Prospecting is the lifeline to your sales organization. It keeps leads coming in, and deals closing. Investing in your sales prospecting strategies will help your team regularly hit quotas, and keep a competitive edge.
Help your sales reps improve prospecting strategies with these fourteen ways to freshen up their approach.
1. Define Your Target
If your organization doesn’t already have a clear definition of your target leads or buyer personas, this is the crucial first step to providing reps with the clearest path to improve prospecting. Instead of casting a wide net and crossing their fingers, they can take a very targeted approach by zoning in on specific types of leads or personas.
2. Get the Messaging Right
Each of your sales reps should be projecting the same message about your business. Take extra effort to make sure your team has a consistent message and that they are conveying the right information to potential clients. Confusing prospects before they even enter the sales cycle is a sure way to decrease the chance of closing a deal.
3. Use Storytelling
People remember stories over facts. While your sales reps should always be ready with data, it’s important that they tap into the emotional side of selling too. Help them develop stories that help prospects visualize where they could be with your product.
4. Use Time Blocking Strategies
Your sales reps may have the best intentions about prospecting, but it all comes down to time. Coach them on time blocking strategies, and implement team-wide schedules that block off a specific time each day or week dedicated to prospecting. Time blocking will increase results, and decrease excuses.
5. Ask for Referrals
Remind your reps that they don’t always have to start from scratch when they’re looking for new customers. Have them create a referral campaign where they email and call existing clients asking for new connections. They could even offer an incentive for referrals that convert.
6. Create Great Content
Quality content can help your sales reps draw in new prospects. Publishing topics that are relevant to your target audiences is a smart way to catch their attention in a less pushy way. Add a piece of gated content at the end of articles online and turn casual readers into qualified leads.
7. Get Social
Sales reps are taking over social media as a new form of prospecting. Use your audience definition to determine which social channels will be most relevant (think Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram), and then have your reps get social. They should publish relevant posts to establish themselves and industry thought leaders, and then start connecting with target accounts.
8. Use Personalization
In a world where nearly everything is personalized, your reps should be creating a customized experience for each potential prospect. Personalize communications and content with names and relevant business information. Prospects will feel a greater sense of importance, and typically move through the sales funnel faster.
9. Automate When Possible
Prospecting takes time. Use technology and sales systems to help reps automate processes when they can. Save email templates and popular communications so they can be sent with one click, versus reinventing the wheel every time.
10. Set Clear Guidelines
Implement processes and rules that guide your reps on how to handle each lead. Do they know how much time to spend on a prospect before giving up? Do they know the right number of emails to send in a given time period? Improve efficiency by removing confusion and laying out the rules of the road.
11. Listen to New Ideas
You’ve been in the game for a while. Your reps may have fresh, creative new ideas on prospecting leads differently than you have before. Don’t shut them down. Listen to new approaches, new technology opportunities, and trending tactics to keep your team competitive.
If you’re a LearnCore customer, challenge your reps to record a new Pitch IQ and share their own prospecting tips and strategies. Not only will your whole team benefit but reps can always reference the videos for continued learning and the exercise could help generate even more ideas.
12. Follow Up
All the time your reps spend dedicated to prospecting can be completely worthless if they don’t follow up. Coach your reps on the importance of checking in and staying on top of mind with potential prospects. Sales reps that follow up, and do it quickly, are the ones that close deals.
Take the time to analyze what prospecting strategies are working. If some tactics have never returned any meaningful leads, reevaluate whether you need to adjust your strategy, or scrap them entirely. If some activities are bringing in great leads, invest more time and resources into ramping them up.
Your team needs to continuously improve prospecting strategies to stay competitive and keep your sales funnel flowing. Use the strategies above to give your approach a refresh and keep tactics relevant.