Checklist: What To Keep In Mind While Hunting Sales Prospects

Checklist: What To Keep In Mind While Hunting Sales Prospects
Vlastimil Vodička
November 19, 2021

Generating leads and converting those leads into paying customers is what sales are all about. Learning how to prospect for sales is an important part of this conversion process. But, prospecting can be difficult, and it can be hard to know where to start in order to use the best sales prospecting methods.

Luckily, this guide will answer all of your sales prospecting questions and get you started on the path towards more customers in your sales funnel. 

Sales Lead vs. Sales Prospect: What’s the Difference?

To keep things simple, sales leads are people who could be customers based on their demographic. A lead is someone you have reached out to. You will be hoping to convert them from a lead to a customer, but a lead has a lot less certainty. A sales prospect is the next step through the sales funnel. They are someone who has responded and begun a dialogue with your company. A prospect will be more likely to convert than just a simple lead because they have now expressed interest in the product or service. 

Lead generation is more about finding a wide range of clients. Prospecting does involve finding them, but also nurturing them. Prospecting takes a lot more work in general, since it requires more manual effort and human connection than simply seeking out people who might be interested in your product. Lead generation is a long term, general approach to social selling and marketing, while prospecting focuses on the 1 on 1 relationships between clients and sellers. 

Inbound vs. Outbound Prospecting

Inbound prospecting is creating content designed to draw customers in. Some examples of inbound sales prospecting are:

  • Blog posts
  • SEO articles
  • Social media posts

Inbound prospecting has the potential to draw in a lot of business through one single post. This also puts the consumer in more control, since they would be the ones reaching out for more information. This can be both good and bad, since many may not be inclined to reach out to you at all. But, you have a lot of potential to reach the right audience when you cast such a wide net. 

Outbound sales prospecting is more direct. This can involve:

  • Cold calling
  • Cold emailing
  • Local advertising

This is all used to get in contact with potential prospects. Outbound prospecting is all about targeting specific people. With this direct approach, outbound prospecting is designed to get you those 1 on 1 customer interactions that outbound prospecting thrive on. You may be able to get more quality prospects using outbound methods, but you are pooling from a smaller group of people. 

Both inbound and outbound sales prospecting techniques are helpful for getting quality prospects for your business. It is just a matter of understanding which technique to use at which time. Perfecting both your inbound and outbound sales prospecting strategies will benefit your business in the long run. 

Prospecting Checklist: Techniques That Work

Finding effective sales prospecting techniques is easier than you think. Following these steps will improve your prospecting strategy and ensure more quality connections and more closed deals. 

Research

Before you even begin the prospecting process, you should really understand your customer. Creating an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) is something that could really be useful here. This is a mock-up of who you believe will benefit best from what you are selling. 

  • What is their demographic? 
  • Where do they work? 
  • What is their position in the company? 
  • What are their values? 

Understanding your ideal customer will help you get inside the head of your prospects. Know the types of people you will be reaching out to and how to best communicate with them. 

You will also need to research common problems people have with your product or service, or similar competing products on the market. Using customer reviews is a great way to research what is holding people back with other products or services, and how what you offer is better than the competition. Use the word choice of angry customers of other brands to propel yourself forward, being prepared to shut down any adversities your prospects may have to closing the deal. 

Reach out to a decision-maker

In B2B sales, it is important that the person on the receiving end of your offer is someone who can speak on behalf of the company and arrange to meet with you. Your list of prospects should involve higher-ups and the employees in a company who would directly utilize your product or service. Use social selling services to get emails, LinkedIn profiles, or other contact information for employees that you want to contact. Then, start a friendly conversation about you and your business. 

Communicate consistently, assertively, and respectfully

You want to get their attention and keep it. Regularly cold calling or cold emailing is a great way to remind your prospects of what you have to offer. Speak to your prospects with authority and assertiveness. You want them to feel confident in you as a seller and a brand. You always want to be clear and to the point with them. You are talking to people who are most likely busy, don’t waste their time. 

Keep track of what emails and calls have the highest success rates. You can create your own sales prospecting email templates and phone scripts based on your most successful prospecting campaigns. Analyze the emails and call scripts that didn’t get you a lot of responses to figure out why. It’s even better if you get complaints about your emails or calls. Use the negative feedback as a way to improve your strategy in the future. 

Give a well-rehearsed sales pitch

Your sales pitch should be catered to each unique prospect. Use your research to your advantage and get inside their head. Come prepared with answers to any questions you think they will have and address potential objections. What could be holding them back from closing this deal? Discuss that with your team and come up with solutions to their potential problems. 

Use Data to Your Advantage

The best part about working in social selling and the digital age is how easy it is to track interactions. There are services that can automatically track your prospecting data for you and tell you where you need to improve. Understanding how to sales prospect involves some trial and error and being willing to make adjustments to tactics. 

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can help your company see how well the prospecting campaigns are going and how they will continue following trends. Keep a sales prospecting spreadsheet and use graphs to visualize how well you and your team are doing with sales prospecting and converting. This will make it easier to tell what strategies work on which audiences if you keep things organized or use a service that will track your data for you. 

Data analysis is an important aspect of all parts of a sale and of a business in general. Understanding what data to collect, how to store it, and how to present it to your team can be life changing for your business. Data tracking and analytics is also something that can be sorted out by an outsourced sales team or through the use of lead generation, CRM, or sales prospecting software available all over the web. 

The Bottom Line

Understanding how to prospect sales is really a matter of putting in the effort and trying some techniques. The best way to get selling is to start reaching out and working hard to close deals. If you believe in your brand and believe that what you are selling is high quality and will benefit your prospects, then you will begin closing deals. 

To get more help with sales prospecting, be sure to reach out to the professionals at Sales Booster. With advanced AI technology and a dedicated team that can do all the cold emailing and lead generation for you, you’ll be sure to close more deals than ever before. Use the form below to reach out and request a demo. 

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