Sales prospecting has always been a key part of the sales process. It plays a pivotal role in filling the sales pipeline and providing a steady flow of qualified prospects to the sales team. It’s basically a strategy that organizations use to find and contactpotential customers that fit their buyer persona or target audience.
Prospecting in salesdoesn’t just involve searching for new prospects; it could also focus onnurturing cold leads to turn them into prospects. The aim is to initiate newbusiness or provide a sales team with prospects that have a high probability ofconverting into customers.
Your sales prospecting needs to continuously improve to achieve the best results. Asking for referrals and cold calling are not the only ways to prospect. You need better strategies to increase your success rate or scale prospecting. If you’re looking for ways to strengthen your prospecting strategy, go through the proven tactics discussed below.
1. Increase your B2B data quality and accuracy
The health of your B2B database is of paramount importance to the success of your sales prospecting. Be sure to regularly maintain top-quality, accurate data to avoid the pit falls of data decay or bad data. Did you know? Preventing a data duplication costs only $1, but if you leave it untreated, it will cost you $100.
Data cleansing and data enrichment are highly effective ways to ensure your salespeople use updated, verified, errorless, and complete data. Use automated tools or partner with a company that provides these services to save your sales time and resources. Statistics show that mundane data quality tasks can waste 50% of the time of employees.
In addition, you can use the following strategies to enhance your B2B data quality and accuracy:
● Adopt a data management or governance program
● Ensure your data is collected from reliable sources
● Set data quality standards and goals
● Regularly conduct data quality audits
Having a high-quality B2B database is also critical to developing accurate buyer personas and right sales messaging, building contact lists, and effectively targeting prospects.
2. Use buying intent signals to stay ahead of your competitors
In sales prospecting, it’s not enough to find good-fit potential buyers. You also need to be able to reach or engage them earlier, so you don’t lose their business to your competitor. Buying intent data helps you do exactly that. It lets you know who is intending to make a purchase, moving closer to a buying decision, or presently in an active buying process. Furthermore, it enables you to know what prospects are interested in before they reach you or you reach out to them.
Equip your salespeople with intent data to enable them to identify and prioritize hot leads. Moreover, intent data can be used to stay more relevant and use the right context when prospecting. It informs you when a prospect is searching online for a product similar to what you sell. It also reveals what topics they’re researching on and most importantly, their purchase intent.
According to a survey conducted in September 2020, 70% of B2B tech vendors who use intent data utilize it for prospecting. Another statistic shows that intent data helps with up to 4X pipeline expansion.
3. Leverage social prospecting to identify and engage prospects
With social networking platforms, you can not only find and develop a relationship with prospects, but also humanize your prospecting efforts. Social prospecting is relatively a new technique but highly effective. Among B2B buyers, 75% use social media to make purchasing decisions.
LinkedIn is frequently used for social prospecting. Most sales teams are aware of the several prospecting use cases of LinkedIn. However, hidden contact information is a common hurdle faced by salespeople prospecting on LinkedIn. To overcome this, you can use prospecting intelligence tools that reveal contact or company data for anyone on LinkedIn.
The free Chrome extension RevDriver is one such tool. It allows you to collect 95% accurate, human-verified email addresses, mobile numbers, and direct dials for any prospect through their LinkedIn profile or company website. Additionally, freemium RevDriver users can export the revealed contact data to their CRM or marketing automation platform.
Social prospecting also brings results with other platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. These social channels can be used to:
● Conduct social listening
● Establish thought leadership
● Drive engagement with prospects
● Monitor their social activity
● Know what they’re interested in
● Share your content or products with them
4. Use video to stand out and capture the attention of prospects
Video prospecting is a unique strategy that helps sales teams to engage multiple prospects at once or use personalized video to attract a specific prospect. Video allows you to take a different, attention-grabbing approach to prospecting and make your voice heard. You can use it to enhance your prospecting emails and sales messages by making them more creative, customized, and tailored.
Video is used in the prospecting strategy of 43% of sales teams. Furthermore, the CTR of emails containing video is 4X the CTR of those without. Video prospecting is highly beneficial for remote sales teams or during times like a pandemic when conducting in-person meetings are a challenge. Your salespeople can also save time when prospecting by using pre-recorded or short videos instead of typing long messages.
Sales prospecting is not easy. It’s the most challenging part of the sales process, over 40% of salespeople agree. Having said that, you can improve your prospecting results by using the right strategies and tools. The four tactics explained here are powerful enough to help you prospect better. Besides these, you can consider including webinars and even outdoor events like product launches, trade shows, promotions, and conferences in your prospecting efforts.
Before you start putting these sales prospecting tactics into action, know that it’s important to research, evaluate, qualify, educate, nurture, and follow up with prospects. Prospecting is a process, and it could take time. However, if you follow best practices and make the right moves at the right time, you’ll have a better chance of gaining success.