Foolproof sales prospecting
Prospecting isn’t easy. At the same time, no sales rep can generate revenue without constantly putting themselves out there. But in a world where 80% of sales are made by 20% of agents, it can be easy to be discouraged. However, the good news is that these numbers aren’t fixed; they just highlight a need to maximize the sales funnel across the board.
The truth is the remaining 80% of reps aren’t fighting over 20% scraps. By applying the right marketing tactics, every sales team can optimize its ability to close deals. Creating a sales funnel that can do that starts with a strategic approach to prospecting. Finding the right leads early makes a sale more likely down the line.
So how can sales teams maximize their outputs with proper prospecting?
Don’t be caught unprepared when it’s time to engage with a customer. Proper research is the key to creating strong connections between what a customer values and what a business can offer.
Understand the market context
Consumers exist in a market that they create. As consumer needs change, the marketplace adapts to meet them. By knowing what a customer wants, and the context of the market they want it in, reps can build their pitches around productive information.
Research the contact
Prospecting requires a contact. Without someone to approach, there’s no point. Taking the time to understand an individual customer gives reps more options to pick the best approach from. Researching leads is also a great way to show them that a business cares and is invested in providing them with the best solution possible.
Research business partners
For business-to-business (B2B) sales, reps should also research the companies they’re pitching to. Companies are even easier to analyze, especially if they post a lot of public information online. Social media pages and business websites offer information that reps can use in the prospecting phase.
A sales agent needs to think like a customer, not a salesperson. The oversaturation of marketing online has made consumers savvier to impersonal pitches. Avoid prospecting with generic messages that get skimmed over – create the pitch from the customer’s perspective instead.
Think like the customer
Contrary to what many companies think, customers aren’t actually interested in their products. No, customers spend most of their time thinking about their own problems – and thus the solution to solve them.
Instead of approaching leads with a new good or service, reps will have an easier time prospecting if they begin with the problem at hand. If a customer feels like a company understands their situation, they’re more likely to look into the services on offer.
Attention is attractive
This is the most significant reason to think like a customer. Think back to the most fulfilling conversations you’ve had with someone trying to sell you something. Did they listen well as you explained your problem? Did they respond organically to your questions or follow a bland script?
These are the nuances of prospecting that get lost in sales training at times. A customer who feels valued and listened to will be encouraged to invest back into the business. A customer who feels like another number on the sales chart won’t hesitate to hang up the phone.
On the subject of phones, sales reps need to figure out the best way to contact potential customers. One reason research is so vital is that it can reveal where a lead spends the bulk of their time online. That can often indicate the communication channels they prefer, and often, they’ll outright say where businesses should contact them.
Emails are a standard way to contact potential leads, but they’re beneficial for several reasons. Businesses and professionals can have multiple contact emails, so reps should ensure they make contact through the right one.
For example, an email pitch sent to an administrator’s inbox might be ignored outright. Worse, making contact through the wrong channel can be viewed as unprofessional to a customer. On the other hand, a customer will more likely respond to reps who follow their instructions.
Unlike phone calls, emails also allow leads to respond at a time that’s appropriate for them. This small accommodation removes the pressure for a customer to answer on the spot. It also shows a level of care from the sales team.
Social media is an excellent place to prospect new clients. While many will close off their direct messages (DMs) to strangers, others will explicitly ask businesses to contact them through DMs.
So not only do social media platforms present a contact opportunity, but customer profiles are a perfect research tool as well. The best part of conducting lead research through social media is that it’s all information the lead willingly shares online.
This makes research less invasive, but it also showcases the customer’s thoughts and values – the precise information sales reps need to open contact and close the deal.
Even in the digital age, word-of-mouth remains one of the most powerful marketing tools available. In fact, the arrival of the internet only sped up how quickly information can travel between family members, groups of friends, and business contacts.
Sales teams have an excellent opportunity to leverage their existing customers for word of mouth. It starts with giving those customers a satisfying experience with the product and then asking them to recommend it to people they think could benefit.
Recommendations ensure that sales reps deal with warm leads instead of cold ones. A word from a friend or trusted associate is a form of social proof that makes a customer more likely to invest.
As crucial as cold calls and emails can be, sales teams shouldn’t neglect their existing customer base as a way to prospect and nurture leads.
Make the most of prospecting
There are infinite ways to generate new leads, but not all of them are useful. By following a few best practices and taking the time to understand what customers want, sales teams can elevate their performance and seal the all-important deal.
Foolproof Sales Prospecting – begins with solid research and the freshest list of highly targeted prospects. Impact Enterprise’s highly skilled data specialists can get the data, cost effectively and efficiently. Test pilots are always FREE. Services include, lead validation, data enrichment, contact research, data entry & CRM hygiene; content services include content management, influencer mapping and moderation for social media; AI Data Annotation services include image labelling, language processing and geospatial analysis.
Impact Enterprises was Established in 2013 and recruits skilled talent from bright young professionals in Zambia, Africa, where 59% of graduates find themselves unemployed and without an opportunity to showcase their skills and dedication. For recurring projects, the company provides a dedicated team to oversee operations for each client and guarantees an exceptional standard of delivery.