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3 Sales Prospecting Techniques to Turbo-Charge Your Selling

By December 23, 2022No Comments

If you work in sales, you already know how important sales prospecting is to hitting your quota and growing your book of business. But how much do you know about the right prospecting techniques? With the right sales prospecting methods, you can: Identify the prospects most likely to become long-term customers Facilitate meaningful communication and push prospects through the sales funnel Close more deals in less time In this article, we’ll cover three of the most effective sales prospecting techniques you can use now to get these benefits. Quick recap: What is sales prospecting? Sales prospecting is the process of identifying relevant potential customers or buyers, adding them to your sales funnel, qualifying them against certain criteria, and nurturing qualified leads until they’re ready to convert into paying customers. Before you start using these or any other sales prospecting methods, you should define your ideal customer profile or ICP. Who is my ICP? Your ICP represents your company’s perfect customer profile, and it’s who your salespeople should target when searching for prospects. When defining who your ICP is, you’ll want to start by considering some basic demographic information, such as: Industry Company size Region of operation This is a good start. However, if you want the ability to identify prospects that are truly ideal, you’ll need to dig deeper. Here are some additional points to consider: 6 Key Factors for Prospecting The more criteria you set, the better positioned you’ll be to identify the most relevant prospects and weed out the irrelevant ones. However, only the most sophisticated sales prospecting tools give you this insight. Without the right tools, you’ll need to invest a lot of time and energy investigating each of your prospects to see if they’re the right fit. For example, understanding the web traffic a company is receiving compared to their market, can give you an idea about how they stack up against their overall market in one area. It can also reveal challenges and pain points they might have. All of this information will be useful in seeing the value you can offer. 3 Sales prospecting techniques that drive revenue 1. Be selective with your sales process Salespeople often believe that by casting a wide net, they can increase their chances of finding relevant leads and converting more customers. Unfortunately, this approach doesn’t work. While relevant leads may be mixed in among your “catch,” this outreach approach is bound to clutter your sales team’s CRM with a stack of irrelevant leads. You don’t want just any company to become your customer. A prospect’s willingness to pay doesn’t qualify them. When it comes to your sales prospecting efforts, quality is definitely more important than quantity. Your sales team will be much better off pursuing a smaller group of highly vetted prospects than cold calling a large group of irrelevant ones. The truth is, you don’t want just any company to become your customer. A prospect’s willingness to pay doesn’t qualify them. Every product or service is designed for a particular customer or user, which means it won’t be a good fit for those who don’t fall into this group. When your sales prospecting techniques are more selective, you’ll increase the likelihood that your prospects will convert, avoid churning, and become long-term customers. So, how should you do this? Clearly define your ICP Every company’s ICP is different. Even two competing companies that sell a similar product will have unique ICPs. That’s because your ICP must also account for your business strategy and goals, in addition to the user profile. For example, imagine your company sells a customer support platform to eCommerce companies. Your ICP might share some basic attributes with those of your competitors – like industry, or the size of the customer support team that would be using the software. However, you’ll likely have different business goals than your competitors, such as markets you operate in, monthly revenue, the average volume of support requests, and the current tech stack. By taking the time to spell out exactly which kinds of companies you want to convert, you’ll gain a crystal clear image of which companies will make the best prospects. Any company that doesn’t fit your criteria should be left out. The more data points you have in this process to understand your ICP the more effective your sales prospecting methods will be. Evaluate their need, authority, budget, and timing These are additional criteria that you’ll learn about prospects once you begin to qualify them. You’ll want to use this information to finally decide whether or not to pursue this prospect, and if yes, whether they’re the best point-of-contact in the company. Need, or whether the prospect can actually benefit from your product or service Authority, or whether the contact is a decision-maker when it comes to products or services their company buys Budget, or how much money the company is willing to spend on your product or service Timing, or when the prospect could close the deal Analyzing each gives you even greater clarity into the viability of each possible deal. Get the complete guide to sales signals First Name Last Name Work Email 55-5555555 Company Name Company Website SimilarWeb may send you information about our product and services. For more information, check out our Terms Of Use and Privacy Policy. Already have an account? Login 2. Don’t focus too much on selling Next, we’ll dive into building relationships. Of course, your end goal in any sales process is to close a deal. However, you can be even more effective and successful in this pursuit if you focus on tactics that help you provide valuable advice, rather than aggressive selling tactics. Once you’ve identified the right prospects and developed a strong, beneficial, and trusting relationship with them, it becomes so much easier to convert them into new business. That’s because the decision to close the deal comes from an authentic understanding of the benefits and value that both you and your product bring. Consultative selling Consultative selling is when sales professionals position themselves as trusted and credible sources of information and advice that prospects can use to improve their business outcomes. The types of advice that salespeople often cover when practicing consultative selling include how prospects can: Simplify their work or make their life easier Make a greater impact or exceed their business goals Better understand the competition and gain an edge Improve their product or service for their customers Improve their reputation, credibility, or standing in their market How do you do it? If you want to assume the position of a trusted advisor, you need to be qualified to be one. Already have years of experience in your prospects’ industry? You might understand enough to be qualified already. If not, it’s crucial to do research to understand the challenges, needs, pain points, goals, and trends that affect them and their business. Insights – backed by data – are the key to building credibility. (After all, your advice won’t mean much to a stranger without some proof to back it up.) Consider a B2B sales scenario and imagine you’re selling payment solutions. If you can show your prospect that more and more 18-34 year olds visit their website every month – and that these consumers are 40% more likely to buy if they’re offered a payment solution like yours – then you’re bound to get their attention. Consultative Selling 2 Or perhaps you’re a logistics company offering cross-border shipping services. An insight showing your prospect that 20% of their web visitors come from overseas would make services like yours instantly attractive. With the right tools, you’ll be able to find some one-liners, stats or graphs to make your prospect sit up and listen – while positioning yourself as a thought leader in the process. Learn more about enriching your sales prospecting methods with these types of insights in the “Gear up for successful prospecting” section below. Transform relationships into deals After you’ve had meaningful discussions, demonstrated you can provide real value, offered actionable advice, and provided insights and data they can use themselves, you’re ready to close the deal. By this point, the process of converting a prospect into a customer will be the natural progression of your relationship. All that’s left is to negotiate the terms and price. 3. Ask for referrals When people are constantly flooded with social media ads, and messages on LinkedIn or Facebook designed to get us to buy something, word-of-mouth recommendations from trusted friends or colleagues can go a long way. If your prospect or customer knows another potential future customer for you, ask them to introduce you. Forming new connections based on trusted referrals helps the new prospect form a better first impression. Knowing that their friend or colleague trusts you will help them trust you too. People are used to automation, algorithms, cold calling, cold emailing, and ​email templates – and in many cases, they’re tired of them too. Forming new connections based on trusted referrals helps the new prospect form a better first impression. Knowing that their friend or colleague trusts you will help them trust you too. What’s more, when your customer or prospect recommends you to someone else, they’re likely to do some of the preliminary education for you. For example, if your customer tells their friend – a VP at another company – why they love your product, they’re likely to explain how it’s helped them achieve greater success. Then, from your first outreach to the new prospect, they’ll already understand the value you offer and automatically see you as more credible. That makes this easily one of the most powerful sales prospecting techniques. Know the right time to ask Asking for referrals prematurely could backfire, so it’s important to be able to gauge when the time is right. For example, it’s unlikely that a prospect would organically refer you to their friends or colleagues if they haven’t yet experienced the value you promise. The best time to ask a prospect if they know anyone else who would be relevant to speak to is after they have converted or when they are close to converting. If they’re already a customer and have experience using your product or service, they can provide more authentic recommendations. Or if they’re not yet a customer, but have been in talks with you for several weeks or months, your prospect should still have a deep understanding of the value you offer. Gear up for successful prospecting Best-in-class sales prospecting methods need best-in-class sales tools, so it’s worth exploring modern sales intelligence platforms to find one that will lead you to the right opportunities. Having exclusive access to current web traffic data gives you full visibility into prospects’ digital strategy, performance, and competitive landscape. Similarweb Sales Intelligence allows you to take a data-driven approach to sales prospecting, act as a trusted consultant, and close more deals. With Lead Generator, you can quickly find new and suitable prospects for your business and use data to better understand them. Then, with Insights Generator, you can identify compelling sales signals to increase their motivation and urgency to buy.


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