Sales prospecting is the search for the best way to find and engage with potential customers that we want to turn into actual buyers. However, don’t get prospecting confused with selling, it is only the first step in your sales technique.
By the time you’re ready to start prospecting you should already have leads. Your leads now begin their sales process, often called a ‘Sales Funnel’. We’re going to show you some methods to take your leads through the sales funnel to the desired goal – a sale! – but not before an explanation of each step.
Research : Assess the position of your leads
Prospect : Locate the important figures at your target’s offices
Connect : Arrange a meeting or phone call with that figure
Educate : Motivate the lead by making them understand the product
Index of Content
New rules for sales prospecting
The search for customers is changing. The digital era has almost finally consigned traditional cold calling techniques to the dustbin. Among business leaders it is widely understood that only 2% of cold calls are successful. Reaction to solicitations from the blue have become at best, boring and at worst, a nuisance.
The digital era has led to the decline of the Age of the Seller, empowering the customer to make decisions before the seller has had a chance to get started with all information readily available online. This means the seller needs to find more detailed and creative ways of engaging with the prospect, building a qualitative and developmental relationship.
Your strategy should begin with establishing a strong online identity, with cohesion built from the ground-up. When you make contact with your prospect you want them to already have a working knowledge of your business, product and brand personality.
Best tips for sales prospecting in a digital age:
Start building your brand by producing blog content and answering questions on Quora and LinkedIn – prospects will start to trust you for interesting content and solutions. Position yourself as an opinion leader.
- Retweet, share and spread engaging ideas across all of your social media platforms.
- Form social networks with the right businesses and figures that you want to be associated with.
- Eliminate all cold calling – introduce more intelligent and focused methods of warm calling or emailing by researching the prospect’s industry and networks. A previously built relationship via social media, in person or through shared associations is essential to a good first approach.
- Ensure that the selling comes later, only after you have built a trusting relationship.
- Intelligent CRM can show you your prospect’s engagement with your website. As a result, it can give you insight into where their interests and issues lie and how to speak to them qualitatively, not blandly. CRM can also help automatise your workflow with emails, follow-ups and reminders to ‘strike while the iron is hot’.
- Finally, consider using a Chatbot. Chatbots are an invaluable resource for acquiring data about your prospects. They can often be the first step in cultivating new qualitative relationships with your leads. Chatbots can also give you realtime insight into the kind of engagement your leads are looking for. They will therefore provide you with an excellent place to begin communicating your brand
Build closer relationships with clients
Sales prospecting is an ever-evolving field. The newly empowered and active customer continually presents new challenges for the seller to engage with. The change of sales prospecting techniques have brought about the necessity to build closer relationships with our clients, ones built on trust and expertise. The secret is harnessing the power of the tools available to us.