? Jason Diller, director of marketing for The DSM Group, created a filter to block out common phrases found in typical sales emails.
For example, any email that is from a salesperson gets automatically routed to his archive folder with a “salesperson” label on it.
How to Prospect for Sales
Before we start talking about the sales prospecting process in detail, we should point out that prospecting is most successful when you take full advantage of the channels that are available to you. On that note, here are some traditional and modern prospecting channels you may opt to use in your sales prospecting strategy:
Traditional Prospecting VS Modern Prospecting Strategies
Even though prospecting methods have changed over time, some people continue to use outdated techniques. Even though traditional prospecting methods may still be effective, there are now more ways to prospect that are either just as effective or even more effective than the old methods.
We explore the pros and cons of both options to help you decide what’s best for your business. We examine the advantages and disadvantages of both options to help you decide what is best for your business. Here’s the difference between traditional and modern prospecting strategies.
Taking an Omnichannel approach to prospecting
An omnichannel prospecting approach is an approach where you use multiple channels to reach out to leads. An example of the different ways you can connect with prospects using an omnichannel approach includes using a combination of the following channels:
- Social (often LinkedIn)
- WhatsApp/Messaging platforms
An omnichannel approach can’t easily be ignored. If a customer is marketed to through multiple channels by the same company within a two-week period, they will be much more likely to respond positively to the marketing and remember the brand.
How to Prospect for Sales
Create an ideal prospect profile
Creating an ideal customer persona is the first step to take in order to avoid wasting time on uninterested sales prospects. You can use this method to figure out if the person you’re talking to is a good match for your target market. Are they interested in purchasing what you’re offering and do they have the means to do so?
Once you have established an idea of your ideal target customer, you can start to do research. At this stage, you should identify different sources where you could potentially find new leads to qualify as your prospect. When you do this, make sure to identify who the key decision-makers are.
Now that you have done your research and have a list of potential leads, it is time to prioritize them from strongest to weakest. This will save you time and effort by only going after prospects that are most likely to become customers.
Send relevant content in the first touch
You have a list of leads that are organized, so now it is time to get in contact with your potential customers. The first step to take when trying to make contact with a company is to decide which method you want to use: a traditional or modern approach.
If you want to convince someone to do something, it is often most effective to give them something that is valuable to them in return. This can be helpful information, presented in a webinar, blog post, case study, or video. Center your resources on their current challenges and pain points.
Tips to Connect With Email-Prospecting-Proof Prospects
More prospects are blocking your messages, which means your normal email prospecting habits are probably not giving you the results you want. How can you improve your email prospecting response rates? Try these seven tips:
Build real relationships.
If you are liked and respected by others, they will answer your phone calls and emails. Their SaneBox won’t auto-sort you into an archive folder.
After being in the workforce for over 20 years, I have come to realize how important it is to have relationships based on trust and mutual benefit. I have hundreds of people I could call right now who could help me with my next project, either by doing it themselves or referring me to someone who could. But it doesn’t take long to build your network. If you’re new in sales, start now. When you have the chance, help people out. People will remember you fondly and will always answer your call.
Attract prospects to you by publishing valuable content.
Maybe you’re not a writer. You are probably not responsible for managing the website and publishing blog content.
Well, make it your responsibility. Stand up at your desk and demand more from your marketing team. If you want to improve your connect rate, one of the smartest things you can do is publish content that your target buyers will be interested in and that will educate them. I often receive a lot of messages after I publish a blog post. HubSpot generates a lot of leads per month because they have been blogging for a long time.
Don’t take my word for it, though. A few hundred salespeople we surveyed who work at our customers’ companies report that inbound marketing is the best source of leads for them, better than referrals and word of mouth.
Use a wide variety of touchpoints to connect.
Don’t rely exclusively on email prospecting. Salespeople need to get better at connecting with buyers through other efficient methods, as it is getting harder to make it through their inboxes. If you want to improve your networking skills, attend events and try to increase your social media following. You can create a Slack group and invite your buyers to join it.
Also, get more comfortable making prospecting calls. Some salespeople rely too much on email prospecting and end up scheduling all of their phone calls this way. If you continuously call someone, it will eventually work. You may encounter resistance from buyers when you are trying to sell them something, but if you keep practicing, you will get better at handling it.
Stop pitching over email.
Too many salespeople prematurely pitch over email. They promote their products and services by describing the features and benefits, what they do, and how they do it. This type of email is not effective because the pitch is not interesting to the recipients.
What should you do instead? Determine whether a prospect needs to pitch anything.
Keep your first emails to new prospects short, and focus on your buyer.
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