Consistent prospecting is essential for more than growth. You need it just to stay afloat! New businesses enter the marketplace every day. Even if they are not worthy competition, they create more noise to divert attention away from your company.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your sales prospecting game, consider these tips:
Schedule Prospecting Time on a Daily Basis
Prospecting should be a scheduled aspect of the workday. This is especially important to remember if you do not have a separate sales department with a dedicated time base for prospecting. You need to get on the phone on a daily basis if you expect to overcome the inertia that comes with inconsistent or infrequent prospecting. Prospecting must happen on a regular basis (daily) in order to work.
Focus Efforts on the Target Market
Prospecting on a daily basis is a great start, but it can be a waste of time if you are focusing your efforts on the wrong audience. Even segments within your overall audience can be broken up into separate prospecting days to make the effort more efficient. For instance, if you are looking to sell a new product to your first respondents, it makes sense to bundle these calls on a single day. Your sales agents will appreciate the strategy, and they will likely bring in more prospects as well.
Segment and Work the Call Lists
Just as you have separate customer segments, you can also have separate call lists. You may have a “warm lead list,” a “lost lead list” and a “warm call list.” Prospects in each segments are likely in similar places along the customer journey. If you can segment your lists like this, you may be able to create scripts and strategies that allow for more efficient prospecting. Make sure that you do not have duplicate names across lists – a cold call that evolves into a warm lead should be deleted from the cold call list.
Ask Your Customers for Referrals
A word from a customer is better than pages of advertisements and sales pitches that come from you. You will not be able to completely forego cold calling, of course. However, prospecting becomes suddenly easier when you have a few happy referrals to fall back on. Get these referrals by asking for them right after the sale. Research shows this is the most effective time. You gain the added benefit of keeping in touch with your customers after sales.
Use Social Media
2.28 billion people are online now, and 91% of all adults are regular users of social media. If you are not selling through social media, then you are likely missing a huge chunk of your audience. If you are B2B, then you need to be on LinkedIn yesterday. B2C companies can still focus on Facebook. Even with the recent privacy scandals and caps on organic reach, you are still reaching potentially over a billion people.
Add Value through Great Content
Eighty-percent of all marketing and sales pros think that their efforts in demand generation are unfruitful. Why? The main problem is not having enough content – it is creating exciting, relevant content for the audience. Content becomes stale when it is used strictly as a sales device without adding any real value to the prospect. Make sure that you are looking through your customer’s looking glass before making assumptions about what kind of content you are putting out.
Quantify, Quantify, Quantify
Numbers make for a more believable pitch. Train your sales agents to have the numbers for for all of their communicative attempts. This goes for emails all the way to your phone conversations and everything in between. Quantifying your assertions with hard facts gives you a leg up on your competition. This also falls under delivering real business value to your prospects. Ideally, they will look forward to your newsletters or emails because they know they will learn something relevant to their lives!
Follow Up on Leads
The vast majority of your leads will not convert on first contact. You will need to prove your mettle and patience through an entire journey. This journey is made much easier if you are keeping up with your prospects, organizing their records and staying clued into their needs.
Prospectors who are calling on behalf of companies to sell can expect around a 0.3 success rate. This is why experts agree that a multifaced approach through social media, email, phone, newsletter, blog posts and other communications is the best way to improve the prospecting rate. A lot of prospecting is simply playing the numbers game. Prospecting must be done at the appropriate scale in order to be successful!
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