15 Tips For Successful Sales Prospecting

Image Credit — Smart Agents

I have been successful using the tips below for my company, as have my clients. To be successful, the sales leaders need to help and show their salespeople to execute some tips and processes.

My intention is to share some good tips that I have learned from top-notch experts at prospecting — Jill, Trish, and Lori and implemented these tips for my Business-to-business (B2B) and Business -to-Customer (B2C) prospecting while I was struggling for the numbers.

Prospecting is hard for most salespeople. In fact, prospecting was identified as the hardest part of the sales process in the 2015–2016 State of Inbound Sales Report.

Set Yourself Up for Sales Prospecting Success

You can’t wing success in sales, especially when it comes to prospecting. In order to exceed your sales targets (if you’re in a closing role) or your opportunity creation targets (if you’re in a sales development role), you must plan your approach, create your messages, identify and research contacts, and much, much more.

Simple 15 Prospecting Tips to Help Sellers Identify & Connect with Busy Buyers:

1) Plan your prospecting approach.

Define the who, when, why, what, where, and how. Know “who” your buyer is. Plan “when” you’ll reach out and “how” often. Know “why” you’re reaching out and “what” your message will be. Know “where” you can you find them and reach them. Know “how” you are reaching out.

2) Research every contact.

The more time you spend here, the better off you’ll be when you connect with a buyer.

Create a pre-call plan for every contact. Gather six to 12 pieces of data about your prospect that you can use in your outreach messages to start a relevant conversation. For each contact, go to the places you need to go in order to gather that information such as their website and their LinkedIn profile and enter it into your CRM. The next time you need to call this prospect or when you connect with them, simply reference your research.

3) Plan to contact a lot of prospects.

In a study of 35+ technology companies, for every 1,000 accounts prospected, the average SDR sourced 33 opportunities. You need to call a lot of people to get to your goal.

4) Qualify the company — not the contact.

Don’t give up when one person at a company says “no.” Call someone else at the company. All it takes is one “yes” to negate all of the other “no’s.”

5) Use every communication channel.

Deploy a multi-faceted approach in order to connect with more prospects. Use every method available to attempt to connect: email, voicemail, phone, social media, events, newsletters, and blog posts, as well as referrals. There is no magic formula. You have to do it all. Prospects are everywhere. So, be where they are.

6) Optimize your LinkedIn profile for selling, not career building.

Don’t use your job title as your headline. Instead, write something that describes your expertise. Use your summary and career experience sections to highlight how you help your buyers, not to brag to recruiters.

7) Become an influencer in your industry.

LinkedIn and Twitter is a great professional tool to establish yourself as an expert in your industry. Start by setting up a profile and listening to the conversation. Engage in conversations with others in your space. Share content — both yours and others.

8) Use your prospect’s preferred communication methods.

Don’t spend too much time on social. Stop hiding behind email. Even though it’s faster and more efficient for you, it’s not nearly as effective as a call or a meeting. Different buyers prefer different communication methods. Adapt to each individual buyer’s preference. Do not impose your preference. It’s about their convenience, not yours.

9) Put more effort into getting referrals.

Not only are referrals easier to close, the lifetime value of a referred customer is significantly greater than one who finds you through your marketing efforts. Create a list of people in your network who aren’t competitive with you, but who frequently come into contact with your buyers. Get to know them, send them referrals when it makes sense, and earn a steady stream of referrals in return.

Tips for Voicemail: Don’t Forget about Voicemail

While many reps seem to be skipping the important step of leaving voicemails these days, sales experts think that’s short-sighted. Even though buyers rarely call you back, most still check their voicemail. Follow these guidelines to maximize your chances of being remembered.

10) Make voicemail a key part of your prospecting program.

Have realistic expectations about your chances of getting a return call, but leave voicemails anyways. You’re not necessarily trying to get a callback. Instead of a return call, make it your goal to simply pique their interest.

Don’t call and hang up as your caller ID footprint will just make you look like a stalker. Deliver a little piece of your value proposition in each and every touch. Hopefully, this generates awareness even if voicemails rarely get you a callback.

11) Keep your messages short.

You have a maximum of 30 seconds to leave a positive impression. Don’t ramble. Make sure every word matters. Write out a script or at least an outline and practice it before you record.

12) Make the message about them, not you.

Stop leaving horrible voicemail messages that are all about you. Make it targeted to them and their situation by providing a relevant insight. Adding an insight demonstrates you have ideas that could help them with their job, their team, or their company.

13) Practice.

On voicemail, you must concisely say what you do, which is harder than it sounds. Write a script. Leave yourself a message. Record your voice. Play it back. Have others critique it. Rewrite it. Then, practice it until you can deliver it flawlessly. Join Toastmasters if you need help.

14) Use voicemail to show your follow through.

How? When leaving a voicemail, tell the prospect that you’ll send them an email so they can respond there. Or tell them that you’ll try them at a specific time later. Then do it. They’ll respect your follow through.

15) Leave a different message each time you call.

Remember to switch up your messaging with each touch. Your first email and voicemail might leverage a trigger event or reference how you’ve helped people like them with the same title or in the same industry. Message #2 could call out a common connection. In message #3, include an insight that’s relevant to the buyer.

4 Steps to Sales Prospecting Prowess

In some ways, prospecting has become harder as buyers do more of their research on the internet and wait to talk to salespeople. But, with the right tips from the right experts, prospecting can get a whole lot easier:

1. Prepare

2. Create a savvy buyer-focused email and voicemail strategy

3. Master the initial call

4. Make a commitment to marketing yourself

A healthy mix of these tips with the mutual company’s sales strategy that produces results, if you’re persistent. Building rapport with prospects, however, is still the most important component of any prospecting initiative.

Hopefully, these tips will be helpful for you.

Source: HubSpot blog and Written by Pete Caputa | @pc4media