Sales prospecting is the first step of the sales funnel that comes before lead qualification or any of the sales activity. It is considered as the Adam and Eve of the sales cycle. Sales Prospecting is a two-stage approach that involves in reaching out to potential customers and finding new business with that customer. It is a key component of the selling process that can be used to improve your capacity to make sales and increase profitability in your business.
While cold calling is the first thing that’s associated with sales prospecting, there have been several new and effective ways that also prove to be healthy in the long run.
Image Source: HuffingtonPost
There are several ways to prospect sales depending on your business, size of operation, customer demographic etc.
While some prove to be ineffective and time-consuming, here are the top best ways to sales prospect:
Choosing the right tools for the job maximizes productivity, minimizes wasted time, and keeps track of a prospect’s position in your funnel. These tools are a better investment than purchasing lists. Some of these tools, like our own AeroLeads, filter and verify the prospects thereby saving you the hassle and time of organizing them.
Here are few of the widely used sales prospecting tools:
- Datanyze: Provides sales acceleration software for technology companies looking to increase sales effectiveness and build a pipeline.
- AeroLeads: A Prospect Generation Service that provides you a processed list of high-quality prospects with valid email ids. Given in your requirements, AeroLeads will get you the verified prospects generated in 48 hours.
- Rapportive: Helps reps better customize their emails by providing more context and social information about prospects.
- InsideView: Helps your reps better understand and reach out to their prospects through social networks and online profile consolidation.
- BuiltWith: A website profiler tool with filter by location, traffic, vertical and includes analytics, advertising, hosting, CMS and more.
Email marketing, while not the modish marketing tactic, is still one of the most effective in moving leads efficiently through the sales funnel. Constant and regular email communication will help you keep in touch with your prospects and turn them into solid leads. A consistent and highly relevant email communication helps you build credibility and trust with leads. Additionally, it keeps your brand top-of-mind for when decision makers are ready to select a solution. The best thing about email is that it can be used together with other tools such as social media (add a sign-up form to your Facebook page for example) or networking events (collect emails and add them to your database). You can also use several list building techniques to build your business email lists. You may refer our previous blog article for a more detailed input on business email list building.
3.Content marketing/ SEO (content prospecting):
SEO and content marketing has evolved over the past years and has impacted the sales operations in a beneficial way. In an era where 90% of the buyers research the web even before approaching the business, understanding the importance of content marketing is just half the battle while utilizing content such to prospect for sales is the other. Good content that is relevant to your target market is the key to people subscribing to communications from you, sharing your content with others and ultimately helping you build a loyal audience. And this loyal audience is your prospective future clients that could potentially be nurtured to become your loyal customers.
Your website will be the first point of contact between a prospective customer and your business, so my advice for you would be to make sure that your whole website is user-friendly and also ensure that every page of your website gives the option to the visitor to sign up to receive your content.
Image Source: B2C
Sales referrals are among the most valuable prospecting methods used by salespeople to generate new leads. A sales referral takes place when an existing customer provides the name and contact information of a prospect to his sales rep.Your customers are your brand ambassadors! Your existing customer continues to do business with you since you have established a certain level of trust and when he recommends his connects to your business, that established trust redevelops as brand value to the new customers. The cost of retaining a customer is much lower than that of acquiring a new one, loyal customers tend to buy more and spend more. So treat them well and they will recommend you.
Social selling is how B2B world works nowadays and frankly is very effective. It is best used as an opening tool for sales prospecting. Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, are the ultimate sales networking tool because you can meet so many people so quickly. One of the best ways to do that is by joining LinkedIn or Facebook groups that are relevant to your business. Active engagement with the members of such groups promotes your business presence as well as gives you a better understanding and perspective of your market. Connecting with brands or the top social media influencers boosts your business’s social media presence like no other and also avails you a channel to prospect for sales.
Image Source: HubSpot
A few tips for bettering your sales prospecting:
- Be persistent and smart.
- Focus on long-term and not just getting the sale done for now.
- Understand when a prospect is not a good fit and do not pass bad or unqualified leads.
- Have stage wise goals and objectives so that you can easily identify and tackle the problem.
- Schedule your day by using tools such as Google Calendar so that you have a track of your prospecting schemes.
- CRM is very essential, hence update the data after each quality conversion. This way your business can learn buyer trends over time.
Image Source: HighProbSell
Let us know in the comments about the sales prospecting methods you use! How effective are they? What methods do you recommend?