Which sales prospecting techniques are really effective & should be used?
Sales prospecting techniques are a crucial component of sales, despite the dislike many sales reps have for it.
Unfortunately, most sales representatives still rely on antiquated and unproductive methods of prospecting, rather than modern methods that may generate more quality leads.
You must exert the necessary effort and concentration, just like with every other part of the sales process.
This is the only effective technique to prospect so that you don’t waste time on leads that aren’t qualified or appropriate for your goods or services.
Use these contemporary sales prospecting strategies to uncover prospects you can engage with, serve, and ultimately turn into customers.
Sales Prospecting Techniques
Any approach sales reps take to generate new leads or communicate with current leads is referred to as sales prospecting.
Depending on the sales organisation and the industry, effective prospecting efforts and techniques may include warm phone calls, social selling, email outreach, and even networking.
Outbound and inbound prospecting were two very distinct sorts of prospecting in the past.
With an outbound strategy, the salesman had to make “cold” calls and send emails to potential customers who had not expressed an interest in speaking with them.
In contrast, inbound sales encouraged salespeople to cultivate connections with their prospects and to only contact or email individuals who had shown interest in their goods or service.
Today, the majority of sales professionals concur that a mix of inbound and outbound selling is the ideal strategy for sales prospecting.
Prospecting Strategies for Sales
1. Make warm calls
Your first interactions with potential customers don’t have to be utterly chilly; in fact, they shouldn’t be. Warming up your prospects prior to actually making the first contact can be tremendously helpful.
Before you make the initial call or send the first email, familiarise the prospect with your brand or your business affiliation to boost your chances of a more positive response.
Here are some suggestions for how to do it. Get acquainted through a mutual connection, discuss a post the buyer made on social media, or “like” a LinkedIn status update or career change announcement.
2. Develop your leadership skills.
You can create your reputation and trust before contacting new prospects by developing yourself as a respected leader or subject matter specialist in your business.
You can become a thought leader by launching a blog, contributing guest pieces to trade publications, and giving presentations at conferences and trade events.
This aids in introducing your name to leads prior to the first contact, which was covered in the first strategy.
3. Establish yourself as a reliable source.
You need to do more than just sell if you want to succeed as a salesperson. After the transaction is complete, you must continue to be your client’s go-to resource and offer assistance.
You can improve your chances of receiving referrals from satisfied clients by shifting your role from salesperson of goods and services to solution provider.
Use these suggestions when it comes time to present yourself to a potential prospect. When you are a guide for your customers both before and after the transaction, they will recollect you and be keen to assist you in return.
4. Make a script reference.
Referencing a simple script when prospecting can help novice salespeople avoid awkward pauses, utilise the appropriate terminology, and address typical objections.
Sales professionals with years of experience frequently advise against utilising a script in order to appear more genuine during conversations. However, some people still follow a script since it is so engrained in their heads that it sounds authentic and improvised.
However, whether you follow a script or not, be sure to pay attention to your prospects’ needs and adjust your conversation accordingly.
5. Avoid selling.
Although prospecting is the first stage of selling, it is not selling in and of itself. Finding prospects that can be qualified and added to the sales funnel is the goal. These procedures must be followed before selling may start.
In order to succeed in the sales environment of today, you must put an emphasis on developing relationships when prospecting.
If you start selling too soon, the prospect will feel unnecessary pressure.
Building a base of confidence can make you and the prospect more at ease with one another, making the use of selling strategies more effective later on.
6. Follow up.
Follow up at every stage of the deal and keep the prospect informed.
A call or email helps you build a connection with your point of contact, whether you’re passing over new resources or confirming the time for your next meeting.
Additionally, rather than just “checking in,” it allows you the chance to strengthen your position as the prospect’s go-to resource.
7. Make use of video.
By integrating a video in your outreach, you can further pique prospects’ interest. Utilize it to introduce yourself, offer extra content, or summarise your qualifying, connect, or discovery call.
Add “video” to the subject line to get the prospects’ attention, and attach a thumbnail image linking to the video.
8. A time reserved for prospecting.
Every day, set aside time for prospecting. Prospecting is difficult; according to more than 40% of salespeople, it is the most difficult step in the sales process.
You’ll benefit in the long term by scheduling time to prospect because you’ll be actively building your pipeline, which frequently leads to more talks and higher win rates.
9. Spend some time on social media.
Utilize social selling techniques to reach prospects regardless of their location. Many people who have looked into your product are probably present on social media (e.g., Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.).
Respond to their inquiries and distribute information that is pertinent to their research. And the social selling activities you engage in can increase your sales.
In actuality, organisations with a regular social selling procedure are 40% more likely to achieve their revenue targets than those without one.
10. Organize a webinar.
Because you can see that the attendees are interested in the subject, webinars are an ideal area to find leads.
Join forces with other businesses in your sector to hold a webinar on a subject that will benefit both parties. Ask your audience a question after the webinar to determine who is interested in learning more about your offering.
Consider developing a survey in which respondents are asked “Yes” or “No” questions like “Are you prepared for a demo” or “Do you like to learn more about [Your organization name].” Contact those who responded positively to your post-webinar survey or poll within 24 hours and set up a time for them to discover more.
As for those who claimed they were still not ready to buy, don’t give up on them. Put them in nurturing campaigns and monitor their buying position over the following few months by keeping in touch.
11. Request references.
If you don’t ask for recommendations, you’re not using your most effective prospecting efforts. Inquire with your prospect if they know of anyone in their network of people you could contact once you’ve closed a new deal.
It’s also an excellent idea to ask for new connections again during the subsequent follow-up emails throughout the coming months.
For instance, following client onboarding, ask, “I’m very happy to hear that our brand is already serving you. Are there any other professionals in your network who could also find it beneficial to speak with us?”
12. Establish contacts at events.
Find the appropriate events to attend first. Determine the reasons for people’s attendance at conferences, if the issues on the programme are relevant to your ideal client, the size of the community, and the overall goal of the event.
If you can provide project management apps to entry- and mid-level designers, you should avoid conferences aimed toward design leaders or creative directors who are unfamiliar with the software their designers are using.
Plan which seminars you’ll visit. Decide which happy hours or networking events you’ll attend. Also, decide whether your company will have a booth, kiosk or a speaker presence at the event, which you’ve assessed will provide you the most ROI.
13. Provide responses to queries on forums.
Find ways to inform your audience about the trends and best practises in your sector so that they can eventually be informed about your product.
Like-minded people can post questions to online forums like LinkedIn Groups as well as Quora and receive responses from subject-matter experts. Participate on these platforms, and initiate by listening.
Before responding to queries, familiarise yourself with how inquiries are made, study the acceptable and unacceptable, and join in on a few dialogues.
Once you’ve established some influence in the community, start looking for questions you can objectively respond to.
For instance, if you sell equipment for huge agricultural operations, you might respond to a query about how AI is affecting farming.
14. Participate in Twitter discussions.
When did you last make a purchase on Twitter? While most of us are already aware of LinkedIn’s value for sales prospecting, many B2B salespeople are still unfamiliar with Twitter.
Despite the fact that Twitter is not primarily a professional network, it has over 300 million active users. There are a ton of possible contacts, insights, and sales cues as a result.
Today’s top brands are aware of this. According to studies, B2B businesses who use Twitter receive twice as many sales leads.
Additionally, IBM reported a staggering 400% boost in sales of a significant product following the implementation of a social selling programme that utilised the microblogging platform.
However, simply being on Twitter doesn’t translate into revenue. What matters is how you employ it. Twitter chats are a powerful social marketing strategy and a terrific method to establish relationships with prospects.
By using Twitter effectively, you may participate in the most pertinent conversations as they take place, identify possibilities before others, develop relationships, increase customer trust, and establish your brand.
What is meant by cold calling?
Cold calling occurs when sales representatives approach potential clients who have shown no curiosity about the suggested goods or services. The term “cold calling technique” refers to pursuing a prospect over the phone or in person without previous communication from the sales representative.
Cold calling has evolved from a process of offering or, instead of listening to a sales pitch, into a preferential sales communication technique over time. In other words, salespeople target the right prospects to increase their chances of success.
It is extremely difficult to make a sales pitch to someone who has not ever heard about you or your services.
People frequently inquire whether cold calling is prohibited. Definitely NOT. The act of cold calling is lawful.
However, many nations have set restrictions on how, when, and to whom salesmen can cold call in place. So, this is the situation with cold calling.
The Process of Cold Calling
Salespeople use cold calling to make contacts with individuals who have not previously expressed curiosity about the products or services being offered. Cold calling is frequently associated with telemarketing or phone solicitation, but it can also refer to in-person interactions, such as those with door-to-door sales reps.
Cold-call sales staff who find success must be consistent and willing to face rejection. To succeed, they must thoroughly prepare by conducting market and prospect demographic research. As a matter of fact, occupations that heavily rely on cold dialling have high turnover rates.
9 tactics and tips for making cold calls that work
- Don’t run from rejection; embrace it.
- Give immediate learning priority above immediate sales.
- Use technological tools to get rid of boring activities.
- Develop a list of targeted prospects by conducting your due diligence.
- Do not follow your scripts like a robot, but rather as an actor.
- Decide on a calling schedule that works for you.
- Set the right next steps and ask the right questions.
- Improve your voicemail skills.
- Live where excellence and quantity converge.
The Challenge of Making Cold Calls
Consumer reactions to cold calling can range from acceptance to call cancellation or hang-ups, and sometimes even verbal attacks.
A 2020 LinkedIn research states that in the previous year, almost 69% of prospects agreed to take a call from a new salesman, with 82% of the group finally agreeing to meet.
With an average of 18 calls required to connect with a buyer, the success rate is nevertheless correlated to the seller’s tenacity.
The majority of sellers, meanwhile, give up after four calls without receiving a “yes.” The LinkedIn report made reference to a 2019 buyer survey conducted by consultancy company Rain Group.
In contrast, a warm call salesperson can boast a higher success rate. Cold calling has less appeal as technology has developed.
There are newer, more efficient ways to prospect, such as through email, text messages, and social media marketing on sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Many such new techniques are quite often more productive and effective than cold calling at generating new leads.
The most recent development in cold calling is known as “robo-dialing” (robocalling), in which computer programmes automatically dial and create pre-recorded messages.
Cold callers’ efforts to interact with potential customers have been hampered by government rules such as the National Do Not Call Registry. The efficiency of lawful cold calling is further hampered by the frequent use of cold calling by scammers to commit fraud.
How successful are cold calls?
The value of cold calling is frequently questioned because even a prospect who is a great fit for your product or service won’t always be receptive. It might be challenging to conduct a successful cold call due to the range of potential responses from your prospect.
Frequently, the caller will just hang up; in the worst instance, you might even experience verbal abuse.
Additionally, the relative appeal of cold calling is waning in compared to more contemporary forms of prospecting, such as
- sending texts
- recommendations from previous clients
- webinars and networking organisations
Even though sending “cold emails” has not been shown to be any more successful at generating leads than other methods, salespeople still prefer it because it needs a lot less time per prospect.
Cold calling efficacy discussions are nothing new.
However, in recent years, a number of market experts as well as a flurry of unfavourable press in trade periodicals have questioned its intended use. Who is correct?
Sales Prospecting Techniques – Conclusion
Many salesmen don’t jump with pleasure when prospecting for a new business. It really doesn’t need to be that difficult, though.
You may create a solid process that gets you routinely speaking with potential clients and recognising good fits by using the sales prospecting tactics we’ve outlined below.
Enhanced buyer conversation outcomes and compensation are the benefits you’ll receive. You’ll achieve sales prospecting excellence in no time at all if you determine what works best for you and your team and keep experimenting with different methods.
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