Featured image by Olivier Le Moal

New businesses usually apply multiple tactics to overcome the struggle of finding new customers. One of them is the sales prospecting process. This means taking a course of action that’s aimed at recognizing your future clients among many prospects and contacting them with a specific offer.

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The sales prospecting process is integral to most B2B businesses and requires significant work and research. Thus, most salespeople consider it the most significant challenge within their sales cycle.

How can one overcome the challenges of sales prospecting? First, understand the basics. Then consider prospecting tips and apply the best sales prospecting strategies used by experts today.

Don’t Know How to Prospect for Sales? Start with the Basics

Well, as you may know, prospecting in sales process means that a salesperson looks for the right person, does research, checks whether they are a fit, and reaches out to them. In this regard, the best sales prospecting strategies would tell you to focus on the following steps.

Know Your Market and Product

As your company approaches the customer to offer them the product, it is crucial to have enough knowledge regarding the product’s features, advantages, disadvantages, rivals, and solutions. The reason is simple: The better you know it, the easier it is for you to communicate your offer, answer questions and facilitate the customer’s process.

In terms of prospecting for sales leads, the following crucial information contributes to having a whole picture and allows determining points that will help your future clients.

Study the Customer

The best sales prospecting strategies would tell you to focus on the client, their needs, pain points, and recent events. It means that you should have a profile of your ideal prospect. What are your ideas on building such a profile? Well, you can take the existing ones, study them, and pick the common characteristics.

Also, a good idea is to determine what triggers a customer to buy from your company. For this reason, you will need to do some surveys. Additionally, such prospecting activities may require you to segment your audience then define several subgroups for further qualification.

Use a Qualification System

Prospecting for clients is impossible without a proper qualifications system. But what does this mean? To understand whether a lead is a match and whether they are worth your time and efforts, you can ask specific questions to qualify leads. What are these questions?

First, define whether your solution is applicable to their needs. Then eliminate deal-breakers, such as a lack of a customer’s funds or interest. Next, attempt to affect their decision with an appeal to authority. Finally, determine their level of interest or awareness. Having answers to these questions will allow you to segment your leads and focus on your most important targets.

Build Relationships

In any event, you should put the relationship with the prospect at the center of your prospecting process. That way, you can turn a prospect into a returning customer. The emphasis on providing value instead of relying only on instant selling will likely help you build community. Moreover, it will create a good impression that will benefit you in the long run.

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Learn How to Prospect for Sales Leads

These tips above on basic prospecting activities and ideas will help you to set up a working system. However, to make your system more efficient, you should consider the tips that will help you contact prospects better. The following ideas include such concepts as engagement, image, and expertise.

Connect and Engage with the Customer

Prospecting for clients requires you to build relationships and contact them.

So what are your options? Well, you should use your social media pages (or your company’s pages) and engage with prospects via posts, comments, and responses. The next step is to connect with them. You can call them by phone or write to them on social media. LinkedIn seems to be an ideal platform for this kind of work.

However, an even better option is to use a more formal communication channel such as email. In this regard, you can find email addresses by name or use your leads list or database.

Make Referrals the Key to More Leads with Sales Prospecting

In the sales prospecting process, trust is essential. That’s why you build relationships and engage before contacting. However, the referral can help you skip these steps. When you ask clients for referrals, the chances are high that you will get a prospect from a similar niche that your client is in and that they will trust you. Let your customers speak for you and encourage them to do so.

Establish Value

Moreover, prospecting for clients is impossible without producing value. Prospects seek solutions and help. For instance, people getting new positions would need new teams and new tools. For B2B companies, this is a chance to help them cope with new tasks, develop strategies, and produce solutions. Therefore, try to help instead of selling. Then you will likely get customers who will learn something new and help you in the future.

Develop Expertise

One of the sustainable tactics that experts rely on is to continually develop expertise. It only follows that if you are an expert, people will likely want to connect with you. When they do, you get access to their networks. This strategy works incredibly well on LinkedIn, where many businesspeople communicate and seek advice.

Moreover, you can collaborate with opinion leaders and become an opinion leader yourself. To do this, search for opinion leaders. Then create a list and use the GetProspect email finder to get their addresses and contact them. If you are producing guides or other materials for educating your prospects, you will get more credit and improve your chances of success in prospecting for sales leads in this way.

Level up Your Personalization Game for More Success with Sales Prospecting

Notably, your strategy would only benefit from personalized emails or messages. Why? This is because people love to be appreciated and recognized.

Personalizing your messages and emails means that you mention prospects by name or compliment their works, posts, or ideas that fascinate you.

Simultaneously, try to identify common problems that you both care about or common events that you both experienced. The goal is to elicit emotion and show that you are on the same page with your prospect. It is important, however, to be genuine. Don’t be weird or intrusive.

Apply Social Media with Its Opportunities in Mind

Lastly, as you have different channels at your disposal, it is essential not to forget about social media opportunities. For instance, some platforms, like LinkedIn, allow you to send targeted messages or even InMail. These are notifications sent to the prospect’s registered email account. This means that if you have qualified leads and they are interested in a purchase, you can use such functions as an alternative to traditional email marketing to contact them.

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About the Author

Dmytro Kucherenko has more than seven years’ experience in business development. During the last two years, he set sales processes and built teams in international IT companies. Currently, he is head of sales in GetProspect. His colleagues describe him as a great communicator and negotiator, a result-oriented person, and a positive and inspiring guy to work with. Contact him on LinkedIn.

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