Prospecting is the topmost priority of all sales leaders and agents. Whether it is new customer acquisition or existing account retention, in either case, prospecting is the foundation for better results in lead management and account management. And hence, for any organization to thrive under the current hyper-competitive state of things, Good Sales Prospecting is a Must.
In what follows are eight lessons for creating a robust prospecting culture in the sales process. Read and include them in your sales process to create more value for your customers than ever before.
1. Change the mindset about prospecting – Let’s face it: Not many of the sales reps get excited hearing the term: prospecting. What all of us want are highly qualified prospects who have the need and the budget to readily buy the product/service. But then, how much of these qualified prospects do we actually get? In 90% of cases, the prospects that get forwarded from the marketing team need proper coaxing.
So when there’s no excuse but to do sales prospecting – why not do it enjoyably?
Look for best sales tools like a cloud based CRM application. Browse through the many small business CRM applications available and invest in the Cloud CRM software that gives you the much-needed assistance in sales prospecting.
Result: Sales prospecting will not be tedious and labor intensive any more. CRM cloud software will diligently handle most of the sales prospecting tasks, making thing easy for the sales reps.
Tip: To get the ball rolling, sales managers can first start using the cloud CRM software for prospecting.
This will show to their sales teams:
- Prospecting is now everyone’s top priority
- CRM cloud software actually eases the whole task of prospecting with inbuilt modules like sales force automation.
Gradually sales managers can reorganize the entire sales process to support this goal.
2. Avoid any slippage in Prospecting – Prospecting is all about discipline. However, considering that most of the sales reps do not enjoy prospecting, they put off these activities in favor of other activities.
Result: Soon they fall far behind that makes them lose prospects and customers in high volumes.
Use cloud CRM solution to schedule, map and track daily activities of each sales rep. Define a sales process in the Cloud based CRM software and ensure that all sales reps commit to this schedule.
Result: After a few days, the sales rep will automatically get into the rhythm of prospecting. All the sales prospecting duties will be accomplished and the improvement will show up in good lead management and account management.
3. Measure the Prospecting Activities – Use cloud CRM solution for effective monitoring and management of prospecting activities. Make it a habit for all your sales reps to log into the cloud CRM solution and state all the prospecting activities done.
Meticulously monitor these activities to link back any good results or skill gaps that need to be corrected for better prospecting ROI.
4. Nurture the Targeted Prospects – Connect with the prospects at an early stage of customer lifecycle. Let’s say involve your sales reps into the process of sending messages to the prospects. (The most important but undervalued aspect of effective Lead Management and Account Management)
Use cloud CRM solution sales force automation module and send a series of targeted emails, to quickly get prospects’ attention. Share relevant informational content that makes the customers not look at you as pushy sales reps.
5. Make quick follow-up – Once the leads come into the sales pipeline, prospecting call should happen immediately. Calling within 24 hours or sooner is ideal. This gives sales reps the perfect opportunity to build a good rapport with the lead or prospect and make them sales qualified (if they are not).
However, things are not that easy as they seem to be. According to experts’ opinion, this is the most difficult part of the prospecting cycle, considering the high possibility of the prospect saying no.
However, that doesn’t mean the end of the road. For instance – experts suggest 89% customers say “no” 5-7 times before they say “yes,” So if you don’t get a “yes” on the first call, that doesn’t mean stop. Take the first call as the learning process which you can use to call back the next time.
We suggest: train your sales reps categorically for the first follow-up call and a well-crafted elevator pitch. Hearing ‘No’ a couple of times should not deter their confidence and make them scratch the prospect off the list.
If the prospects aren’t getting qualified after repeated endeavors, they should be transferred back from the sales process to Marketing for ongoing nurturing programs.