Now that we have covered the term of "Prospect" in the previous post, let’s get our heads around what sales prospecting is. In very simple terms, it’s the process of sales representatives making an effort to reach prospects in hope of creating an opportunity for a sale. But how do you begin and what is the process of sales prospecting?
The first step is doing your homework – e.g. your research on who qualifies as a prospect that could become your customer. In B2B sales, it’s no news that you will likely need to get through one or more ‘gatekeepers’ before you actually reach the right person with authorization powers to decide on a possible purchase from your company. Make sure your research also unearths the possible pain-points of your prospect, as this will be the key to getting them to say ‘yes’ to your offer.
Outbound prospecting was once considered the de facto standard in sales, but with the widespread use of the Internet all over the world, inbound prospecting has arrived. B2B lead generation is ever more present in companies’ sales operations and this creates opportunities to "warm email" prospects, and to utilize social media for social selling (carefully watching what leads are viewing as a topic in relation to your services or products). Leadberry is at the forefront of enabling your organization to warm email leads, as it will show you which services or products your website’s visitors were interested in the most.
Another great thing about everyone being online is you can gather much more information on what interests your prospects (and your wider target group). Check out what they blog about; see what Facebook and LinkedIn groups they belong to; see what their company does via checking out their own website. These are all invaluable, when it comes to finally reaching out to them and having a dialogue about their pain points. You may also want to consider putting together blog posts of interest for your target audience. Don’t try to sell your own stuff at this stage, simply appear as a genuinely caring party that cares about certain topics.
When you finally reach the point of getting in touch with your prospect
- Personalize the offer for them (account based marketing may also work);
- Use video. A personal Video message skyrockets your response rate. We see jumps from 10-15% to 30%+ easily and it takes 1 minute - really worth the effort. Furthermore, you don’t feel it as cold email because it’s fully personalized.
- Be relevant with your outreach: make sure what you are offering still matters in their lives;
- Be human: don’t send out automated messages that yell out "this is our one and only sales email that everyone gets, take it or leave it!".
- Write a warm email with an engaging subject line, a personal opening line and in general create a connection between the two of you. The connection is more important in the beginning than closing the sale.
- Create a clear call-to-action in the end to make purchasing easy for your prospect. We have written a separate blog post on how to do email outreach, read it here. Don’t use “learn more about X product” it’s overused and isn’t effective. Instead use the main benefit of your product, linking to you product: “Do you want to turn anonymous website visitors into B2B sales leads?” and turn this into a clieckable link.
Wise tip 1: draw up a map of influencers and buyers for each larger organization you want to reach with prospecting.
Wise tip 2: prioritize prospects according to their likelihood of becoming customers (likelihood to buy).
Shorty, automated non-personalized cold email worked until it was hard to do. Now, that it’s easy to setup, everybody is overusing it. If you want great results: prioritize, personalize and use video messages.