Updated on August 30, 2021
Although many salespeople fail at prospecting, that is an important part of sales. Unfortunately, the majority of them use ineffective and outdated sales prospecting techniques. According to Hubspot, 50% of sales time is wasted on unproductive prospecting like constantly reaching out to clients that are not a target, or not doing the research properly. You don’t want to waste your time on unqualified leads that aren’t suited for your product or service. Instead, use these 8 modern sales prospecting techniques to help you supercharge your pipeline in 2019 and beyond.
Prospecting techniques to help your sales
1. Identify Ideal Customers using CRM Data
Research is the first step to a solid prospecting strategy. Your CRM system is a treasure trove of customer insights. With this list of companies at hand, take some time to find out what your ideal customer profile looks like by doing some research in your own database. Don’t assume that just because a company is in your database they fit your ideal customer profile.
It seems obvious that you wouldn’t want to waste your valuable sales prospecting time on conversations with low-level managers that won’t be able to make the purchasing decision on your product or service. So, after you do your homework, reach higher to the right decision-makers. But first, make sure that your list is clean and up to date before you start. Use tools like Data Verification to check if their contact info is still the same.
2. Uncover Customers’ Pain Points
Knowing who your best customers are is as important as understanding why they’d be motivated to do business with you. Regular customer conversations are the key to understanding their needs better. During your conversation with prospects and customers alike, you should take notes on their problems, in order to understand how it affects business, and explain to them how they’d benefit from your solution. Having all this information will help fuel prospecting activities such as cold calling, email outreach, and inbound sales.
3. Use Multiple Touches
Social selling gives an opportunity to nurture your prospects on several channels like Twitter, LinkedIn, Email and Facebook. You can engage with a prospect on a LinkedIn Group discussion or send a personalized connection request. Or, you can follow them on Twitter and retweet their contents. An email is always a good option too. Once you have identified the person you want to start a conversation with, it’s time to track down their email address. You can start with tools like Email Finder to spot your prospect’s email address. By having a sequence across several channels in this manner, you nurture a stronger relationship over time. Usually, it takes 7 or more touches to get through to someone.
4. Create value with every touch
When doing sales prospecting, it is your job to think about how you can stand out from other salespeople that are calling the decision-marker or sending messages in their inbox, in other words using the same techniques as you. No matter the channel you are using while selling, no one wants to hear about your history or pitch capability. Prospects are eager to learn how your solution can improve their lives. When you think about providing a value, don’t just think about the value that you will provide when they buy from you, but the value they will get from all the insights you supply to them during the sales process.
5. Show that you know them
Personalization does not refer only to including first names when writing an email. Nowadays, you need to show that you truly understand your prospects. You need to group recipients by job roles and/or challenges, and make sure that you write a copy specific to recipient’s pain points. Although personalization requires a lot of effort, it generates a huge number of responses in the long run.
6. Make the cold calling warm
Cold calling is no longer an option! In the awareness stage, there are a lot of ways how to reach out to a prospect before you call them. You have a range of options like email, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook where you can learn more about your prospect and make the call more personal and warm.
But, before you start calling, make sure that your contact list is up-to-date. Ideally, you should use sales enablement platform at this stage to automate the data update process. The Sales.Rocks platform makes it easy to validate your contacts. For example, you can send 5000 contacts and our batch module will process them to see which are verified and which are not. After the action, the updated contacts will be integrated directly in your CRM. This can save you a lot of time and resources!
7. Master The Follow-Up
Moving a lead down the sales pipeline requires doing some work. This means multiple phone calls, emails and other follow-up activities. If you don’t see a response rate – don’t give up, because according to YesWare, there’s only a 21% chance you would receive a response after your first follow-up email. The best approach is to send 3 to 4 follow-up emails. Send out each one of them in a time span of 3 to 12 days. Use each follow-up as an opportunity to add more value by sharing case studies, and giving solutions to different pain points.
8. Make it Personal
These days, personalization is no longer optional. If you want people to even open your email (let alone reply or click your CTA), you need to personalize your cold emails as much as possible. For starters, use personalized variables (like “name”, “company” and even “position”) to cut down on the feeling that you’re sending out hundreds of the same email every week. But you don’t have to stop with a “Hey, Tim”. Make the email feel even more relevant by adapting your subject line and your CTA to the targeted list. For example: if they’re in a specific industry, include that in your subject line. Or if they’re interested in something specific, use that to create your CTA. You can use LinkedIn Sales Navigator’s advanced search to drill down into your audience.
Effective sales prospecting can sometimes be a long game. Along the way, you might come across prospects that aren’t ready to buy – yet. However, that doesn’t mean that they won’t be ready for it in the next three months or in a year. Check back with them regularly until you get a hard ‘no’. Do not be like most salespeople that give up after the first negative answer. Let the dedication and belief in your product or service make an impression on your prospects.
The Ultimate Guide to Sales Prospecting
Find out how these prospecting techniques fit in the bigger picture of successful prospecting for sales.