2021 Most Effective Sales Prospecting Techniques
Sales prospecting starts all relationships between businesses and customers. The customer experience during the prospecting process sets the entire stage for how that interaction goes. Making sure your sales teams and sales leaders practice proper prospecting techniques ensures a strong future with that customer.
No business can grow without prospecting. Even the most airtight customer retention numbers must be tempered through sales prospecting. Every sales process starts with prospecting. Refining your prospecting technique in accordance with your sales strategy will keep your business thriving.
Here are 14 of the most effective prospecting techniques.
1. The Continuous Process of Sales Prospecting
Consistent prospecting leads to consistent results. Instead of just searching for leads when you need additional customers, prospect as much as possible. The day will come when your leads list suddenly comes to an end. You will need to find more leads quickly or risk losing your sales team and possibly your business.
Many salespeople do not enjoy prospecting for leads, despite their importance. Encourage your sales teams to mix up their prospecting techniques. Cold calls, blogging, videos, guest appearances and reviews all help bring in more leads. Turn each member of your team into experts on your subject matter, and let them experiment with a different medium.
Additionally, make sure your business and team members set aside specific hours for prospecting. Perhaps a mandatory minimum for time spent reaching out to leads or creating marketing content. Either way, a consistent drive pays off much better than last-minute cramming.
2. Quality Over Quantity
Remember that your sales teams should prioritize their time on high-quality leads most likely to buy. It does not matter if you reach millions of uninterested customers. These sorts of frivolous and expensive marketing campaigns keep your business from achieving actual success. Keep your target audience in mind and pursue highly interested leads first.
A large lead pool might keep your sales team excited. However, their morale will start to dwindle if they run down a huge list without making a single sale. You can classify your leads by using a lead scoring system. Lead scoring essentially rates your leads on their likeliness to buy. Always prioritize high-quality leads.
Reaching a massive audience usually costs way more than targeting a smaller, specific audience. Pay attention to your target audience, and market within your segments. This yields a high return on your marketing and prospecting efforts.
3. Do Not Neglect Cold Calls
Cold calling still works. Despite its seemingly outdated nature, calling a lead tends to push them into the sales pipeline quicker than passive techniques. When done correctly, cold calls capture a prospect’s attention and persuade them to make a purchase.
In order to make cold calls work for your sales team, you need to refine your techniques. Always focus on the customer’s needs and desires. Ask whether the lead experiences the problem which your product or service solves. You can also educate them on how the problem impacts them without their knowledge.
Heat up your cold calls a little bit before dialing. You can educate your leads regarding your business name and function so they have some frame of reference. However, keep it a little mysterious so your sales reps can work their magic over the phone. Develop a cold call script to help guide calls, and leave the rest up to the reps’ skills and talents.
4. Marketing Automation
Your sales team cannot operate 24/7. But leads browse and call at all hours of the day. Establish a functioning automated marketing system to capture leads whenever they pop up. Automated chatbots on your website help answer questions. Put leads on an automated email list to consistently reach out.
In any competitive market, relevancy determines success. Marketing automation helps keep your audience aware of your presence and engage with materials. Additionally, automation can help you with customer relationship management (CRM). Should a current customer reach out after operating hours, an automated system can collect information.
Set up plenty of lead capture devices in your advertisements and website. This keeps a flow of high-quality leads without direct intervention from a rep.
5. Be a Prospect-Driven Salesperson
Directing your focus towards finding new leads keeps you from falling into a so-called prospect slump. However, you decide to prospect, make it the focus of your job function. The more you practice prospecting the easier it becomes.
You can find the techniques that work for you and the methods you enjoy the most. Always try to get the word out regarding your business because new leads can come from anywhere. The sales cycle fluctuates, and sometimes you just do not have the revenue your business needs. Focusing on prospecting reduces these fluctuations and keeps customers coming through your doors.
Whether you wish to hunt for leads through passive or active means, do so wholeheartedly and consistently. Letting a day go by without prospecting holds your business back. Work on an advertisement campaign or reach out to high-quality leads. You can find your prospecting niche and turn it into a great success.
6. Take Care to Find the Right Prospects
Think about your target audience and create a marketing plan focused on it. It does you no good to waste time chasing the wrong leads. But just because a lead might buy does not automatically make them a priority.
Focus on additional factors such as the likelihood of becoming a returning customer. You want to make sure your customers have as positive an experience with your business as possible. When you can provide a solution to a pressing issue, the lead will likely refer your business to a friend or associate.
Not all prospects are created equal. So make sure you chase the best ones for your business.
7. Keep Cultivating Relationships
Never count a lead out just because they do not currently need your products or services. You can keep leads on the back burner until they require your solution. Until a lead formally declines your business, reach out to them and put them on your automated email lists.
And never forget about current and former customers. Practice customer relationship management even after the purchase. Returning customers help relieve some of that pressure on prospecting for new leads. CRM also helps keep customers satisfied so that they tell their friends to buy from you as well.
Because prospecting takes so many forms, your efforts should change based on each technique. When a customer provides contact information, do not stop reaching out until they opt out. Continuously cultivate your relationships with customers new and old.
8. Keep Former Customers in Mind
The customers your business attracts tell you a lot about what to look for in new customers. You might have started your business with one demographic in mind only to attract another one. Shift your marketing efforts to focus on the groups buying your products. This will always give you a larger return on your investment than trying to break into an uninterested market.
You can also put former customers on your prospecting lists. Reach out from time to time with promotional offers or to get them back to your business. You can always turn a previously negative customer experience into a positive one.
Former customers are high-quality leads because they expressed high interest in your product. Go back over your sales lists from time to time and reach out. You might just win back an old customer.
9. Attrition Happens
Unfortunately, you will never retain 100 percent of your customers. Some will lose interest or move away from your operating area. B2B companies might see mergers or bankruptcies strip away their customer base. These things happen, so fear not.
Prospecting helps make up for naturally occurring attrition. Keep lines out there looking for new customers to keep your business moving forward. When a customer does decide to leave, figure out why. If you find that you did something wrong, make every effort possible to correct it in the future.
Always do what you can to keep customers coming back. CRM helps foster and maintain these relationships. If you scare away every customer after doing business, eventually you will run out of new leads to pursue.
Check out which types of customers tend not to return. This can help you determine the quality of a new lead if they share attributes with leaving customers.
10. Expect Resistance to Change
Change, whether positive or negative, frightens a lot of people. Leads often continue using a subpar service simply because they are used to it. Other leads refuse to attempt to solve a problem because they get used to their circumstances. Recognize resistance to change to take the proper steps to pull a lead out of their old ways.
When a customer exhibits resistance to change, you need to convince them of the illogical nature of their stance. Prove that your product fixes the issue and that staying in their current situation harms them. You can overcome this resistance, and most customers will thank you for it.
11. Own Your Territory
Wherever you operate, take it on with everything at your disposal. Try your best to let every member of your target audience know about your business. Do not hang back from getting yourself out there at all. Customers love confidence and it makes them confident in your product as well.
Some prospects take time before you can properly convince them to buy from you. Constant exposure to your brand wears down their stubbornness. So the next time they need the solution you offer, they will think of your business first.
12. Monitor the Competition
Not only should you check the pulse of your customers, but also keep an eye on your competition. Knowing what moves they make keeps you from playing defense. In any competitive setting, you want to take a proactive instead of reactive approach.
When the competition starts impeding on your customer base, you need to understand why. This way you can build a proper counter to their actions. If a new location looks like it will open next to yours, do what you can to secure the loyalty of your customers.
If your competitors blindside you it takes time to recover. Avoid any surprises by keeping both eyes open.
13. Ask for Referrals
Not every lead will need your services. However, they might know someone who does. Sometimes you deliver a pitch to a customer outside of your current target market. They now understand your solution but have no use for it. So ask whether they have any friends that you can help out.
Old customers can give you new leads as well. Many companies offer promotions that encourage customers to bring their friends. For example, a customer might receive a discount if they get a friend to sign up or buy something. Leads tend to trust their friends over strangers, so ask for a referral whenever possible.
14. Use Incentives and Recognition
When it comes to your sales team, strong team leadership helps them succeed. You can incentivize your sales team to improve their performance through bonuses and recognition. If a sales rep closes more than a certain number of deals you can give them a commission bonus. Reward your top performers with status such as employee of the month awards.
Teams work best when they have encouragement. Maintain a healthy work environment by promoting successful behavior. Tell your employees when they make you proud.
Improve Your Sales Prospecting Today
Professional guidance will help you implement these sales prospecting tips to their maximum potential. To improve your sales leads, contact Selling Revolution today. The sales process cannot begin without a proper prospecting method. With the right guidance, you can come out swinging.
Book a 20 minute introductory phone call with Selling Revolution today, and jumpstart your path to success.