All of the potential customers you want to sell to are your prospects and they make up the foundation of your team's pipeline. So if your prospects are the people your sales and marketing teams target, prospecting is the process of reaching out to those prospect lists.
Prospecting is so important to the sales process and not having a strategy for it is setting yourself up for failure. Let's walk through what it takes to get the process right so your sales teams are set up for success.
Prospecting doesn't matter if you don't start with the right Ideal Customer Profile or ICP. To get the ICP correct, you need to know the pain points to address and speak to that for each prospect. Once that first critical step is addressed, sales reps need a system to drive their outbound prospecting effectively. This could include cold calls, email templates, and automated campaigns. The goal of the prospecting process is to speak to the right people and nurture them into the sales funnel.
To do this well, there are a lot of prospecting techniques and prospecting methods to consider. Let's take a minute to consider our favorite for B2B sales.
While there are a lot of platforms that are great for prospecting, LinkedIn is one of the best platforms no matter what you're selling. The following are three things to master that first touch that's so important in prospecting:
1. Don't Connect Right Away, Try Following
A personalized note is helpful you're connecting with a new prospect, but they're not always received well. If you're failing to connect consider trying to follow and engage with your prospects first. This builds a rapport and warms up people to the idea of connecting with you.
2. Check out LinkedIn Groups and Live Events
Networking in groups and at live events is one of the best sales hacks when using LinkedIn. If you start prospecting where your ICP is, you're going to find more success. In both situations, you can send direct messages to prospects at no cost to you. This can be a powerful way to drive new business.
Personalization is the best way to approach your outbound prospecting efforts. The success account-based marketing and sales have had with personalization has helped make the case for making personalization standard for any sales organization.
The first messages you send no matter what prospecting strategies you use are the most important to get right. You might be able to guess but sending an immediate sales pitch never works. The best sales professionals follow some of these following sales prospecting tips for outreach
Leverage your Sales Prospecting Tools Effectively
Tools like Poseidon are meant to make the lives of sales managers and their reps. Prospecting in sales is hard but you're empowered with tools to make that easier and to close more deals. Poseidon gives you the ability to automate the most time-consuming processes and let you focus on doing research and getting to know your prospects so you can leave the right first impression.
Research means Better Prospecting and Better Sales Calls
It's important to start with a strong ICP and know the buyer persona. But if you don't know each prospect personally, your messages are going to fall flat. Doing research on prospects is so important to the sales development process. Spend some time in your prospect's world and make sure that your every prospect feels like you know them.
We've talked about first messages, and outreach, but the most important thing is closing a deal. Prospecting is important in getting people to the purchasing decision because it's how you prep prospects for the entire sales cycle. If their prospecting efforts go well, then your leads won't feel like they're being pressured into an uncomfortable buying situation.
This means organizations need to take their prospecting strategy seriously. It can be time consuming to get right, but effective prospecting makes the whole sales cycle better.