The Ultimate Guide to Sales Prospecting
Prospecting is vital in sales. It's often undervalued but shouldn't be. To improve efficiency and success, sales reps must qualify prospects, use appropriate strategies based on their stage in the buyer's journey, and leverage the latest technology and research. Successful sales organizations follow a proven sales process. You can replicate their success with your team by understanding this process.
Table of Contents
- Why Is Prospecting So Important for B2B Sales?
- Step 1: Target Your Prospecting
- What Is an Ideal Client Profile?
- Why Is an Ideal Client Profile Important for Prospecting?
- How to Create an Ideal Client Profile?
- Why Are Sales Referrals So Important?
- How Do You Ask for Sales Referrals?
- What Social Media Channel Is Best for B2B Prospecting?
- How Do You Find Prospects on LinkedIn?
- What Is the Difference between Free LinkedIn and LinkedIn Sales Navigator?
- What Are the Most Effective Ways to Engage with Prospects on LinkedIn?
- Why Am I Not Finding Success on LinkedIn?
- Step 2: Implement a Multi-Channel Approach
- What Is the HERO Prospecting Strategy?
- How Can You Increase the Odds that a Lead Will Respond?
- What Is Critical for the First Prospecting Touch?
- Is Cold-Calling Dead?
- How Do You Use the HERO Framework for a Phone Call?
- What Is the Best Way to Address Resistance on a Cold Call?
- How Do You Leave a Great Voicemail?
- How Do You Learn More about Your Prospects' Needs?
- How Do You Use the HERO Framework for E-mail Prospecting?
- How to Create a Compelling E-mail Subject Line?
- What Is the Difference Between Phone Prospecting and E-mail Prospecting?
- When to Use Video for Prospecting?
- How to Use a Prospecting Contact Sequence?
- Step 3: Execute Your Prospecting Plan
Why Is Prospecting So Important for B2B Sales?
Strategic and consistent prospecting is essential for B2B sales because it creates a pipeline of potential customers and sales opportunities. Effective prospecting results in setting up more qualified meetings, which can lead to higher conversion rates and increased sales. While prospecting is one of the most important aspects of B2B sales, it is also the most challenging.
Let’s explore how sales reps can obtain high-quality leads and determine which deals to pursue with a simple 3-step process.
Step 1: Target Your Prospecting
What Is an Ideal Client Profile?
Your ideal client profile (ICP) defines your perfect buyer. It means researching your company's most valuable customers by reverse-engineering company and buyer demographic criteria and important behavioral characteristics that best align with your product or service.
Why Is an Ideal Client Profile Important for Prospecting?
The ideal client profile (ICP) is a top-of-the-funnel prospecting activity that saves time and increases the odds of sales success. ICPs help sales reps focus on the best prospects more likely to convert into highly valued customers.
How to Create an Ideal Client Profile?
Don't just look at your entire customer universe to determine your ideal client profile. Instead, focus on your best customers and the accounts that have been the most profitable. Then look for patterns and similarities between the company and buyer demographics and the likelihood of engaging.
Start with the basic demographic information of your best, most successful customers:
- Are those customers in specific industry verticals?
- What is the average customer size (number of employees/revenue)?
- Are they located in specific geographic areas?
- Do they share common business problems?
- Who are their customers?
Now that you have a general idea of the companies you will target, the next step is determining whom to target within those companies:
- Seniority level
- Role in the organization
- Buying/budget authority
Likelihood of Engaging
Next, consider the prospect's probability of engaging with you:
- What are the readily identifiable trigger events? Examples include acquisitions, expansion, or sustainability initiatives.
- Are there any relevant industry trends?
- What economic, technological, or regulatory changes make your solution more appealing to your target customer?
- Do you have any relevant success stories with similar customers you can showcase?
- Has the prospect previously interacted with your content (e.g., downloaded whitepapers, attended webinars or events sponsored by your company)?
Why Are Sales Referrals So Important?
Sales referrals are essential because they bring instant trust to the conversation. Referrals also typically result in more sales with fewer pricing objections, shorter lead times, and a higher lifetime value. Referred leads also have no acquisition cost.
Here are some data points proving the power of sales referrals:
- People are 4 times likelier to buy when referred by a friend
- 92% of people trust referrals coming from someone they know
- Referrals are 3 to 5 times likelier to convert than other channels
- A referred customer’s lifetime value is 25% higher compared to other customers
- Referrals spend 200% more than average customers at higher profit margins
How Do You Ask for Sales Referrals?
Using a consistent process of asking for referrals unlocks the full potential of your network to fill your prospecting pipeline with sales opportunities quickly. Here are 7 steps you can follow to get more referrals:
Step #1: Start with Your Best Clients
Identify your strongest relationships since valuable referrals are proportionate to your relationship with the person giving them. Audit your current client relationships based on relationship length, communication frequency, and satisfaction level. Customers with high marks across these areas are excellent candidates to ask for referrals.
Step #2: Recognize the Best Timing
The ideal time to request a referral is after the client benefits from your product or service. For example, if a client compliments you or your product or service, take that opportunity to ask for a referral immediately. For example, you can say, "I am glad you are happy with our product/service. If you know anyone else who might benefit from our offerings, I would greatly appreciate your referring them to us."
Step #3: Ask for Help
When requesting a referral, approach it with humility. Most people want to be helpful, so use language like, "I would appreciate your help in expanding our business by referring us to others who may benefit from our products/services." By positioning your request as seeking assistance rather than expecting a favor, you are more likely to receive a positive response.
Step #4: Make It Easy
Avoid generic phrases like, "Do you know anyone else who could use our services?" Instead, be specific and use your ideal client profile to create a short description of exactly who you are looking for. For example, "We are looking to connect with technology industry professionals who want innovative solutions to streamline operations. Do you know anyone who fits this description and could benefit from our services?"
Step #5: Use LinkedIn
LinkedIn can be a powerful referral tool. Research your client's LinkedIn connections to find common acquaintances who might be a good fit and mention the connection in your request for a referral. For example, say, "I noticed you are connected to Jane Smith on LinkedIn. Would you mind introducing me to her or providing a referral? I believe our solutions could be of value to Jane as well."
Step #6: Link the Referral
When requesting a referral, seeking permission to use your client's name is essential. You can say something like, "Susan, who is also a satisfied client of ours, thought you might be interested in hearing about how our products/services have helped her."
Step #7: Say Thank You
Always express your gratitude to the person giving you a referral. Thank them sincerely for their support and consider sending a thank-you note or a small gift card as a token of appreciation. Keep your client updated on the referral's progress, and reciprocate by referring business to them whenever possible.
What Social Media Channel Is Best for B2B Prospecting?
LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site for B2B companies to target decision-makers and find ideal client profile professionals in specific industries or job titles. The advanced search filters, InMail messaging, industry groups, and advertising options help users connect with potential customers and build relationships.
How Do You Find Prospects on LinkedIn?
Use the LinkedIn Smart Search section (look for a magnifying glass icon in the upper left-hand corner) and click the "All filters" circle in the top navigation bar for a list of search criteria options. To find prospects who fit your ideal client profile, make selections based on your target industry, company, job title, keywords, location, or connections. Input the results into your CRM like HubSpot or Salesforce, or use a third-party system like ZoomInfo, SalesIntel.io, or LeadiQ.
What Is the Difference between Free LinkedIn and LinkedIn Sales Navigator?
Sales Navigator is a piece of sales intelligence software from LinkedIn available in 3 different options (Core, Advanced, and Plus). Capabilities vary for each Sales Navigator option, but these premium options provide more advanced search filters, the ability to save searches or integrate with your CRM, send more InMail messages, see who has viewed your profile in the last 90 days, and personalized algorithms to help you reach the right decision-makers.
What Are the Most Effective Ways to Engage with Prospects on LinkedIn?
For greater LinkedIn success, don't approach it as social selling. Instead, think about making strategic connections and conversations. Use these tips to engage with prospects effectively:
- Personalize Your Outreach: When sending a connection request or message, customize it to the person. Mention something that caught your attention about their profile or something you have in common. It shows that you took the time to research them, and increases the chances of getting a response.
- Ask Thoughtful Questions: Instead of sending a generic message or commenting with a simple "nice post," try to ask thoughtful questions about the content they posted. It shows that you are genuinely interested in their work and can help start a meaningful conversation.
- Share Valuable Content: Post information your prospects find useful or interesting. It could be your blog post or an article from a credible source related to their industry or interests. When you share valuable content, it can help build trust and position you as a knowledgeable resource.
- Be Consistent: Showing up daily is essential for LinkedIn's success. Engage with your prospects regularly by commenting on their posts, liking their updates, and messaging them. It helps keep your name in front of them and builds familiarity.
- Offer Value: When engaging with prospects, think about how to be helpful and valuable. This could be a suggestion, a resource, or advice that solves a problem. When you are seen as a helpful and valuable connection, it can lead to more opportunities.
- Don't Be Pushy: While it is essential to follow up with prospects, don't be pushy. Avoid bombarding people with messages or coming off as overly salesy has the opposite effect. Instead, know that it takes time to build a relationship online.
Why Am I Not Finding Success on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn success in sales starts with a complete profile that conveys your skills and expertise. Consistently engaging with the right audience is the most important way to build relationships and find sales opportunities. Regularly sharing valuable and relevant content increases your visibility to connections and helps grow relationships. By focusing on these three areas, you can achieve greater success on LinkedIn.
Step 2: Implement a Multi-Channel Approach
What Is the HERO Prospecting Strategy?
The HERO framework allows you to create more personalized and effective prospecting communications. HERO stands for Hook, Engage, Relate, and Offer.
- Hook: A snappy and engaging Hook is the key to breaking through the clutter and making an instant connection. Personalization, relevance, brevity, and curiosity are essential elements when crafting an opening line that grabs your prospect's attention and entices them to listen to you.
- Engage: Once you get your prospect's attention with an exciting hook, engage them with a relevant pain point or valuable insight. While the pain point may be obvious, more research can help you make a deeper connection than the typical "save time/money" approach.
- Relate: It is essential to relate how your solution can help address the pain point or problem. The idea here is to highlight the value of your solution, not the features.
- Offer: Give your prospect a clear call to action. The most common prospecting CTA is to ask for a meeting, but for a cold prospect, the answer is usually, "No, I am too busy." Instead, share something of value, like a case study or newsletter sign-up. This approach can pique the prospect's interest and create a sense of obligation for the prospect to reciprocate later by meeting with you.
How Can You Increase the Odds that a Lead Will Respond?
Sales enablement technology has dramatically increased the number of prospecting messages that decision-makers receive daily. To be a prospecting HERO, your message needs to stand out.
Furthermore, successful prospecting campaigns need to have multiple touches using different communication methods. The average sales rep only communicates 1.7 times before giving up, yet research shows the ideal number of contact attempts for a lead to respond is about 7 times.
Data from SalesLoft shows that people are almost 5 times as responsive if they receive a voicemail and an e-mail from a salesperson instead of a single form of outreach. An engaging voicemail conveys warmth and helps make a connection with the prospect in a way that an e-mail can't. Multi-touch prospecting campaigns can include phone calls, voice mails, e-mails, texts, and messages via LinkedIn. The idea is to engage with your prospects in the way in which they are most comfortable. Knowing which communication channel is preferred is challenging, so using a mixed approach increases the odds of receiving a response.
What Is Critical for the First Prospecting Touch?
No one wants to be sold to, so the initial prospecting message must focus on helping and offering value. Speak to the prospect's specific problems and highlight relevant solutions without mentioning your product or service. Instead of selling, offer to help by conducting an audit or sharing new research or industry insights.
Is Cold-Calling Dead?
While it is true that cold calling alone has a lower probability of success, it is not dead. But the reality is that you are either catching the prospect by surprise or going directly into voicemail. To increase your success rate, you need to gain the prospect's undivided attention within the first 8-10 seconds of the call. Following the HERO prospecting framework combined with a multi-touch prospecting strategy will increase your chances of success.
How Do You Use the HERO Framework for a Phone Call?
- Hook: Use a friendly, high-energy greeting where you quickly identify yourself and your company. Then, quickly transition into an impact benefit statement. Position this statement as a hook explaining why the decision-maker should care about what you are saying. Benefit statements include increased profitability, reduced cost, growing sales, or increased customer satisfaction. Remember to be as brief and personalized as possible.
- Engage: Draw the prospect into the conversation by asking one or two open-ended questions, for example, "What are your company's biggest shipping challenges?"
- Relate: Relate their response to your original impact benefit statement. Ask an additional question if you need to gather more information. Keep it at a high level without any sales or product benefits.
- Offer: Give your prospect a clear call to action. The goal of a phone conversation is to ask for a meeting. Propose a date and time, give alternate options, ask if the meeting should include anyone else.
What Is the Best Way to Address Resistance on a Cold Call?
Common phrases of resistance include: "Just send me some information," "I am not interested," "We already have a supplier," or "I am busy." To keep the conversation going, acknowledge the resistance and side-step the resistance with an open-ended question.
For example, acknowledge "I am busy" with: "I understand; I despise getting interrupted." To acknowledge and side-step "Just send me some information," reply with "I am happy to send you some information. To ensure I am sending you the correct information, are you interested in improving shipping productivity or reducing error rates?" Use the answer to follow up with additional questions.
How Do You Leave a Great Voicemail?
According to Pew Research, 80% of Americans don't answer calls from unknown numbers. It means you need to be prepared to leave a voice message. Create an impactful script in advance using a streamlined version of the HERO framework with the following:
- Hook: Speak with enthusiasm to identify yourself and your company. Include a brief impact benefit statement based on your pre-call research explaining why the decision-maker should care about your words.
How Do You Learn More about Your Prospects' Needs?
Learning as much about your customer's issues, concerns, problems, and desires as early as possible is essential. The better you understand each prospect's situation, the more effectively you can position your solution. Use these tips to get prospects to share more helpful information about their needs:
- Use Nonverbal Cues: Simple actions such as nodding, smiling, or maintaining good eye contact send an essential message to the customer: "I understand what you are saying, and it is OK for you to continue giving me information."
- Use Verbal Cues: Common phrases like "Uh-huh," "Go on," and "I see" help you connect with your customer. They allow you to communicate, "I understand what you are saying, and I invite you to tell me more."
- Ask Questions (and Listen to Answers): Asking thoughtful follow-up questions demonstrates that you are listening and offers a natural prompt to provide more information. Examples include: "What does that mean?" ,"How did that happen?", and "Tell me more about that problem." Wait until the buyer has finished a thought before asking another question, and don't ask questions you can research and answer in advance.
- Make a Statement and Pause: For example, say, "I am not sure I understand. Could you tell me more?" Then be sure to wait for a response.
- Paraphrase: You achieve greater clarity by using different words to express the customer's position. Sentences like "If I understand this correctly, you are concerned about…" help the buyer feel that you understood what they said. It demonstrates that you care and increases the likelihood of sharing even more information with you. Paraphrasing is also powerful because it sends the message that you understand the speaker.
- Use Silence: This is one of the most powerful sales prospecting techniques yet the hardest for most salespeople. When there is a moment of silence in a conversation, it creates awkwardness. It is human nature to eliminate that awkwardness by talking but avoid falling into that trap. Great salespeople skillfully use silence to encourage their prospects to talk more. The more your customer talks, the better your understanding will be of their situation.
How Do You Use the HERO Framework for E-mail Prospecting?
- Hook: Spend more time crafting a compelling e-mail subject line first (see tips below). Expand on your subject to hook the prospect with the "what is in it for them." Do your research to determine the needs, such as increased profitability, reduced cost, growing sales, or increased customer satisfaction.
- Engage: Focus on giving your prospect a reason to keep reading your e-mail. Tie a compelling question to the relevant pain point. For example, "I saw you opened a new facility in [LOCATION]. How are higher shipping costs impacting your profitability?"
- Relate: Always highlight the value of your solution, not the features. Don’t sell, but rather stay at a high level to pique the prospect's interest and give them a reason to meet with you. Consider sharing an industry insight, case study, or helpful content.
- Offer: The final step is to get the sales prospect to respond to your e-mail. Offer the prospect a clear call to action. Confirming interest instead of requesting a meeting is a lower-risk call to action. For example, try "Does it make sense to discuss how you can improve [XYZ]?" Or "Would achieving [XYZ] help you reach your zero emissions initiative?" Once the prospect confirms their interest, you can ask for a meeting by e-mail or phone.
How to Create a Compelling E-mail Subject Line?
Nearly 4 out of every 5 e-mails are never even opened. That is why a snappy subject line is necessary to hook your prospects. Use these subject line tips to make your messages more irresistible:
- Personalize It: According to research by Supply Gem, E-mails with personalized subject lines are opened 50% more than e-mails with generic subject lines.
- Make It Relevant: A compelling subject line is relevant to the prospect's role, challenges, and goals. For example, "Improve shipping efficiency" may resonate with an operations manager but not a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO).
- Build Curiosity: Look for ways to hook your prospect's interest and create a sense of intrigue. For example, pique a CRO's curiosity with a "Question about your sales goal" and ask the Operations Manager a compelling question, "How do you manage shipping errors?"
- Keep It Short: Research shows that 6-10 words are the ideal subject line length.
- Don't Ask for Time: Avoid a subject line that asks for time. "Got 15 minutes for a meeting?" No, I don't. Delete.
What Is the Difference Between Phone Prospecting and E-mail Prospecting?
A prospecting call aims to set an appointment, while an initial prospecting e-mail aims to create interest and response to discuss a problem or opportunity.
When to Use Video for Prospecting?
A personalized, clear, concise video helps build the relationship while standing out from the competition. Use video in your prospecting sequence to complement your calls and e-mails. While creating personalized videos is time-consuming, it can be a valuable strategy for:
- A cold initial outreach comes from a specific trigger event: For example, "I saw your press release that you are hiring 500 new employees."
- Your response to a specific question or inquiry: A video provides a more personalized experience that creates a deeper connection and shows that you truly value their questions and needs.
How to Use a Prospecting Contact Sequence?
Create a schedule to implement a sequenced combination of prospecting tactics. The contact sequence combines phone calls, e-mails, and LinkedIn InMail messages. Or Voicemail, personalized videos, text messages, and hand-written notes.
Step 3: Execute Your Prospecting Plan
What Is the Key to Successful Prospecting?
Successful salespeople consistently allocate most of their time to the most promising sales opportunities by qualifying their leads early in the prospecting process. Use the BANT model to see if prospective opportunities meet these conditions:
- Budget: Is there a budget for this initiative?
- Authority: Is this person a decision-maker or just an influencer in the process?
- Need: Is there a well-defined need to solve a pressing business problem?
- Timing: Does this opportunity have a clear time frame?
When is The Best Time to Set an Appointment with a Prospect?
Many sales professionals mistakenly give too much information upfront and miss the chance to meet with the prospect. When the conversation gets past the initial dialogue, ask for an appointment. Aim to ask as early as possible and make it easy for the prospect to say yes. Offer a choice of two to three dates and propose specific times to meet. Don't offer a date that is too far in the future.
After you have booked the appointment, don't end the conversation. Ask a few more probing questions to gather more information about the prospect. The more details you learn, the more productive your sales appointment will be.
How Do You Handle Prospecting Roadblocks?
The key to managing prospecting resistance is quickly recognizing the sales roadblocks and redirecting the conversation without appearing too aggressive. Fortunately, you can anticipate and practice responding to prospecting resistance since most pushback falls into one of the following categories:
- "Send me information": When a prospect asks you to send more information, they often try to get you off the phone. If you simply send out information to the prospect, you will lose control of the process and significantly reduce the chance of having any further conversations. Here are a few possible responses to redirect the conversation back to setting the appointment: "Before sending you any generic information, I would need to learn more about your situation to be sure I am giving you the best solution for your needs. Do you have time tomorrow for a brief conversation?" or "I would be happy to send you information. When should I call back to discuss this further?"
- "Call me back next quarter": The prospect may be genuinely busy, but "next quarter" can be a lifetime in the sales world. Your response should focus on how you want to respect their time and that speaking with you now is better than speaking next quarter. Consider, "I don't want to take up your time. If we could schedule a 10-minute call, I will show you how we help companies such as [XYZ] [save time/money]. That way, if you are still not interested, you don't have to worry about me calling you next quarter. Would you be interested in talking for 15 minutes next Tuesday or Thursday?"
- "I am too busy": This is more challenging than simple procrastination. Here, the prospect is telling you in more forceful terms that they want to get you off the phone. While it is likely that the prospect is busy, they might also not understand the value of your solution. One effective technique for managing this type of resistance is to let the prospect keep control of the process by asking for permission: "Can I take 20 seconds now and explain what we do, and you can decide whether it is worth a follow-up conversation?" Then, ask for an appointment.
- "There is no budget": This form of resistance is meant to be an immediate showstopper. No budget means not qualified, so there is no reason to continue the call. The best way of overcoming this form of resistance is to take the issue of money off the table immediately: "Oh, there is no expectation that you will buy now. I just want to share how we're working with companies such as [XYZ], and how we can create value for your company, even if you buy later. Can I schedule a call for…?"
- "We are already working with someone": This is a highly challenging form of resistance since it requires you to quickly differentiate your offering from the competitor in a meaningful way. For example, "Several of our customers also use [competitor] for [ABC]. But they use us to help them with [XYZ]. When is a good time to schedule a brief call?"
- "I am not interested": Without question, this is the most challenging form of resistance. The prospecting is effectively hanging up on you. One effective technique is to share a success story immediately and hope you can generate interest. For example, "That is what [XYZ] said until we showed them how much money we could save them…"
What Do You Do When a Prospect Goes Silent?
The best way to prevent a prospect from going silent is to be prepared in advance. Set expectations before sending over the proposal by following these four steps:
- Put a Premium on Your Time: Make it clear to prospects that if they engage with you, there has to be some give and take.
- Qualify the Deal: Make sure this is the business you want to go after and can win. Outline a solution that includes: When will they make the decision? Who is going to be involved in making that decision? And what are the decision criteria they are going to use?
- Preview Your Solution: Highlight the key parts of the solution before you send the proposal. Your solution presentation should include understanding your buyer's situation and problem.
- Get Their Commitment upfront: Before you send the proposal, establish when your buyer's timeline and next steps beforehand. Don't submit any proposal unless you've bookended that with a follow-up meeting to review it with the key stakeholders.
How to Deal with a Prospect Who Isn't Ready to Buy?
According to HubSpot, 50% of prospects who have expressed an interest are not ready to purchase. Recognizing and planning help you remain top of mind with the prospect until the situation changes. Here is how to stay relevant with the prospect:
- Schedule a Follow-up: Ask the prospect when they will be ready to proceed. "Is this an initiative on the agenda for next quarter?" If so, ask to set up a follow-up call for the end of this quarter. By getting an appointment on the calendar, you have something to work towards. You will also be able to engage the prospect in a discussion to assess further whether the prospect is qualified and if they anticipate a decision in the future.
- Nurture Them with Relevant Content: Keep your leads warm by engaging them in a way that shows your expertise without being annoying. You can ensure your e-mails are relevant and tailored specifically to each prospect. Work hard to provide personalized and helpful information until they are ready to buy. Even though customized e-mails take more time to prepare, relevant e-mails can be 18 times more successful than generic or broadcast e-mails. Some examples of effective ways to open these e-mails include: "I was thinking about you today…", "It occurred to me after our last conversation that you might be interested in this webinar/blog post/etc.", and"Here is a piece of third-party research I thought you might be interested in."
- Encourage a Response: Engage with prospects to encourage them to respond. Even if they don't respond, they will be in a much better position to interact with you because they have received the content you've provided and better understand your solution.
When Is It Time to Disqualify or Remove a Lead?
Some sales training programs say, "You have to hear a 'No' 3 times before moving on." Knowing when you should remove a lead comes down to understanding why you are getting that "no." In other words, is it that you are trying to meet with them, or it is bad timing? Maybe you are trying to meet with the wrong person or your solution is useless to them? Or maybe you are offering the wrong solution, and it is not a good fit?
If you used BANT to qualify the lead initially, it is time to go further and get to the heart of a qualified opportunity:
- Is the opportunity worth pursuing in the first place?
- Can you win?
Use these additional criteria for a more realistic assessment of whether a sales opportunity is worth pursuing:
- Revenue Potential: Based on the customer's growth, what is the long-term revenue potential of this opportunity? Are there up-selling and cross-selling opportunities?
- Profit Potential: Does this opportunity meet your company's minimum profitability requirements? What is the long-term profit potential?
- Strategic Value: Will winning this opportunity give you competitive advantages in the marketplace? What will be the impact of losing?
- Implementation Risks: Do you have adequate resources to deliver successfully? Is the buyer's timeframe realistic?
Assuming you have determined that your sales opportunity is worth pursuing, you are ready for the second question: "Can you win?" The criteria below will help you assess your competitive position.
Solution Fit: Does your solution meet the key buying criteria? Is it differentiated from the competition?
- Business Impact: Have you identified the business impact of your solution on the buyer's business, customers, competitive advantage, etc.? Can you quantify the impact?
- Relationship Strength: How strong is your relationship with the buyer? Have you established relationships with other decision-makers and influencers?
- Executive Advocacy: Do you have a senior executive commitment and active support? If not, will your supporter give you access to senior executives?
- Decision Influence: Do you have access to decision-makers? Can you influence buying criteria?
- Strategic Value: Is your solution linked to any strategic initiatives? Does it create new business opportunities for the buyer?
Sales success starts with a healthy pipeline, setting realistic sales prpspecting goals, and using your time productively. While walking away from an unqualified sales opportunity can be tough, focus your efforts on building your pipeline with qualified opportunities.
You Are Now Ready to Become a B2B Sales Prospecting HERO
B2B sales success starts with excellent prospecting skills. The ultimate goal of your prospecting efforts is to set qualified appointments with potential customers. Following the three main steps:
- Implementing multi-channel prospecting
- Executing your prospecting plan will help fill your pipeline, which leads to more closed deals and sales
Remember to regularly ask for referrals, bringing instant trust to your prospecting conversations. Perfecting your referral process results in higher sales, shorter lead times, and lifetime customer value.
Use the HERO framework (Hook, Engage, Relate, and Offer) throughout the prospecting process. Creating an interesting and personalized hook is the key to breaking through the clutter and instantly connecting with your prospect. Being a prospecting HERO means spending time upfront researching each prospect and crafting interesting and personalized messaging that will make a lasting impression.
About David Jacoby
As a Managing Director at Sales Readiness Group, A Part of SBI, David helps large B2B sales organizations improve sales performance. Previously, David was a Principal at Linear Partners, a sales consulting firm providing sales strategy, sales operations, talent management, and interim management services to emerging growth companies. In the past, David has served as Vice President of Business Affairs of Xylo, Inc., where he was responsible for the Company's business development, sales operations, legal affairs, and financing activities.