12 Proven Sales Prospecting Methods the Best Sales Teams Know

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Sales teams can be more efficient by investing in the right processes. The rapid changes that sales go through means reps have needed to develop hacks and techniques for prospecting. But what are those sales prospecting methods?

In this article, XANT will give you a guide on sales prospecting methods you can utilize to maximize their benefits.

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Sales Prospecting Methods

What is Prospecting?

Prospecting is usually the first stage in the sales cycle. It consists of identifying future customers, also referred to as prospects. The aim of prospecting is to grow a database of likely clients, which can then be contacted in the hope of converting them to actual customers. Moving prospects through the sales funnel or sales cycle ultimately generates revenue for the business.

Why is Prospecting Important?

Prospecting takes much time and energy, but it is essential to get it right to ensure potential customers are identified, but which suits the product or service on offer.

Developing and initiating new business through the search for new buyers means finding leads and establishing customer needs.

Loyal customers, who add value to your business, are best sought while prospecting to ensure a good fit. Qualifying leads and prospects ensure there are less churn and more long-term business.

What are Sales Prospecting Methods?

Sales prospecting methods are anyway that a salesperson performs outreach to find new leads or prospects. Variations include email, events/networking, phone calls, and social media.

Proven Sales Prospecting Methods and Tips

Research and Preparation

Magnifying glass and documents with analytics data lying on table | Research and Preparation

Don’t waste too much time on research and look to limit each prospect to a few minutes, though this may largely depend on your product, service, or the value of the prospect.

Get familiar with your ICP (ideal customer profile) to reduce research time. Establish pain points that can be discussed with the prospect, so they recognize their problems for you to discuss solutions.

Assemble in-depth information about your prospects so that you can personalize the message. Establish what is important for your opportunity through blogs, social media, or company websites. Then find a reason to connect, for example, through mutual contacts or website hits.

Sales leaders should monitor the time spent on research, which could be a result of call reluctance.

Qualify

Qualify your prospects to increase the chances of them providing value to the business.

Ascertain if the prospect is feasible and fits the product or service, for example, ask questions like – do we sell in their industry? Do they fit our buyer persona? You wouldn’t contact a prospect from a small business if your target were 1,000+ employees.

Prioritize

Establish which prospects have more potential or on the size of the opportunity, particularly as a long-term customer. Doing this saves time and dedicates the best efforts to prospects that are the most likely to become customers.

Qualify prospects and assign a value for each opportunity; the higher the score, the higher priority they are. Other options are to mark prospects as low, medium, or high. Lead management software will automatically do this.

Identify Key Stakeholders

Identify key stakeholders such as the decision-makers and the influencers. Although the influencers may not have the power to say yes to the purchase, they could be the ones using your product or service and who would be an advocate.

Be Prepared

Create a list of qualified calls the day before you make the calls, or better still, delegate this work to junior sales reps. Have a call list ready to go so you can spend all your energy on speaking with prospects.

Discipline Your Call Times

Make first-time calls in the morning when salespeople generally have more energy. This will result in higher call volumes and heightened enthusiasm. Push back any follow-up calls to the afternoon, which take less time and energy. Create call blocks in your calendar to discipline this simple but effective tip from Michael Pedone, CEO at Salesbuzz. Commit to making all the calls before you move on to other tasks.

Use Social Media

woman using social media on laptop | Use Social Media

Get an idea of what your prospect finds important through social media. Use Twitter’s advanced search to sort through your prospect’s feed and start a conversation.

LinkedIn is useful to discover industry news and events, which gives you an excellent excuse to strike up a conversation. LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a sophisticated system supporting B2B contacting.

Use a Sales Platform

Use a good sales platform like Playbooks to establish a process for supporting and leading reps through the sales process steps.

Coaching

Only 15% of employees feel engaged, so as a sales manager, your job should be to interact more with your staff. If the sales reps don’t feel involved, they will not be as effective as they otherwise could be.

Change Methods

If something is not working, fix it! If you’re not satisfied with the results you’re getting, then research other methods to make things work for you.

Using a Combination of Strategies

businesswoman hand working with laptop computer | Using a Combination of Strategies

A combination of prospecting methodology is best for reps to diversify and generate more interest.

Don’t Give Up

Always try to connect a few times with your prospect, and once connected, keep them in the loop at each stage of the process.

Note which activities added value to the prospecting process for use next time and assess your performance and challenges.

If prospects reject, follow up with an email to ask how you can improve.

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Sales Prospecting Tools

Utilize CRM tools that boost productivity throughout each step. Take advantage of free trials to test which system works best for you and covers all your needs.

A good CRM should do the following: –

  • Track sales activity
  • Source new prospects
  • Manage sales pipeline
  • Log rep activity automatically
  • Record contact information
  • Personalize emails
  • Automate tasks
  • Track emails
  • Track website visits

Use Google Alerts to track company updates and make use of AI-based calendars and time zone trackers to stay on top of things.

Correctly applying sales prospecting methods can help businesses increase sales and reach their sales goals in no time. Try a few strategies mentioned above, see what works best for you, and add value to your workflow.

Experiment with the prospecting tips we’ve shared and let us know which ones work best for you.

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