Modern buyers are smarter than ever. If you are to win their business, you need to take your sales prospecting to the next level. Prospecting initiates the sales process and is a highly important part of it. At the same time, it’s not easy to find and reach the right prospects. 40% of salespeople agree prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales process.
A lead is an individual or company that has shown interest in your solution or brand, maybe by consuming your blog content or requesting a free trial. A prospect, on the other hand, is a qualified lead that fits your buyer persona and aligns with your target audience. Sales prospecting enables you to develop new business by identifying and contacting the right prospects which can then be turned into revenue-generating customers.
If you’re looking to crush your sales prospecting targets, here are five most effective tips for you:
#1 Use buying intent signals to reach best-fit prospects
Leverage buying intent signals to connect with high-value prospects that best fit your ideal client profile, even before your competitor reaches them. Stay ahead of the competition by using intent data to identify prospects exhibiting high purchase intent levels and also those in the early stages of their buying journey.
Buying intent signals allow your salespeople to:
- Know if prospects are actively searching for your product and when they’re ready to buy
- Reach out to prospects at the right time or early in their buying journey
- Build the right conversations with prospects based on key intent indicators
- Understand the needs and pain points of prospects and personalize sales efforts accordingly
- Create a list of targeted qualified prospects, prioritize and score accounts, and reduce churn
Intent insights also let you know if prospects are looking for a competitor’s solution and what topics they’re researching right now. Statistics show intent data can help with up to 4X pipeline expansion.
#2 Use social prospecting to find, research, interact with prospects
Did you know 84% of C-level or VP-level executives and 75% of B2B buyers use social media to make purchasing decisions? LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are powerful social media platforms to prospect on. Create a social media strategy to not only find prospects, but to also learn more about them and build a relationship with them.
Use a social listening or monitoring tool in your sales prospecting campaign to:
- Know who your prospects are interacting with, who their competitors are, and which businesses they follow to find more prospects and also previously unidentified ones
- Know what your prospects care about, which hashtags they use or follow, what they’re complaining about, what solutions they need and promote, and what their challenges are
- Know what your prospects think about your brand or competitor, gain insights about your prospects’ industry, track brand mentions, and respond prospects faster on social media
#3 Use advanced tools to fast-track prospecting and increase efficiency
Don’t shy away from investing in valuable sales prospecting tools to achieve results faster and improve prospecting efficiency. If you don’t have the budget, you can take advantage of free prospecting tools like RevDriver. With RevDriver, you can unveil contact information like mobile numbers and email addresses for any prospect through their LinkedIn profile or company website.
LinkedIn itself is a great sales prospecting tool, especially because of its popular features like advanced search filters, People Also Viewed, Sales Navigator, InMail, Groups, and Pulse. Some of these tools can also be used for free. Website visitor intelligence is another prospecting tool that provides insights about visitors, enabling your sales reps to convert them into buyers. Moreover, visitor intelligence data helps you:
- Personalize sales conversations
- Learn about companies your visitors work at
- Connect with your visitors’ decision-makers and influencers
- Reduce lag time and contact buyers even before they fully define their needs
- Develop rich profiles of visitors and find net new “look-alike” prospects
#4 Avoid sales and marketing misalignment to avoid lose-lose situations
Sales and marketing misalignment costs companies at least $1 trillion annually. However, if you align sales and marketing, you can increase your sales win rate by 38%, customer retention by 36%, and deal closing efficiency by 67%. Furthermore, “smarketing” helps you avoid a lose-lose situation where marketers complain about sales not being able to convert prospects, and where salespeople express disappointment over marketing supplying low-quality leads or bad-fit prospects.
With smarketing, you can ensure sales and marketing are in agreement when it comes to lead definition and quality and who a qualified prospect really is. Besides, your marketing team can share valuable insights about prospects to your salespeople:
- How prospects behave on your and other websites
- What they share on social media
- What value propositions, CTAs, or messaging they respond to
- What their likes and dislikes are
- What triggers their interest
- What events they look forward to
- If there are any updates or news related to them
Your sales team can also use the content provided by marketing to prospect more effectively. Additionally, they can sync their prospecting efforts with marketing for better targeting and nurturing. For example, your marketing team can provide air cover through ads when your sales reps reach out to prospects. Air cover creates brand awareness, warms up prospects, builds initial engagement, and fills up the space between a prospect’s product awareness and interaction with a sales rep.
#5 Use the good old email technique to engage and nurture prospects
As per statistics, email is 40 times more effective for securing new sales than Twitter and Facebook combined. You certainly don’t want to miss out on the sales prospecting opportunities email creates for your business. Whether you’re using it to contact cold prospects for the first time or nurture them, or further engage or educate warm prospects, email will hardly fail you when it comes to prospecting.
If you want to succeed at email prospecting, here are some golden rules to follow:
- Don’t start selling yet: Your first goal should be to help or add value to prospects
- Personalize prospecting emails: Add a personalized video to take a unique approach
- Humanize email prospecting: Use the prospect’s name, the active voice, emotion words, and emojis
- Do the thinking for the prospect: Use a clear and action-oriented CTA, give them easy choices, mention statistics, testimonials, or case studies, and keep your emails short and simple
- Give a logical, convincing reason to connect: Give reference to a company announcement, promotion, funding round, customer referral, useful advice, recent update, or social post
- Get the basics right: Use social proof, include a CTA in your signature, create a compelling subject line, A/B test emails, send emails at the right time, and don’t forget to follow up
Start implementing the proven strategies discussed here to improve your sales team’s prospecting performance, ultimately resulting in increased sales. Afterall, salespeople who are top performers in prospecting produce close to 3X more sales meetings than those who are low performers or don’t prospect at all.
As a bonus tip, we suggest you track your sales prospecting results to attain even greater success. Some of the key prospecting metrics you can track are prospecting efficiency, number of new contacts and companies found, number of conversations, dials, and emails, number of new sales qualified opportunities, and number of meetings booked and conducted.