‘B2B Prospecting’ is an important part of the sales process, as it helps develop the pipeline of potential customers available. Sales prospecting involves identifying potential customers (aka prospects), by developing a database of qualified leads and then systematically communicating with them to generate sales.
Prospecting is focused on getting the customer through the first two stages: Attention and Interest. The end goal is getting a potential customer to say, “I’d like to learn more about your services or products..”
Just pushing your products or services in the market and forcing people to buy doesn’t help. Doing so you miss on the opportunity to become a trusted advisor, which can lead to even greater sales. Focus on developing a relationship with prospects and understanding their needs. It’s also important to target contacts at the right level in the companies you’re working with. When selling a relatively complex solution, many people will be involved in the process. Reaching out to not only the people who will be using or implementing your solution but also people who control the budgets, is essential.
So, after understanding why prospecting is so important; now let’s look for the Top prospecting ideas or strategies that can help you to build the audience.
When you’re preparing to make a large purchase whether it be a house or a car, don’t you love getting a recommendation from someone you trust? With the big-ticket sales going on in the B2B world, referrals are even more important. In fact, according to a study, 80 percent of B2B decision-makers start the purchasing process due to a referral. And sales leaders agree: Referrals close 70 percent faster and have a 59 percent higher lifetime value.
Some mind-blowing stats:
- 71% of B2Bs report higher conversion rates from referrals than other customers.
- 69% of companies with referral programs say that referrals take less time to close than other leads.
If your business doesn’t currently have a referral program in place, it’s time to build one.
2. Social Media Engagement.
In today’s digital world, it’s difficult to find someone who doesn’t engage on social media no matter what demographic they are in. Almost 60% of the total world’s population has access to some form of the social media channel.
Social media is a great tool in the sales process to build your reputation and easily and quickly display the services that you provide. Your own social media profiles may provide the validation a prospect needs to move forward. Most importantly, remember that you are prospecting actual people.
The more activity that you present on social media, the more authentic you become when reaching out to prospects through the same platforms you use daily.
To be successful in connecting and engaging with prospects through social media, you have to show that you can present the services and value you provide on the different social media networks you’re using.
3. Trade Shows and Events.
When it comes to prospecting strategies, there are countless tactics and strategies available to modern-day businesses. No matter how many online strategies dominate today’s b2b world, Events and Trade shows still continue to be a tried-and-true solution for B2B prospecting and it’s only continuing to grow.
Organizing or attending B2B Trade shows and Events is important because decision-makers are often very hard to reach through digital channels. B2B events offer a unique setting that brings together many decision-makers at the same location. The possibility to build many relationships in such a short period of time is hard to achieve through other marketing channels.
- An overwhelming majority of C-Suite executives (87%) believe in the power of live events and plan on investing in them more in the future. (Endless Events, 2018)
- Studies suggest that over 90% of CEOs believe the events channel is an effective way to create brand awareness, deepen relationships and accelerate opportunities. (ZiffDavisB2B)
4. Social Selling.
Social selling is the process of developing relationships as part of the sales process.
In recent times, the term social selling or social sale has gained special relevance, a technique that has brought about a change in the paradigm of traditional sales strategies. It allows maximizing online sales of a certain business thanks to optimizing presence in social networks. It’s secret lies in selling and prospecting using social networks without directly promoting any product.
Social selling has become one of the most important selling and prospecting technique and experts increasingly give more importance to this strategy because applying it in a precise manner reinforces the entire sales process.
5. Email Campaigns.
A prospecting email is an outreach email a salesperson sends to a potential customer, or ‘prospect,’ to introduce themselves, their business, and how they can help their prospect. The goal of the email is to lead with a value proposition or benefit they can offer the prospect and to secure a meeting over the phone, video, or in-person to discuss the prospect’s needs further.
Prospecting emails are also sometimes referred to as “cold emails” if they’re sent to a recipient the salesperson has never interacted with. While sometimes cold emails are unavoidable, it’s best to send outreach or prospecting emails to recipients who are familiar with you or your business in some way.
Creating a strong email marketing strategy helps you reach and connect with your target audience in a personalized way and increase sales at an affordable cost. The benefits of email marketing are clear. From increased prospecting and sales to better brand awareness.
6. Cold Calling.
Again… Cold Calling is not dead… It’s dead only for those who do not like doing it.
Cold calling has a very specific purpose: to have a human-to-human interaction with your prospects. Often, this purpose is forgotten – not because it’s unimportant, but because most salespeople don’t like doing it. As a matter of fact, telemarketing and cold calling remain an important discipline to apply to any sales role.
Prospecting via phone calls remains a great complement to your overall appointment setting and lead generation activities. The most important point about cold calling here is, it’s a cost and time-efficient method of targeted, human-to-human lead generation.
It’s agreed that Cold calls may not be well received sometimes but for people genuinely interested and looking for products and services, it can be a great opportunity to interact with the genuine prospects and cut short the lead gen process.
The phone is the human touch of your lead nurturing program, and thus every opportunity including cold calling to a potential customer should be treated with great respect. Each time you pick up the phone, whether it be the first call or subsequent calls, it’s important to create value by giving your prospects useful information in digestible, bite-sized chunks.
7. Joining Target Groups.
Take full advantage of Groups on different social media platforms – whether it be LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram.
Joining Groups also gives you access to a larger audience of searchable contacts i.e. your fellow Group members. You can conduct advanced sales prospecting searches using targeted keywords, company functions, seniority, and additional filters.
Find prospects by conducting advanced searches based on your targeted keywords. And once you find quality prospects and start conversations with them, don’t stop there. Go back into the same Group and keep going. Target other group members who are similar to the prospect(s) you are finding success with.
Like social selling in general, it’s important to maintain a positive, helpful reputation within LinkedIn Groups as well.
Webinars are still an easy and quick way of prospecting by educating large audiences, especially when attendees are located in completely different cities or even countries. However, webinars also provide businesses with a key tool for business growth, boosting brand recognition and sales.
Webinars allow businesses to engage with customers and prospects on a large scale and provide a way for businesses of any size to be themselves and build a true connection with their audience, making it much easier to build lasting relationships.
It may take a bit more time to do several webinars geared toward a specific niche, but in the long run, the benefits will outweigh the time spent to generate those leads.
Sales prospecting is crucial both to your bottom line as well as your sales organization’s ability to forecast deals coming down the pipeline. By consistently making sales prospecting a part of your day to day sales activities, your team will be well-poised to crush their number quarter after quarter.
Remember, initiating a conversation with early-stage leads, whether it’s through cold calls, emails, or social media, is instrumental in converting them to prospects.
So how are you planning to implement prospecting in your sales process? Want to improve your sales prospecting efforts? Partner with Apprise Marketing Services-AMS and see the results.
Apprise Marketing Services-AMS is leading B2B lead gen and prospecting services providing agency. AMS is the ideal solution for businesses looking to boost their B2B prospecting efforts. With AMS, B2B sales reps can gain access to a global database of millions of business profiles and companies. We can create buyer personas of their target customers, using demographic, firmographic and technographic filters.
Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at www.ams-in.com to learn more about our B2B prospecting and Lead Gen services.