Updated: Mar 24
Sales prospecting a common source of misery for most sales reps is a critical aspect of selling for nearly all businesses. Prospecting uncovers potential buyers, fuels an organization’s sales pipeline, and provides important context to future sales conversations. So, whether you’re brand new to sales or just looking for a refresher, this post will take you back to the basics of B2B sales prospecting.
What is B2B sales prospecting?
B2B sales prospecting is the act of looking for potential buyers, customers, or clients to convert into new business. The ultimate goal is to nurture your prospects through the sales funnel until they eventually make a purchase. While the concept is simple, effective B2B sales prospecting is difficult to execute. In fact, research shows 50% of sale’s time is wasted on unproductive prospecting. Think about it, how much more selling could you do if you weren’t wasting so much time? If you’re ready to prospect more effectively and spend more time selling, keep reading. Today we give you our top six ways to improve new business prospecting.
1. Know your buyer.
The root of unproductive B2B sales prospecting is a lack of understanding. If you don’t understand your target audience, their interests, pain points how are you supposed to sell to them? To put it simply, without a deep understanding of your target audience, your sales efforts will fail. Data lists are the most powerfull tool you can have when it comes to B2B sales prospecting. Although buyer personas are typically considered marketing territory, they’re also critical to the sales prospecting process. If your sales and marketing departments haven’t already sat down to create buyer personas, this should be step number one. Consider the different types of people who have the most success with your product. Who are they? Why do they buy? How do they move through the sales funnel? Click here to read my post "How to succeed at B2B prospecting with data lists?"
2. Be proactive and consistent.
It’s easy to put sales prospecting on the back burner when sales are slow but, in order to consistently maintain a full pipeline, you must make B2B prospecting a daily activity. It’s no longer enough to rely on your marketing team for leads, you have to go out and find them yourself. Consider setting yourself, or your team, daily prospecting goals. How many cold calls should reps make a day? How many emails should they send? By establishing a process, prospecting quickly becomes a habit and can help you avoid a lead or revenue shortage.
Click here to read my post "Top 5 hacks to build an Email Marketing list."
3. Nurture Relationships.
Even after you’ve perfected your sales pitch and contacted all the right people, you’re still going to be rejected. And while rejection always hurts, don’t give up on the prospects that tell you ‘no’. Instead, develop a strategy to nurture these prospects until they become ready to buy. The key to building a lasting relationship with a prospect is to understand why they said ‘no’ in the first place. Many times, ‘no’ really means ‘not yet’. Take the time to understand what the hesitation is or why your product isn’t necessarily a good fit. Then, develop a nurture cadence to maintain your relationship with this prospect. Aim to be helpful, rather than pushy.
Click here to read my post "How to convert prospects into customers?"
4. Warm call your prospects.
Before picking up the phone, it’s important to know your prospect inside and out. We totally discourage cold calling prospects as this will piss them off. On the contrary warm call your prospects after getting to know them. What buyer persona do they fall under? What are some of their potential pain points? How can you solve their specific issues? Are they working with any of your competitors? The more information you have, the better you can speak to their specific wants and needs. This increases the chance that they’ll not only stay on the phone, but they might even schedule another meeting or make a purchase. Click Here to read my post "Top 5 tips to grow your email marketing success"
5. Make data your partner.
In an increasingly digital world, technology can make or break your sales organization and maybe not in the way that you think. But getting your hands on a clean validated data list of
your prospects in an ever competitive world will definitely do you serious good. With data lists you can define your target prospects and go after them rather than totally depending on traditional methods. This way your sales team can work on closing more sales than B2B prospecting. Click here to read my post "Top 5 hacks to boost your SEO"
6. Make bold decisions.
Don’t be afraid to get creative and try different B2B prospecting techniques. What works to find and convert one prospect might not work the next time you try it. Try different methods, measure your results, and improve your strategy. There’s no way around it, a full sales pipeline is essential to every business and the only way to achieve this is through dynamic sales prospecting. Use the tips and best practices above to stay on top of your B2B sales prospecting efforts and drastically improve your numbers. Click here to read my post "How to convert prospects into customers?"