Are sales prospecting processes easier or more complicated than they used to be? On the one hand, we’re more connected than ever and can use technology to understand customers’ needs and wants. On the other, it’s never been harder to get people’s attention as there’s just so much content available. That’s why you need an effective sales prospecting process to unearth potential clients and customers. With the proper procedure, you can ensure you’re targeting the right prospects and closing more business. Here’s how to do it.
Perform industry and market research
You should know your product or service like the back of your hand, but even that won’t be enough to sell it. High-quality prospects need to know that what you offer is right for them, and you need to present it in such a way.
Before you start sales prospecting processes, understand how your offering fits into the landscape of your industry and stacks up against competitors. You’ll be better educated on the market by familiarising yourself with other key players. This will help you understand your own offering and how it solves customers’ pain points.
Every process needs an endpoint, which is why setting goals is so important for effective sales prospecting. Consider factors like your overall revenue target and how many customers it will take to achieve those figures. Then measure these objectives with previous sales performance to see if they’re realistic.
Whether your sales team has just one person or is a group of reps, having objectives provides structure. However, you shouldn’t measure success purely on a number – consider the quality of leads and how long it takes to move someone through the funnel before they become a customer. All of these factors should contribute to the goals you set.
Don’t be afraid to experiment
You probably already know where your key customer demographic hangs out online and in real life. But it’s also worth trying new avenues to unearth prospects you may not have previously considered. Instead of competing in crowded spaces with competitors, look to other areas where you can find prospects.
From discussion forums on blogs to social media platforms that aren’t Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, there are plenty of different spaces where you can operate. That’s not to say you should forgo traditional places to find prospects, but trying new ground can be rewarding.
It’s all about the content
Sales prospecting doesn’t mean continuously picking up the phone or firing off emails. Of course, those aspects are important, but you want your website to work for you even when you’re not working. For that reason, it’s good to create content that strengthens sales prospecting techniques. Companies are starting to talk about this as demand-gen over lead-gen.
Write blog posts and record videos that offer value and can gauge your audience’s interests. They might not contact you after reading one blog post, but you may have planted the seeds. The next time they see or hear about your company, there will already be some form of association.
Build a list
It’s worth building a list of who you’re trying to reach. It should include contact information of prospects you’d like to connect with, as well as details like how you got their info, the best time to contact and so on. Having this info to hand will make it easier to send personalised messages.
Information can come from places like LinkedIn, business cards and real-life conversations. Include as many details as possible, such as their actions, behaviour, desires and anything else you think helps build a profile of the perfect prospect.
A watertight prospecting process increases the chances of converting good leads and filtering out poor ones. It’ll give your startup a solid platform to work from and can act as the foundation for the entire sales team, from current employees to new hires.