What Is Sales Prospecting? – Techniques & Expert Tips To Succeed

Imagine you’re standing in the middle of a desert and don’t know where to find water. You have to search and dig around until you find it. Now you’ve got a sense of what sales is like without any prospecting strategy.

Prospecting is one of the most important parts of any salesperson’s job. It’s what helps you build relationships with new customers. It can ultimately mean the difference between whether your revenue is up or down this quarter.

Moreover, the best prospecting techniques help you connect with the right people at the right time to generate more leads for your sales pipeline.

In this growing sales landscape, we’ll explain what is prospecting in sales and why it’s vital for business growth and success. We’ll also share expert tips for successful prospecting that help you reach more potential customers and close more deals.

What Is Prospecting?

When you’re in sales, it’s vital to find customers who need your product or service – people who will buy from you, not your competitors. This process of finding potential customers or buyers for your products or services is called “prospecting” or “sales prospecting”.

Sales Prospecting can be done in many ways and through different channels, including:

  • Cold calling/emailing out of the blue to companies you don’t know at all.
  • Direct mail campaigns to businesses based on data or other public sources.
  • Online Advertising (including Google AdWords) to specific audiences that fit your business model or product offering.

Prospecting in marketing includes activities like social media marketing, pay-per-click ads, content marketing, or newsletter.

Who is a prospect?

A prospect is a potential customer that has been identified by your sales team as a person or company with the ability to buy goods or services from your organization. A prospect becomes qualified when they meet certain criteria outlined in your company’s ideal customer profile.

For example, if you provide database services to B2B companies, your prospect is the top management or decision-makers in those companies who can make the purchasing decision.

Difference Between Sales Prospect & Marketing Prospect

A marketing prospect is someone who has demonstrated some measure of interest in your product or service, but they are not ready to buy at this point in time. They may need more information, or they may need to see how you deliver on your promises before making a purchase decision.

On the other hand, sales prospects are ready to buy now. They have already done the research and know how they will use your products or services. They just need to talk with you about specifics and negotiate pricing.

Before moving further, we would like to tell you that there is a bit difference between the lead and prospect. A lead is an individual who admires your product. But, a prospect is someone who can afford the product.

For example, a school student interested in your product. He appreciates your product on your every social media handle but cannot buy it for the next few years. This is a lead.

On the other side, the father of that student who also likes your product and earns a decent income to purchase it for his son will be a prospect for you if he has already talked to your sales team.

Sales Prospecting

Sales prospecting is the process of identifying potential prospects and reaching out to them to determine their level of interest in your product or service. It is done by your inside sales team and/or your field sales team, depending on the type of business you have.

Sales Prospecting Process

The process of sales prospecting includes the following phases:

(1) Research

The first step in sales prospecting is research — knowing where the best prospects can be found and how much they’re worth to your company. This information will help you decide which prospects are worth pursuing and how much time and money to invest in each one. This will also let you know the quality of the prospect.

You can evaluate the prospect by using preset qualifying dimensions and keeping track of them through a CRM.

(2) Outreach

Once you know where your best prospects are, it’s time to reach out and connect with them in person or over email/phone/social media/etc. Start by inviting them to an upcoming event (if relevant), then follow up with more information about why this event would be valuable for them.

You will come across the gatekeeper at this stage who guards the way to a decision-maker.

(3) Discovery Call

Once you’ve reached a gatekeeper and identified prospects who seem interested in what you offer, schedule a time for an in-person discovery call. Ask them the right questions during the discovery call so that you can learn more about their needs and goals.

(4) Educate and Evaluate

After a discovery call, evaluate the needs of the prospect. It is really important to evaluate as this will tell you how much the prospect needs the product. You will come to know about the pain points of your prospects and their objections while making a purchasing decision.

(5) Close

As you got all the information you need about your prospects, turn them into paying customers by pitching them the value you are offering. This will result in one of two outcomes: Closed-won or Closed-lost.

Why is sales prospecting important?

Sales prospecting is the key to success in sales. It helps to generate leads, build a relationship with your prospects, learn about their needs and wants, and build a healthy pipeline.

In fact, it is a step in the sales process where sales representatives contact potential clients to initiate the buying process. Essentially, it takes place when there’s no solid lead for a sales representative to follow up on.

The goal of prospecting is to build a relationship with prospective clients and open communication in order to have those clients refer prospects who can progress through the sales cycle.

How To Prospect For Sales?

Here are some tactics that will help you succeed at sales prospecting:

(1) Research your prospect and their business

You have to research your prospect and their business before reaching out to them. Research helps you understand their needs and how they might benefit from your product or service. This makes it easier for you to build rapport with them and turn them into a customer.

(2) Prioritize your prospects based on the possibility of purchasing your product

When you are developing your pipeline, it is important to prioritize your prospects based on the probability that they will purchase from you. You can use a lead scoring method that assigns points based on various criteria. This allows you to focus more time on developing relationships with those who may become customers sooner than others who may not be ready.

(3) Make a personalized pitch for each prospect

Don’t send out one generic letter or email blast to everyone on your list. Instead, customize each message so it feels personal and relevant to each individual person on your list. It will pay off in terms of response rates and conversions down the line.

(4) Review your prospecting process to see what you can improve you can improve

Do not forget to evaluate which activities generated prospects during the prospecting and which wasted time. Maybe there’s something unnecessary in your process that takes up too much time or doesn’t yield enough qualified leads. So, always ensure that you’re spending time on activities that will bring in results, and review your prospecting process regularly.

Sales Prospecting Techniques

Now, let’s explore some techniques from the sales desk for qualifying prospects and winning more sales.

Do your research properly

Research all aspects of your market and industry, including the demographics of your target audience, the best channels for reaching them, their pain points, and how those can be solved by using your product or service. You should also have a good understanding of their buying process and their decision-making process.

Set an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

Once you have the required information, use it to create an ICP that includes all the information about who would be most likely to buy from you and why they would want to do so. Your ideal customer profile is your vision of the ideal prospect for your business. It helps you stay focused on the right people in order to find more customers who fit this description and are interested in buying from you now or in the future.

Understand the Company’s Internal Structure

Understand the internal structure of the company that you want to sell your products or services. This will help you determine who are the right people to talk to in order to get the business. You need to find out who are their decision-makers, who are influencers, and who has authority over budget allocation.

For example, if you’re selling software as a service (SaaS), then you want to find out whether prospects are IT managers or information technology directors. This will help determine what level of budget they have and whether they care about cost versus performance and features.

Set your goals before reaching out

You should set clear goals with respect to sales before reaching out. You should know what exactly you want from these meetings? Do you want them as customers or just leads? What is it that makes them qualified enough for you? All such factors should be taken into consideration before reaching out to anyone for any kind of meeting or discussion.

Identify prospects’ pain points

A prospect has a problem that can be solved by your product or service. If you understand their pain point, then you can sell them why they need to buy your product or service to solve it. Use the following techniques to uncover their pain points:

  • Ask open-ended questions like “What do you want?” This will help you understand what they want from your product or service and whether it will actually solve their problems.
  • Ask questions about their business goals such as “What do you want to accomplish with this product/service?” This will help you understand how your product or service will help them achieve their goals.

For example, if you are selling cloud-based accounting software, you need to find out what kind of problems your prospect has with his/her current accounting system. You can also ask about their previous experience with accounting software and what were their major concerns.

Use sale triggers

A sale trigger is something that causes a prospect to make a purchase decision, such as a purchase offer or other incentive (like an exclusive discount). Use the kind of triggers to increase your conversion rate by using them at key points in your sales process. The higher number of triggers you use during the sales process, the greater chance of closing the deal.

For example, if you are selling a cloud-based accounting software and want to sell it to small businesses, a possible sales trigger can be:

If your prospect is struggling with cash flow management, show him how the new accounting software will help him monitor cash flow in real-time (and thus reduce stress).

Create a Personal Brand

Your personal brand is what your business is all about. It’s how you want to be seen by the world and how you want to be remembered. So, make sure it’s something that inspires people to buy and get involved with your business.

This can be accomplished by taking control of your brand story and telling it consistently across all channels (social media, website, email marketing) so people know exactly who you are and what value you provide before they ever even meet you in person.

Keep assessing your results

Sales reps are always looking for ways to improve their skills so that they can achieve better results. And in order to do this, they need to assess their current performance level and set goals for improvement.

Expert Tips For Targeted Prospecting

Here are some tips from the sales experts for the targeted prospecting.

Start Small

It’s important to start small and build your pipeline from there. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself by trying to reach out to hundreds of prospects at once. Start with a manageable number and work your way up from there. If you’re just starting out, try targeting 10-20 companies that are similar in size to your current customers.

Understand when to stop following prospects

If someone has not responded after two weeks (or whatever time frame you set), it’s time to move on. They either aren’t interested or they aren’t available at this time — either way, there’s no point in continuing to follow up with them if they aren’t interested in what you have to offer right now.

Update ICP

Keep your ICP up-to-date and accurate. If you’re going to use it as a tool for prospecting, you need to make sure that the information is current.

Plan your calls

Plan your calls beforehand so that you don’t end up wasting time on unqualified prospects or those who are not interested in your product/service.

It would be good if you send them information about your company beforehand so that when you call, they already have some idea about what you do and can easily make up their mind whether they would like to proceed further or not.

Wrapping Up

In the end, sales prospecting is an art. You must have a good understanding of your products, company, and market. Research your competition and understand what makes your products or services unique. Prospective customers want to know how you can help them solve their problems.

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The Top 5 Essential Elements Of A Successful Lead Generation Strategy

“Persistence is probably the single most important skill that you will need to make your business a success. Almost nothing you will try will work on the very first attempt.” – Alex Genadinik

Generating leads and creating profitable sales opportunities can be easier than you think. Learn the secrets of lead generation to create a strategy that helps your business grow. 

B2B sales are very easy!……….. Alright!….. I am just kidding.

Lead generation is a bit tough if you don’t the technique, however, with the right strategy and tactics you can rock the market, Boom, you got it! 👍 

There are a number of Softwares available in the market which we are going to talk about later in the article but before that let’s understand what lead generation actually is and how it is important to understand it in depth.

What is lead generation?

A lead typically is the contact data and at times, segment data of a client who is keen on a particular item or administration. There are two kinds of leads generation market: sales leads and marketing leads.

Sales Lead A sales lead is a person or business who may eventually become a client. Sales lead also refers to the data that identifies an entity as a potential buyer of a product or service. Businesses gain access to sales leads through advertising, trade shows, direct mailings, third parties, and other marketing efforts.

A sales lead is not really a sales “prospect” per se because a business would need to examine and qualify the potential new client further to determine their intent and interest

Marketing leads are brand-explicit leads produced for an extraordinary promoter offer. In direct differentiation to deals drives, marketing leads are sold just a single time. Because transparency is a necessary requisite for generating marketing leads, marketing lead campaigns can be optimized by mapping leads to their sources. 

An investor lead is a sort of a potential customer. An investor lead is the personality of an individual or element possibly keen on taking an interest in speculation and addresses the main phase of a venture deals measure.

 Investor leads are considered to have some extra cash that they can use to partake in suitable venture open doors in return for profit from interest as revenue, profit, benefit-sharing, or resource appreciation. 

Investor lead records are typically created through speculation studies, financial backer pamphlet memberships, or through organizations raising capital and selling the information base of individuals who communicated an interest in their chance. 

Investor Lead records are ordinarily utilized by private companies hoping to finance their endeavor or essentially requiring extension capital that was not promptly accessible by banks and conventional loaning sources.

How important it is to understand lead generation?

To sustain in the market you have to plan accordingly or better to think one step ahead, after prediction is the only thing which you can do for free, lol. 

Behind the complexity and vision of many promoting activities and missions, for the most part, sits a similar goal: producing new leads through various securing methods. Leads (also called prospects or potential clients) inside the promoting climate are clients that have given their data to an organization and, as a result, are currently essential for that association’s data set.

 As per an examination by BrightTALK, over half of showcasing subject matter experts (53%) devote in any event half of their proposition to lead age as it were. This gives us a thought of its significance.

First of all, you need to realize that a lead indicates to any individual or organization that is conceivably intrigued by your item or administration. Leads that show interest initially are called procured or warm leads, while drives that have no earlier information on your business are called sourced, or cold leads.

Lead Generation Process

Step 1:- Search for B2B leads

Step 2:- Pitch the leads

Step 3:- Proceed with a high prospect lead

Step 4:- Close leads

“Making your prospects feel like they have an exclusive membership in a club makes lead generation a positive customer experience.” – Eric Bower

Lead Generation Tools

In today’s era, everyone is dependent on tools be it for any business owners, students, or for the house purpose and it’s valid too I guess. After all, it’s the 21st century.

In the marketing world, you have to collect and interpret the data on a colossal scale, and there is the possibility of mistakes. Why take that risk? 

Let’s have a peek at the tools-  

Drift: live chat, calendar scheduling, landing pages

Prospect.io: email lookup, email followup

Outreach.io: sales engagement

Leadfeeder: identifying who’s browsing your website

Lead Generation Strategy

It may sound stale saying that content is the king but it’s true, content is not only the king but the lifeblood of the lead generation effort. While an incredibly broad term, content marketing encompasses every type of format imaginable. 

The key to a sound content material advertising and marketing method is mapping messaging to an income funnel. For instance, even though interplay with case research and product sheets may additionally be indicative of a sales-ready lead, that doesn’t suggest an advertising group ought to lead with this kind of content, as these sorts of belongings are generally added similarly down the income process.

So, the place does content material advertising and marketing earn its recognition as a lead technology magnet?

10 points to be remembered in lead generation

1. Use SEO for organic lead generation

3. Reach out to customers of products related to your niche

4. Use live chat for B2B lead generation

2. Get featured on review websites

5. Build a brand community on Facebook

6. Create a free tool

7. Do highly personalized cold outreach

8. Use Facebook Ads to generate leads

9. Utilize LinkedIn lead generation

10. Amplify lead generation with affiliate marketing

I hope you have an idea of how you can increase your lead generation skills by following these elements. It is not necessary that all of the tips work perfectly fine for your business as every niche has a different set of audiences and has different goals so you need to make sure of all.

You can check our startup, Mr. E, for Startups in case you need any help. We are more than welcome to help you.

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