Take Your Sales Prospecting to the Next Level
As any business currently knows, the financial world is unstable and the supply chain is shaky at best. The uncertainty of the future is causing decision making processes to be even more complicated to navigate. As consumers struggle with these uncertain stimes, sales prospects are changing, forecasts are unknown and spending habits are rapidly altering. For around 40 per cent of salespeople, they claim that sale prospecting is the most challenging part of the whole sales process. However, as many challenges as appearing so are the modern solutions. New forms of communication and advertising are making the sales prospecting process even easier which is of great benefit to businesses. The connected you can be, the better you will understand your audience and the wants of your customer and develop relationships that will boost your sales.
What is sales prospecting? What can you do to make your processes even more effective? If you are a sales leader, you will find that a lot of the effectiveness of your team rests on you, so what can you do to improve? Let’s find out.
What is Sales Prospecting?
Sales prospecting is the process of finding potential clients who would be a good fit for your business and your product or services. Sales representatives need to put in a lot of time, effort, and resources in order to find, contact and attract potential customers. Sales prospecting is the first step in the sales pipeline, and it is vital for the success of the business. It helps salespeople not only to find potential customers to contact, but to refine those contacts down to those who are able to make a purchase. Salespeople want to find viable contacts in order to close a deal so that the sales team don’t waste their time on dead end leads. It means that sales teams can channel their efforts into channels that will have the most success which helps to secure long-term business, retention of customers and future sales opportunities.
It may feel like a challenging process to either adopt or adapt, but fortunately there are some great ideas and tips out there to give you the knowledge you need to improve.
Six Steps to Sales Prospecting Success
Whether you are just starting out on your sales prospecting journey, or you are looking to improve the processes you have, here are six suggestions to create a process that words for you.
- Do your research.
You really need to know the ins and outs of your product in order to sell it, to convince prospects that it is the solution they need. Research the landscape of your market to see how what you are offering fits in the bigger picture of the industry. Besides knowing your own offerings, get to know what the competition has to offer to as being forwarded is forearmed. The more knowledge you have of your product, market and competitors, the better position you will be in.
- Understand your perfect customer.
Not everyone is going to be a viable prospect so accepting that will help you to focus on the ones who are. If you try and attract everyone, you will only be creating surface level relationships which don’t go any further. Channel your energy on the customers that are the perfect fit for your product, and you’ll avoid spreading yourself too thin and wasting time and effort on the wrong customers.
- Make a prospecting list.
Now you’ve decided on your ideal customer, create a list of your prospects with their contact information. Collect and record information from different channels and sources and keep the list organised so that it is easier to contact each individual on the list with a personalised message. Get information through forms on your website, searching for prospects on social media platforms and picking up business cards at corporate events. Take as much information as you can, the more you have the more valuable the data will be.
- Have good channels of communication.
The old fashion cold call or email campaign doesn’t quite get the response it used to. If you just flood someone with unwanted, generalised information, you’re likely to get your number blocked and your emails sent straight to spam. Take a broader approach by using various channels of communication that allows prospects to be contacted in a way that they prefer. If you know on which platforms your prospects spend their time, how to reach them, you’ll be able to contact them in a way they are more likely to respond to. Track your losses and successes so that you can see the channels that work best – more on that later!
- Take the initiative and start the conversation.
Send personalised, targeted messages to each contact on an individualised basis. This can generate up to 760 per cent more sales than a blanket, generic approach. Keep communication consistent without being too pushy.
- Monitor your results and adapt.
Sometimes, a risk pays off and sometimes it doesn’t – a lot of it is trial and error. However, regardless of the result it all proves to be valuable information for you to improve your tactics in response to the reception you get. Consider what worked and what didn’t, how prospects acted after your initial contact and how you can improve your strategy to become more efficient. With the information you collect, you can adapt and adjust as needs and prospects change. You can even learn from mistakes in order to create improved strategies that will work better for you in the future. It’s a learning process and with a little practise and experience you’ll truly get to understand your contacts and what works to help turn a prospect into a client.
Successful sales are dependent on successful sales prospecting strategies. As a sales leader, you need to help set the trends and assist your team in improving and adapting to continue closing deals. Even while operating in a time of uncertainty, there are steps you can take to take your sales prospecting to the next level.