Closing deals and making a sale requires customers. But without them, who is going to purchase what you offer?
Sadly, getting prospects is not as easy as standing in one place, waiting for them to come to you. To find prospects, a company must undergo an organized and tedious process of prospecting - the process of looking for potential customers to convert into actual ones.
But I'm sure every salesperson can all agree that it's not as exciting as attending industry webinars or as thrilling as direct closing. Some prospects even tend to postpone or cancel the next follow-up call, which is why most sales reps consider prospecting as the most challenging part of the sales process.
Yet, prospecting is a must-have for any sales reps who want to increase their sales pipeline. It provides ways which are fast and efficient ways to turn strangers into prospects, which means more deals closed.
In this article, we'll talk more about sales prospect and the 8 ways will help you focus on closing more deals and increase your odds of snagging that new leads.
When an individual has shown interest in your product or service, they are considered as prospects. However, your sales team might need to do more than just listing contact information and asking prospects to see if they're willing to make a purchase or not.
This is when the role of prospecting comes in.
Sales prospecting is the initial step of the sales process that involves identifying new leads or prospects and systematically communicates with them in the hopes of turning them into potential customers.
The act of prospecting requires nurturing each prospect by regularly engaging and showing the value proposition of what you offer.
To put it simply, prospecting requires building-relationship with your customers.
We know that to be successful in business, you need to always look for new leads and prospects. That's how you keep your profits flowing and employees happy!
But it can take up a lot of time– time that could otherwise go towards marketing or customer service if the company doesn't have enough staff to handle all aspects at once.
As you’ve already known, the main challenge here is finding the right person to interact with within a short period. How can the sales and marketing team look for potential customers and offer a sales pitch?
Salespeople often had a hard time choosing the type of prospecting to apply. Yet, the continuous changes in sales processes moved them to learn these two valuable prospecting process- inbound and outbound prospecting.
There is no template for prospecting since the process might change drastically from time to time. But there are some ways you can make the experience less difficult and more fruitful.
Here are the 8 ways to get started in this journey and reach more qualified prospects over time.
Out of 7.9 billion people, how do you find the right prospect to focus on?
People could be divided in various ways. The best way to get started is to take a closer look at your niche and create an ideal customer profile.
This can tell you everything you want to find in a customer. It may include a standard demographic profile of an individual or a firmographic profile of companies. From here, you can get to know your prospects and the ideal place to find them.
For instance, if your most profitable customers are corporations seeking manufacturers, then you might probably head straight to the list of B2B marketing industry websites and other related sources that your prospect may commonly visit.
Find out their pain points and ways to help them alleviate their concerns. Not only you can easily find new prospects, but you've also avoided wasting your valuable time on uninterested leads.
Have you ever felt like your cold calling and warm leading list are a little stale? It's not too late to do something about it.
Spend some time sorting them out and make the necessary calls to see how much impact they can give on your sales. Remember, you'll never realize the power of phone calls until you start calling.
But how you respond and answer the questions lies the crucial part of prospecting. It can be beneficial if you ask them about their challenges and needs so they feel understood on an individual level for future reference.
The main goal is to learn about the challenges your prospects face, their needs and preferences, and most importantly, how you plan to solve them.
A recent study shows how effective asking 11 to 14 open-ended questions is in achieving greater success!
If you can understand prospects and provide solutions, then qualified leads will become much easier to find.
If they cannot give you a specific answer today, you can do follow-up calls for the next few days or weeks. Afterwards, you can still keep in touch and work on your list consistently.
Today, digital means of communication are in demand more than ever! Besides cold calling or other phone call activities, most sales reps also rely on email marketing.
Some people may favour sending lengthy emails than shorter ones. Although there's no study that proves the effectiveness of long-form emails, this might only turn out to be a classic salesly or spammy pitch that most people try to avoid.
So what should you do to make a difference? Send personalized emails instead. It doesn't have to be word-per-word different among other lists in your contacts.
Just find something unique about them such as their interests or preferences then tailor the message accordingly, which will help make your communications stand out from others.
Creating a template can also help! Spend at least 15 minutes of your time frame to send and respond to emails, and modify them according to your prospect needs, while addressing their concerns.
People that share the same interests are commonly grouped together. Ideally, it's best if you could ask your satisfied and profitable existing customers for referrals. Someone that they share the same passion or even problems with.
Word-of-mouth can influence the decision-making process of new leads or customers. They could even bring one or two referrals, two people to four, four people to eight, and so on.
While their satisfying experience is still fresh, it's the best time to ask for a referral. They wouldn't hesitate to refer you to a friend or a partner whom they think can benefit the same way they did.
Statistics show that there are about 4.33 billion social media users at the beginning of 2021. Most of them use social media to connect with family, friends, and even a few acquaintances.
The world of social media is clearly growing and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down.
More businesses are turning to this space as a potential marketing channel. A single Facebook ad allows brands to engage with a lead or a customer in different parts of the world. A simple tweet allows one to see potential interests and reach out to them.
But with all platforms and billions of users online, how can you sort out the right prospects for your company? The key is to look for specific communities and search for industry keywords to see what people talk about and reach out to them accordingly.
Other than Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, Hamna Amjad, community manager at Ridester, share the effectiveness of joining LinkedIn groups to build relationships among prospects.
But if you think your prospects resort to video content as well, you might want to visit online streaming platforms like Youtube and engage in the comment section.
Social media is another effective prospecting tool to create an online presence. Who knows, prospects could even be the ones to reach out first.
There are various blogs, forums, and media outlets that report about economic development, corporate activities, and other business expansions around the world.
Reading these mediums can give you a key insight to hunt for the target prospects to approach or qualified leads to sell. You can even subscribe to their newsletters and get updated once relevant stories come in.
After all, staying on top of current events and industry news is never a waste of time.
There are ways to turn a long, tedious process of prospecting into a fun and creative way of outreaching.
Besides creating social media accounts, joining LinkedIn groups, or signing up for newsletters, you can also do all sorts of stuff to create brand awareness.
You could use content marketing by connecting with blogging websites and ask them if they would allow you to post your articles on their website as a guest writer. Doing so enables you to reach a great number of audiences.
Furthermore, based on a report shown by the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, 61% of B2B Marketers considered webinars as the most effective content marketing strategy. If possible, you can ask prospects to join your organized sales webinars or invite anyone who is particularly interested.
You can even find new opportunities and attend industry events to meet new people in the same niche.
Prospecting should also help you create a long-term sustainable relationship among potential buyers and customers. So even if they have a current contract or already made a one-time purchase, you should still keep in touch.
Set up a sales meeting and see how they are doing. Sometimes, a simple "hello" or "how are you" is much appreciated. You can even send them invitations to an event or share relevant contents they can benefit from.
But what about leads who didn’t push through? Consistency is the key. Continue to create constant attempts to get their approval. Remember, consistency is a winning attribute of a great salesperson.
The strongest bonds are earned over time. You can do this by showing interest, concern, and commitment that you want to work with or for your prospects.
Without a doubt, prospecting can be one of the most tedious aspects of running your own business. But you can not deny that prospecting is one of the most important things a business can do to grow its customer base.
For some businesses, this can be a time-consuming task that requires patience. But in the digital age, you can make potential use of social media and websites like Facebook or LinkedIn to make prospecting a whole lot easier.
If you need help generating leads or reaching out to prospects, we can connect you with the best telemarketing companies in the United Kingdom to help you out.