When you head out for a jungle safari, the chances of you spotting the wild beast are equal—nay, more—than the chances of being disappointed by a no-show. Sales prospecting is a bit like that.
Sales prospecting kickstarts the sales cycle. It’s the process of discovering and interacting with potential customers with the aim of converting them into customers. The math goes like this—the more prospects you have in your pipeline, the more your chances of closing a sale.
It’s one of the key stages of the sales cycle, and also one of the most difficult ones. But like all things in business, a good strategy around sales prospecting can tip the odds in your favor.
Here are some things you should do today to bolster your sales prospecting strategy.
7 Ways to Improve Your Sales Prospecting Strategy
#1 Create an ideal customer profile
An ideal customer profile (ICP) is the blueprint for identifying prospects that are most likely to realize value from your products or services. The ICP should give you a clear idea of all the necessary characteristics of your prospect, such as:
- The industry they’re in
- The size of their company and their revenue
- The key decision-makers in their organization
- The solutions/tools they’ve chosen in the past
- Their budgets and spending capacity
Identifying these prospects accurately ensures that they turn into revenue-generating customers who are not only loyal but can also evolve into brand advocates for you. In short, creating an ICP helps you define the problems that you’re solving for. It ensures that the value that your solution provides aligns with the needs of your customers. Additionally, also helps you plan better for new feature additions and upgrades.
#2 Identify ways to meet them
Now that you know what your ideal prospect looks like, you want to start thinking about how you are going to reach them. There are several channels for reaching out to your best prospects. The traditional ones include calls, emails, webinars, online summits, referrals, and social media, to name a few.
Ultimately, your aim should be to get to a point where your prospects are able to discover you easily.
#3 Personalisation is Key
We’ve touched upon this in some of our other posts as well.
The one-size-fits-all approach is a thing of the past. Customizing your messages with a personal touch will go a long way in cultivating your relationship with your prospect. Be it your pitch emails, LinkedIn InMails, or your follow-ups—write the kind of subject lines and messages that your prospects would want to respond to.
Tools such as Outplay offer the right mix of personalization and automation to help teams personalize their outreach at scale.
#4 Become a thought-leader in your space to increase your credibility
On average, an internet user spends 2 hours 25 minutes on social media on a daily basis. This is 145 minutes of daily opportunity to be found by your prospects on social media.
If your prospects are spending all this time looking for content that educates or entertains them, you need to make sure you’re the source from whom they’re getting their daily dose of content. Have an active social media presence and talk about things that resonate with your prospects.
LinkedIn and Twitter are great platforms to keep your prospects warm. Facebook groups that are industry-specific can help you build and expand your network too. Quora is a slightly longer game—one that requires you to post consistently about specific topics pertaining to your industry to get noticed.
#5 Arm Yourself with Battlecards
A sales battlecard is a cheat sheet containing all high-value talking points to help you answer every question like a boss.
Creating battlecards is an exhaustive process that calls for thorough competitor analysis. These should talk about your solution’s biggest value proposition in the most convincing yet concise manner. Make sure you substantiate your claims with stats and have effective ready responses to handle the most common objections.
What’s more important is that these battlecards should not be set in stone. It’s imperative to keep them updated at all times because nobody wants stale information. Also, these need to be used by your entire sales team to ensure consistency.
Research says that 71% of businesses that use battlecards have seen an increase in their win rates. So, you know what to do!
#6 Align Sales and Marketing
Sales and Marketing must work like two cogs in a machine—turning perfectly in sync against each other—each giving the other the energy to go on. This well-oiled machine, with both parts having an accurate awareness of their expectations, can create magic.
Marketing should churn out targeted content to attract and nurture leads so that Sales has a list of qualified prospects to work with. Both teams need to be on the same page when it comes to defining your ICP, and deciding the criteria for qualifying leads.
Not leveraging the synergies of Sales and Marketing can cost dollars. During LinkedIn’s global research from 2020, 60% of respondents concurred that misalignment between Sales and Marketing can have adverse effects on financial performance. So you get the picture, right?
#7 Follow up ardently
A business relationship is not very different from a personal relationship. It’s one human talking to another human, after all!
Prospects don’t convert in the first few interactions. It takes time to build a rapport and establish trust. The time taken by every prospect may vary, which is what makes consistency and patience crucial. Sticking to these qualities may not always guarantee a sales win, but it will definitely keep your prospect warm and ensure cordiality.
To cut it short, follow-ups that are well-timed, spaced out, and personalized are pivotal to keep your conversations going.
So, we’re saying
Prospecting is hard work. But ultimately, it’s extremely rewarding. If you use the right mix of strategies, approaches and tools, nothing can stop you from achieving your targets!