Sales prospecting is a lot like fishing; you can have the best bait, and be at the right spot at the right time, but there’s still no guarantee that they’ll bite. It’s no secret that prospecting is one of the biggest challenges that agencies will face. Many teams either don’t have a solid prospecting plan, or they are using outdated methods that are not always the most effective.
As much as we’d like to believe that new client’s will magically appear in the pipeline, it’s true that prospecting requires some extra efforts and dedication.
Although marketing is tasked with the job of generating great leads and sending them to sales, it doesn’t mean that your sales reps shouldn’t be constantly putting their efforts towards prospecting more clients.
We’ve compiled a list of 12 prospecting tips to help you improve your sales prospecting methods and grow your business!
Table of Contents
Create Your Ideal Customer Profile
Studies show that at least 50% of your prospects will end up not being a good fit for your company.
By creating your ideal customer profile you can streamline your lead generation process in order to quickly identify high-potential clients. This information will be useful when you are pitching to your sales prospect as you’ll have all the information you need about why the company you’re pitching to is a good fit for your organization.
By focusing on your buyer profile you are giving more time and effort to your valuable prospects and you’ll be able to easily up-sell and provide more value to each account.
Research and Prioritize
Your time is valuable, therefore you should be spending more time on your leads that have the highest potential to close. It’s a good idea to research your prospects in order to rank and prioritize them. Ask yourself:
Who are they?
What is their business?
What role do they play in the company?
Do they have decision-making power?
Figure out what works best for your agency and what characteristics are of high importance to your ideal customer profile. Decide as an agency what the key decision maker is for someone to become a hot sales prospect. Try creating a scoring system to categorize leads that are coming into your agency!
Perform an Audit of Your Prospect
If you are cold-emailing, that means you need to be providing value right off the bat. A great way to do this is by performing an audit of your prospects business. Right from the start you can observe what their strengths are, and what they need help with.
Using a tool like the Snapshot Report is a quick and easy way for you to capture the nature of their online business. It acts as a marketing needs assessment and will provide great insight for crafting your sales pitch. From there you can explain to your prospect how you can help fill the gaps where they are lacking.
Get them thinking about their Buyer’s Journey
Your prospect is probably thinking: Why do I need the help of an Agency?
It’s all about the Buyer's Journey.
Try to get them to envision their Buyer’s Journey by asking them, How do your customers find you? This helps them to understand their customers’ experience from finding the business, to post-purchase reviews. Your client will start to realize how big of an asset you are to them without you having to truly start selling.
Be a Thought Leader
You’re the expert, why not show it?
No—you cannot be a self-proclaimed thought leader. Essentially, you become a thought leader by proving your knowledge and experience in a certain industry. People will be more likely to trust you based on your credibility.
How can I demonstrate my knowledge?
- Volunteer for public speaking events
- Attend conferences and networking events
- Post informational videos to social
- Share relevant industry news
- Write an educational blog post
- Engage in social media groups
- Answer industry-related questions on popular question forums (e.i. Quora)
All of these things will work together to prove your industry knowledge and hopefully catch the eye of some potential prospects.
Stop the SellingStop. Selling.
Sales prospecting is called prospecting for a reason— it’s not the time to be selling. Prospecting is all about building a solid foundation for a great relationship with your prospect that will set the stage for all your future interactions. Relationship building cannot work if prospects are feeling the pressure to buy.
Try approaching your prospects from a consultative viewpoint by asking them a lot of questions about them, about their business, what their customers are like, what their customers need, what they feel that they do well, and what they feel they need help with.
- Get to know your Prospects
- Let them get comfortable with you
- Relate to them
- Don’t rush the rapport
- Oh and..never mention price right out the gate
Utilize Email Campaigns
As we mentioned in tip #3, the Snapshot Report is a great way to connect with prospects. The Snapshot Report is essentially an assessment of your clients online business appearance. If you are cold emailing a prospect for the first time, this is a great way to grab their attention by giving them some valuable information about their strengths and areas for improvement.
You need to be constantly asking yourself if your emails are providing value to your clients, and try not to send too many “just checking in” type emails. Try sending them some new content, case studies, or industry-related articles.
Emailing with Vendasta Marketing Automation can show you which prospects are hot. It’ll show you which prospects are opening their emails, and which choosing to click-through them. Utilize the Snapshot Report, then use that information to craft your perfect pitch.
Pick up the Phone—Don’t hide behind email alone.
You will not be successful in less you’re talking to people. You have to be able to go out and sell—businesses will not come to you.
Yes, we did just tell you to use email campaigns for prospecting, but getting on the phones is equally as important. The key to prospecting is to use all methods of communication to your advantage. Get talking. Show your clients that you’re a real person who understands their needs and are there for them if they need you.
Search for Events & Conferences
We don’t want you to stalk your prospects, but attending events that have potential prospects, means getting valuable face-to-face interactions that are going to help you build rapport. Keep in mind your buyer profile from tip #1, and investigate what cool events those prospects may be attending.
Most importantly, stand out and be different. It’s likely that most prospects you encounter have dealt with an agency before, or have had agencies try and reach out to them, so put in the effort to distinctify yourself. Offer some sort of value, and if possible, show them a demo! (seeing truly is believing). Make yourself stand out among the rest!
Use Social to Your Advantage
With social media being as popular as it is, it’s very likely that your future clients have some sort of social media profile. Social media is a great way to research everything you need to know about your clients (and saves you time having to ask them over the phone!).
So, what exactly should you be doing?
- Share industry content relevant to their work
- Create blog content
- Engage through comments
- Join social groups
- Answer industry questions
If you are using LinkedIn, LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a great tool for finding the right people, the right companies, and engage with prospects. Try crafting a small pitch to use on your social platforms and monitor your success!
Create a Prospecting Cadence
Creating a solid prospecting cadence will take away the questioning of what your next step is. The goal is to keep constant contact without being too spam-my to your prospects.
Try setting up a prospecting cadence. Check out our example below!
This is a quick example of what a prospecting cadence may look like, but yours will be unique to you based on your ideal buyer. By creating a prospecting cadence your sales team will be more organized in their day-to-day tasks, and no prospect will be left to slip through the cracks.
If You can’t Do it, Hire Someone to Do it.
What does that mean? It’s very simple. Don’t try and do everything yourself. If you aren’t a great seller, hire an outstanding salesperson. Try having one person organizing leads and setting appointments, have a sales representative who can build rapport, and have someone to be your closer.
You have to understand the hard work that goes into sales prospecting. Small Businesses are tight with their money. You have to be able to sell yourself as an agency and accept that it will be a challenge. By having each employee focus on one role you’re allowing them to excel in that position, and in turn that means good things for your agency.
That’s all folks!
Though your sales prospecting routine may be comfortable, these tips are meant to encourage you to change up routine and try something new! Every team will have a unique prospecting plan that works for them, so test out a mix of techniques from this list and discover what’s best for yours.