7 tips to boost your sales prospecting performance
Sales prospecting is one of the most important aspects of any sales process, but it can also be one of the most challenging. If you're not adequately prepared, you can easily get discouraged and give up on your sales goals.
The good news is that there are a few simple tips you can follow to boost your sales prospecting performance and increase your chances of success.
What is sales prospecting? Why do you need it? And how to improve your process?
If you're looking for ways to improve your sales prospecting, read on to learn our seven tips to do exactly that!
Let's get started.
What is sales prospecting?
First things first, let's define sales prospecting.
In short, sales prospecting is the process of identifying and qualifying potential customers for your product or service.
It's a critical part of the sales process, but it's often one of the most challenging stages for salespeople, especially when we’re talking about customer experience.
Customer experience is the sum total of all interactions a customer has with your business, from first contact through sales and after-sales service.
It is the perception your prospects and customers have of your business throughout their entire journey with your company.
This perception is determined by how well you understand their needs and can solve their problems.
Essentially, in order for sales prospecting to be successful, it must approach it from a CX-centric perspective.
This encompasses interactions your lead/ customer has had with your brand, from the first time they saw your ads, to their journey through the sales funnel and follow-on customer service.
Customer experience is different from customer service in that it focuses on the entire customer journey, while customer service focuses predominantly on post-sales support. Meaning, customer experience should start as early as the sales prospecting stages, while customer service typically happens after the sale is completed.
Why is sales prospecting challenging?
Apart from having to put yourself in the shoes of your leads through having a customer-centric approach, there are several other challenges that come with sales prospecting.
First, you're starting from scratch with each new lead. You don't have any existing human interactions to build on, so you have to start from scratch to try to establish rapport.
Second, you're competing with other companies who are also trying to win over the same prospective customer. To get new clients, you need to be able to differentiate yourself and your offering in order to stand out from the competition.
And last but not the least, you're dealing with human beings who can be unpredictable. Even if you've done everything right, there's always the chance that the prospect will say no or go with another company.
If you're not able to effectively generate new leads, you'll never be able to close deals and reach your sales goals. That's why sales prospecting is so important.
Despite the challenges, sales prospecting is crucial to the sales process. With that in mind, let's take a look at its benefits.
What are the advantages of sales prospecting?
As you may know, the sales process typically consists of several stages, including prospecting, qualifying, closing, and following up.
Sales prospecting is the first stage of the sales process. It's also often referred to as lead generation.
The goal of sales prospecting is to identify potential customers and there are a number of advantages to doing this, including but not limited to:
- Allowing you to tap into new markets: First and foremost, sales prospecting gives you the opportunity to reach out to new markets and establish relationships with potential customers who you otherwise wouldn't have access to. This is usually done through LinkedIn, cold-calling, emailing, etc.
- Helping you better understand your target market: As you reach out to new prospects, you'll learn more about your target market and what they're looking for in a product or service. This information can be invaluable as you refine your sales pitch and marketing strategy.
- Creating opportunities for upselling and cross-selling: If you're able to establish a relationship with a prospect, there may be opportunities to upsell or cross-sell them in the future.
- Increasing your chances of success: By definition, sales prospecting is the process of identifying and qualifying potential customers. The more prospects you have, the better your chances of finding someone who's interested in what you're selling.
As you can see, sales prospecting offers a number of advantages and benefits. It's an essential part of the sales process, but it can also be one of the most challenging stages.
That's why we've put together this list of seven tips to help you boost your sales prospecting performance.
Before that though, let's take a look at the sales prospecting process.
What is the sales prospecting process?
Now that we've discussed what sales prospecting is and its advantages, let's take a look at the sales prospecting process.
The sales prospecting process typically consists of four main steps. Let's take a closer look at each step.
The sales prospecting process typically consists of four main steps:
- Lead identification
- Reaching out
Let's take a closer look at each step:
The first step in the sales prospecting process is research. You need to identify your target persona(ae) and do your homework on potential leads.
This step is important because it will not only help you determine the best way to reach out to your potential customers, but also give you an idea of what they might be looking for and how you can tailor your message accordingly.
Remember, you have to have a customer-centric approach when it comes to sales prospecting and keep the customer's needs and desires in mind.
It will also help you create a list of leads that you know are more likely to be interested in what you have to say, which will save you huge amounts of time, especially when it comes to the qualification step.
This includes things like looking up their LinkedIn profile, reading their blog posts, and understanding their needs and pain points.
Once you've done your research, it's time to identify potential leads. This usually involves:
- Creating segments based on criteria such as location, job title, or company size
- Using tools like LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find potential leads
- Subscribing to lists of leads from lead generation companies
This is great if you're starting from scratch, but what if you already have a list of leads?
In that case, you can use something called lead scoring to prioritize your list. Lead scoring is a process of assigning numerical values (or "scores") to leads based on their likelihood of becoming customers.
The criteria for lead scoring can vary, but it usually includes things like demographic information, job title, company size, etc.
The next step is to reach out to your prospects and try to establish contact. This can be done through things like cold-calling, emailing, or LinkedIn messages.
Your goal at this stage is to start a conversation with the prospect and see if they're interested in what you have to say.
It's important to remember that you're not trying to sell them anything at this point. You're simply trying to gauge their level of interest and see if they're a good fit for your product or service.
The final step in the sales prospecting process is qualification. This is where you determine whether or not a lead is worth pursuing.
There is a multitude of methods you can use to qualify a lead, but some of the most common criteria include:
- BANT: You'll consider factors like Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline.
- FAB: You'll look at Features, Advantages, and Benefits.
- CAL: The prospect's Capacity, Ability, and Likelihood to buy from you.
Once you've qualified a lead, you'll either move them into your sales pipeline or discard them.
And that's the sales prospecting process! Now let's take a look at seven ways you can boost your sales prospecting performance.
7 tips to improve your sales prospecting process
Finally, we're here! The moment you've all been waiting for. Here are seven tips to help you improve your sales prospecting process:
1. Use a CRM
If you're not already using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, now is the time to start.
A CRM will help you keep track of your leads and customers, automate repetitive tasks, and close more deals.
It will also grant you a full view of your sales pipeline, including all of your leads and their contact information. This will save you a ton of time and hassle in the long run.
2. Personalize your outreach
When you're reaching out to a lead, make sure to personalize your message. This doesn't mean that you should copy and paste the same message to every lead.
Instead, take the time to learn about their specific needs and pain points during the research step. Then, craft a message that speaks to them directly. This will show them that you're not just blindly spamming people and that you're actually interested in helping them.
3. Be persistent
Sales is a numbers game. The more people you reach out to, the more likely you are to make a sale.
Just keep pushing forward and eventually, you'll find some success eventually.
But don't forget to keep your CX intact! Make sure you're engaging with leads in a polite and effective manner and that you don't come across as too pushy but respectful.
4. Use multichannel!
There's no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to sales prospecting. The best way to reach your prospects is by using a multichannel approach.
This means that you should reach out to your prospects through multiple channels, such as email, phone, social media, etc. You never know which method will resonate with them the most, so it's important to cover all of your bases.
It's actually been found that leads who are contacted through multiple channels are more than three times more likely to convert than those who only receive one-off contact.
5. Be human
This tip ties in closely with the previous one. When you're reaching out to your prospects, no matter which channel(s) you choose, it's important to remember that you're talking to another human being.
Don't be afraid to show some personality in your outreach. Let your prospects know that there's a real person behind the screen. This will help you build a connection with them and make them more likely to do business with you.
6. Know when to move on
There will be times when a lead just isn't worth your time. If you've been trying to reach them for weeks with no success, it might be time to move on.
It's important to be persistent, but there's a fine line between persistence and stalking.
If a lead is unresponsive, it might be best to let them go and focus your attention on someone who's actually interested in doing business with you.
You might feel cheated with our 3rd tip, but in this case, it's really not worth your time to keep trying.
Hell, a lead that's seemingly ignoring you today could come back tomorrow with a change of heart.
If that happens, great! But don't waste your time chasing after leads that are never going to convert. That's why you need to perfect your lead generation and qualification process so that you can weed out the tire-kickers from the start.
7. Use the right tools
There are a ton of great sales prospecting tools out there that can make your life a lot easier.
Tools like LaGrowthMachine not only can help you find contact information for your leads, but they can also automate repetitive tasks like email and LinkedIn outreach!
Investing in the right tools will save you a lot of time and hassle in the long run, so it's definitely worth doing some research to find the best ones for your needs.
Bonus tip: Keep track of your progress
No matter which tips you feel apply to your case, it's always important to keep track of your progress.
You should keep track of:
- How many leads you're contacting?
- What methods you're using?
- How many sales have you closed?
This will help you figure out what's working and what's not so that you can adjust your strategy accordingly.
If you're not keeping track of your progress, it will be very difficult to improve your sales prospecting performance.
By following these tips, you can boost your sales prospecting performance and close more deals!
Sales prospecting is a critical part of any sales process, but it's often one that's overlooked.
By following these tips, you can make sure that you're doing everything in your power to reach your target market and close more sales.
Do you have any other tips for sales prospecting? Let us know in the comments!
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