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Kickstarting your sales process? Here's how to prospect

Prospecting is seldom the favorite part of the sales process. It’s often considered hard and time consuming. In fact, prospecting was identified as the hardest part of the sales process in HubSpot’s State of Inbound Sales Report.

However, it shouldn't be too difficult to find good prospect and actionable leads. By using a dynamic company database to filter through millions of companies, you can find the best companies for your business to focus on now through a simple search.

Why spend hours going through long company lists manually when smart technology can help you do this more efficiently in only a couple of seconds?

The Internet has shifted the balance of power, and well-read consumers are more selective with accepting meetings with sales reps than before. As a result, sales people have to be able to deliver a clear value proposition, with excellent timing, to convince their prospect to agree to a meeting. This makes the sales prospecting phase in the sales process more important than ever before. We’ve collected 6 tried-and-tested prospecting tips that help you as a B2B sales professional find the right companies to focus on now.

6 Sales Prospecting Tips that Save Time

1. Find out what a qualified prospect is for you

Take a look at your happiest existing customers and find what their common characteristics are. Use these insights to define your ideal customer profile. This is one of the most important things you as a sales professional can do to make sure you focus your efforts on the right type of business.

2. Use insights from open data

Use a smart account identification tool like Vainu to quickly filter companies that match your ideal customer profile. With insights from open data, you can find less obvious characteristics for your prospects and existing customers, such as web technologies or recent buying signals.

3. Block off time to prospect

To quote Mike Weinberg: “No one defaults to prospecting mode.” Prospecting, like any other part of the sales process, deserves to get your full attention for periods of time. Make sure to block off an hour or two during your day for prospecting.

The Ultimate Guide to Sales Prospecting

4. Look at buying signals

Many changes in a company open up a window of opportunity for product and service vendors. Use a smart aggregator like Vainu that indexes millions of websites every day to keep track of the most important buying signals in your target companies to find the right timing to reach out to them.

Stay ahead of the curve with predictive analytics

Predictive analytics in B2B sales is about increasing the likelihood of your sales team to engage with customers who are having a need that you can solve. Use insights from both open data and your internal data to find patterns in a company’s characteristics and need to predict what companies will need your solution soon.

Don’t be afraid to disqualify

Many salespeople hate to disqualify prospects and shrink their pipelines. As a salesperson, your most precious asset is your time, and it’s far better to spend it on a handful of your best prospects than spreading yourself thin across dozens of leads. The quality of your leads matters more than the quantity.

Disqualify a prospect when a company doesn’t have the budget to purchase what you’re selling now, if the decision makers feel no pain from the problem your solution is created to solve or if the prospect is a complete departure from your company’s buying persona.

Topics: Sales Prospecting, Sales Process

Erika Granath

Vainu's Content Marketing Manager. Grew up next to Sweden's largest cookie factory. Love cookies (of course), ping pong tournaments and word jokes.