Lead generation is one of the most effective ways to get new customers. However, it can be quite challenging: It includes searching for potential leads, creating content that will speak to prospects, and gathering a team of professionals who encourage prospects to speak with you.
This last part is called prospecting, and it’s considered one of the most challenging by many salespeople. And it’s no wonder: Sales cycles are getting longer, competition is getting higher, and being in the midst of the pandemic doesn’t help either.
Due to globalization, standing out from a crowd is a challenge as well: It takes an average of eighteen calls to reach a prospect, and the possibility that your email will be opened is just 24%.
However, don’t be alarmed—it’s not as glum as it sounds. Prospecting is very rewarding when you put in some effort. And besides that, we’ve prepared some sales prospecting techniques and tips that will make your life easier.
1. Prepare Beforehand.
Before the actual prospecting starts, here are a few best practices you can implement to make the process much smoother:
- Craft your buyer persona and an ideal customer profile. These documents are responsible for finding the right prospects, understanding their pain points, highlighting their peculiarities, and finding a way to target them correctly and successfully.
- Plan your strategy. Choose the channels for your prospecting efforts; decide on goals and what metrics need to be tracked. For instance, if your primary channel is email, you’ll have to decide on cadences and sequences. For cold calling, on the other hand, there are calling scripts. And for both, you’ll need a list of the most common objections and ways to handle them.
- Use prospecting tools like CRMs or automatic dialers. They can take care of some routine tasks and save time for actual prospecting.
Bonus Tip: Put in the extra training beforehand, and your SDRs will have the right tools and support to start prospecting.
2. Add Value First
A “me” message is a message that only promotes your services and doesn’t address a prospect’s issues. An email like that can drown among others or get into a spam folder. To stand out from the crowd and hold prospects’ attention long enough to get a response, you’ll have to talk about them and what you can do for their business.
A “you” message focuses on the value you bring to the table and its relevance to the prospect.
For instance, if you are an insurance company, you don’t want to build your whole selling point on a possible disaster. A major tip for selling insurance is to focus on the financial and emotional benefits of safety that your insurance provides.
Bonus Tip: One more sales prospecting technique that works its magic is personalization. Mentioning awards, new hires, blogs, or possible challenges not only crafts a personalized experience but also shows that you cared enough to do research.
3. Warm Up.
4. Be a Thought Leader.
This sales prospecting technique actually encourages you to speak about yourself and get your opinion out in the world. It’s not technically an active type of prospecting, but it’s a highly effective way to raise your brand awareness.
When you’re known in your industry to be vocal about the trends or challenges, you build your credibility yourself.
For example, when whispers about GDPR first appeared, few B2B specialists paid attention. However, it felt like a big deal for the industry leaders, and the content they created was later one of the first to be read by everyone else.
Blogging isn’t the only channel for the distribution of your thought leadership. You can use events, online courses, webinars, podcasts, guest publications, and social media. The only condition is to deliver relevant, valuable, and needed content.
Bonus Tip: Whatever you do in sales prospecting, the key is to do it consistently. Most salespeople give up after one follow-up and end up losing valuable opportunities.
5. Support your SDRs.
SDRs are the moving power of your prospecting. They do the research, adapt the content to personalization, assess business processes, and finally start business conversations that can result in a sale. So you should do all you can to support the driving force behind it.
Start with extensive training that will help them adapt and navigate through your services. Provide all the needed tools and technical support from the management and colleagues.
Since the job is not the easiest and is based on a certain amount of rejection, workplaces should strive to create a safe, trusting, and respectful environment. Be open to communication and creative ideas, and your SDRs will less likely leave the company or face burnout or develop health problems.
Bonus Tip: Encourage them to have fun as well. It may be by showing off their pets during an internal team meeting, exchanging music preferences, or discussing a movie or two. When people love their job, they become even more productive.
Prospect Like a Pro
Outbound prospecting is being crucified all the time: It’s complicated, it’s time-consuming, and it can be expensive. With that being said, no wonder some businesses think it’s too hard even to try.
However, prospecting can be the most effective way to gain new customers if you put in some time and effort. And with these sales prospecting tips, you’ll definitely see some great results!
About the Author
Anastasiia Holovnenko is a content marketing specialist at CIENCE. She creates articles and guides to help businesses uncover growth hacks from an outbound perspective. She is passionate about psychology, literature, and cinematography too!