Today’s buyers don’t take kindly to spammy salespeople giving unsolicited cold calling with offers that fit their business poorly. That's why putting some thought into your sales prospecting makes sure you're spending your time wisely and making more sales.
People generally listen to reason, and you should provide that. If you’ve done your research and made sure that your value proposition is highly relevant for the person on the other side of the line, a genuine, effective sales pitch while prove more successful than those of your cold-calling peers.
We’ve put together 10 detailed prospecting tips that help you focus your and your team’s sales efforts on the right accounts to grow you business.
10 prospecting tips to win more business
1. Define your ideal customer profile
What characteristics do your most happy customers have in common? What gives away that a company is ready to invest in your product or service now? Answer these two questions and you’ll have enough information to be able to create an ideal customer profile detailed description of an account that would get significant value from your product or service. The companies matching this description are the accounts you should focus on. This template will help you define your ideal customer profile.
2. Use multiple data sources
Look at both firmographic data such as location, number of employees and revenue, and dynamic, open data, e.g. web technologies in use, buying signals and tendencies in a prospect's social media presence.
3. Understand that the era of static lists is over
Static data used in prospecting is usually based on a few, very general qualifications such as revenue size, number of employees or location. The data that static lists are based on usually comes from companies’ annual reports and is only updated once a year.
4. Invest in a dynamic company database
Using web indexing technology, Vainu and other dynamic company database collect a myriad of data on millions of companies every day. With a dynamic database, you can use endless criteria to filter out the most promising companies based on both their static data and insights from open data. Through a quick search you can find companies matching your ideal customer profile to the T.
5. Identify and follow your ideal sales trigger events
Use a smart lead generation platform to track trigger events from companies relevant for you and reach out to them when an event that indicates that a window of opportunity is about to open up occurs. Here's a list of the 10 more common trigger events.
6. Make time to prospect
No one defaults to sales prospecting mode. Prospecting, just as any other part of the sales process, is time-consuming and deserves your full focus during parts of the day. Make sure you reserve enough time to increase the quality of your prospecting.
7. Be systematic in your approach
Pencil in a time, know what characteristics you’re looking for in a potential customer, have a clear plan for how to find the right accounts for your business and a systematic way to document your research in the CRM system you’re using. The best B2B sales reps aren't usually the most skilled, they're the most systematic and predictable.
8. Qualify your prospects
No matter how much a company can benefit from using your product or service, if the decision-maker(s) don’t have the funds or the willingness to commit to your offer you’ll never be able to close a successful deal. Make sure that the companies you focus on are ready, willing and able to purchase what you sell now.
9. Don’t be afraid to disqualify
Many salespeople hate to disqualify prospects and shrink their pipelines. Don’t! Your time is valuable and you'll do better in processing a handful of good prospects than spreading yourself thin across dozens of leads.
10. Re-evaluate your ideal customer profile
There’s no universal definition of an ideal customer profile, not for any company. The customer that fits your offering today might not be ideal for your business tomorrow. Every six to nine months, you should re-evaluate your ideal customer and make the necessary tweaks.