Business-to-business (B2B) sales prospecting is a process that requires a lot of time, effort, and energy. You are constantly trying to find new leads and reach out to them in the hopes of converting them into customers. And even when you do manage to get in touch with a potential customer, there is no guarantee they will be interested in what you have to say. In fact, most prospects will likely ignore your emails or calls altogether. So, how can you improve B2B sales prospecting? From building a strong list of leads to personalizing your outreach, there are several things you can do to increase return on your time and resources you have invested.
What is Sales Prospecting?
Sales prospecting is the process of finding and qualifying potential customers for your product or service. It typically involves research, outreach, and follow-up communication. The difference between lead generation and sales prospecting is in the sales funnel. Lead generation nudges buyers toward your sales funnel, while sales prospecting seeks to move them from awareness to consideration.
To find potential customers who are interested in what you have to offer and who are likely to buy from you, B2B companies should be using powerful datasets and dashboards to access the right people at the right organizations at the right time.
For example, a company seeking new business by expanding into a new geographic market could buy a lead list. Once they have the list, they could open a funnel of outbound lead nurture tactics, including cold calling, direct mail, and email marketing. To do sales prospecting effectively, however, you need to understand your target market and what they are looking for. You need to find not only the right decision makers, but also the people who influence the decision-makers. You need to have a solid plan for how you will reach out to prospects and what your sales teams will say when they connect with the prospects. And finally, you need to track your progress and measure your results.
How do B2B suppliers and vendors do better lead prospecting? By leveraging sales enablement tools that collect data from disparate sources to create powerful datasets that connect them the right types of companies in the right location at the right times.
How Data Is Changing Sales Prospecting
As the world increasingly runs on data, sales prospecting is changing. No longer can salespeople rely on cold-calling potential customers and hope for the best. Now, they must be armed with data in order to succeed.
The good news is that there are more data sources to support your sales strategy available than ever before. The bad news is that this data is often spread out across different platforms and can be difficult to access and analyze.
Sales prospecting requires a new approach in order to be effective in the modern world. Here are three ways that data is changing sales prospecting:
1. Data is more accessible than ever: With the rise of cloud-based storage and CRM platforms, data is more accessible than ever before. Salespeople no longer have to rely on their memory or paper records to track down information about potential customers. Instead, they can quickly and easily access customer information from anywhere in the world.
2. Data is more actionable than ever: In the past, salespeople would receive data about potential customers and then have to make educated guesses about how to best use that information. But now, with advances in data analysis, salespeople can receive data-driven recommendations about the best way to approach each potential customer.
3. Data is more important than ever: With the increased accessibility and actionability of data, it has become clear that data is more important than ever before in sales prospecting. Salespeople who are not using data to inform their decisions are at a serious disadvantage.
The bottom line is that data is changing sales prospecting. In order to be successful, salespeople must embrace this change and use data to their advantage.
Sales Prospecting Tools
How are sales and business development teams using data to shift from lead generation to sales prospecting?
There are a lot of different sales prospecting tools on the market, so it’s important to choose the right one for your business. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a sales prospecting tool:
1. Make sure the tool integrates with your customer relationship management (CRM) software. A good sales prospecting tool will integrate with your CRM software so that all your data is in one place. This will make it easier to track your progress and manage your leads.
2. Choose a tool that offers lead management features. A good sales prospecting tool will offer features like lead capture forms and automatic lead assignment so that you can quickly and easily add new leads to your system.
3. Select a tool with robust reporting capabilities. A good sales prospecting tool will offer detailed reports so that you can track your progress and see which activities are generating the most results.
4. Look for a tool with a built-in dialer. A good sales prospecting tool will have a built-in dialer so that you can quickly call leads without having to use a separate phone system.
5. Choose a tool that is easy to use. You will be using this tool every day, so it has got to be intuitive and fast. Many tools allow you to test them before you commit to buying it, and I recommend doing that. As much as you might dread “decision by committee,” when choosing a new sales enablement tool, it is best to form a small committee that represents all levels of users, so you can get a realistic take.
Image credit: Pexels