Updated on January 25, 2022
Prospecting is anything but easy. Sales reps know that finding the right prospect, reaching out and telling them what you have to offer in the hope of closing a deal, takes time, effort and skill. While you can’t guarantee that your prospecting will always be successful, you can make sure that the odds are in your favor. So check out these ten sales prospecting tips we’ve put together for you and your sales team.
Sales prospecting tips for your sales outreach
There are a number of ways sales reps can improve their prospecting. This can involve improving the initial outreach stage, how they engage prospects and sharpening their prospecting skills. Let’s get to it.
1. Know your product
Sales reps must become product experts before picking up the phone and getting on a call with a prospect. Even before the initial prospecting stage, when deciding which prospects are a good fit for their product, sales reps must know their product inside and out. This not only allows them to figure out their target audience that can benefit from using the product but also how to present the value proposition better.
Prospects need to trust that in order to help them identify their problem, you understand the benefits your product may offer in helping them solve it. After all, a good salesperson should know what they’re selling, so they can sell better.
2. Be confident in your skills as a sales rep
Not all sales reps are the same. Some salespeople are good at getting back positive replies, while others are skilled in delivering the sales pitch to potential customers. No matter what your go-to skills are, or what your comfort zone is, focus on doing what you do best, which at the end of the day is converting prospects to new sales opportunities and getting new prospects interested.
Experienced salespeople understand that there is always something new to try and something new to learn. This is why sales teams need to take some time to train new sales reps. Sales coaching is a great way for the more experienced sales managers to pass on the knowledge to the team.
Checking on the target audience parameters, going over the outbound campaign and sitting on a call, are just some of the ways salespeople can help each other to sell better and sell more.
3. Create an ideal customer profile
Knowing who your target audience is and which companies will be interested in your offering is an important piece of the prospecting process. To find out which companies would be your perfect customers, first, you need to understand what problems does your product help solve. This gives you perspective on how your product fares in comparison with the competing solutions. It also tells you how it stands out, what it does better and what you can improve down the line to increase its appeal.
Other defining characteristics of your ideal customer profile telling you which type of companies to reach out to can be company size, their estimated budget, region and industry. Look for any additional sales markers signaling they might be searching for a product like the one your offer.
Keep in mind that, there is no one-size-fits-all ideal customer profile. If your product offers a broader functionality or helps fix problems for a different group of customers, create different sets of customer profiles accordingly. As your product grows, your main target audience will change, in which case be sure to re-evaluate your preferred customer.
4. Define a buyer persona
A buyer persona represents your potential customers, in terms of demographics, goals, use case and the challenges they’re facing. It allows you to narrow down the right prospects your sales team needs to engage with to increase their odds of closing the deal. There are potentially multiple buyer personas even within a single company. You can create different persona according to different job titles and list the different challenges they may be facing, that your product can solve.
It is also important to correlate the key job title with the status of a decision-maker in the company, meaning that not just that your prospect has a challenge that needs solving but also they have the power to make a purchase decision. Focus your attention only on approaching prospects that fit the buyer persona representing most value for your B2B sales.
5. Use a data-driven approach
Data-driven prospecting ensures that your timing is right and your messaging on point. There are two areas of data points, that are vital for your prospecting success, firmographics and technographics. These types of data allow you to target more accurately and engage your prospects more efficiently.
Firmographic data tell you relevant company information, like company size and revenue while technographics data shows you what kind of technology in terms of software and hardware the company uses, for instance, what type of service do they use for customer management. These data points can be a deciding factor while on a call with a prospect and can help you close the deal faster or tell you not to chase after a prospect if the data shows that they have no benefit of using your product.
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6. Rely only on accurate and up-to-date data
It’s not just about having access to the data, but being able to rely on accurate information which can help you steer the conversation with a potential customer. For that reason, sales reps should be allowed to work with data they can trust to speed up the prospecting process, by giving them up-to-date info on a prospect.
The Sales.Rocks database is built around segmented data points that you can mix and match in an effort to find the right contacts and companies to reach out to. Using different sources to verify and compile data profiles that are constantly being updated, giving sales reps valuable insights during the negotiation process with a prospect.
7. Recognize the right sales triggers
A large part of prospecting is knowing when the prospecting is ready to buy. That means watching out for specific sales triggers and choosing the right time to initiate the conversation.
These buying signals represent the forming of a sales opportunity. For instance, if a company experience a sudden burst of growth and is hiring for several new positions in the sales team, this can mean that they are expanding their outbound sales operation and are also ready to invest in new prospecting tools.
8. Set up a consistent prospecting process
In an effort to convert prospects quicker and take over a large flow of incoming prospects, the process must be streamlined as much as possible. Sales teams need to go over each step in their day-to-day prospecting and improve any friction points that may happen.
If a sales rep takes too much time to find emails or it requires several additional calls to close the deal, that can mean a new tool can be required or additional sales training to improve the objection handling.
It’s not a one-and-done job as sales teams know. As the company goals change, the process of prospecting must reflect that and will need to be optimized when needed.
9. Qualify your sales prospects
To find out if the prospect is worth pursuing, you need to qualify them. That means going over several qualification steps to see if they’re the right mark. To qualify a prospect, you need to know if they have a need of your product, can they make the decision to buy and do they have a set budget. These answers will tell you if you’re on the right track and the prospect is worth the effort.
In addition, not all prospects represent the same value. Sales reps should also focus on prospects that are more valuable for your sales team.
10. Follow-up after the deal is closed
No matter if the sale has concluded or the deal fell through, you should always follow up with the prospect. A follow-up represents a perfect opportunity to set the next stage of the sales process and be an upselling campaign or simply to cover things that you might’ve missed and see what you could’ve done better. A quick call can mean the world of difference before your next conversation with a potential customer.
The main purpose of a follow-up is to learn with the goal that next time, you will do better.
Improving the way you prospect
Prospecting is a difficult task and sales reps should always work to improve the way the prospect. Using reliable data, improving their prospecting process, asking for feedback and refining their skills. Whether an experienced sales rep or a rising star in the sales team, salespeople understand that when it comes to prospecting, there’s always something that you can improve for the next outreach or the call after.
Follow these sales prospecting tips to increase your prospecting potential, grow your prospect list and turn those prospects into new customers for your business.
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