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14 Sales Prospecting Techniques That Work
Here are the Top 5 Sales Prospecting Methods:
As the top method of prospecting emerging in the last 15 years, inbound prospecting has enjoyed the lion’s share of attention from marketers. In our estimation, it’s worth the hype; when done correctly, inbound marketing and prospecting tactics can significantly improve your marketing outcomes without the ongoing investment.
With a well-constructed marketing plan in place, the support of solid content and offers, and good funnel construction and marketing automation, the investment you make in inbound can return consistent dividends over the long haul.
Social Media Outreach
The rise of social media has given marketers unprecedented access to their audience. Over 50% of revenue is influenced by social selling, according to research by LinkedIn.
- Facebook: The first major social media platform to provide avenues for marketers, Facebook continues to provide opportunities for businesses from SMBs and solopreneurs to enterprise companies and major corporations to get in front of an audience. With nearly 5 billion active monthly users, if you’re looking for your audience, you’re likely to find them there.
- LinkedIn: If you’re looking to connect with either the B2B market, using LinkedIn as a marketing and research tool is an excellent option. With a pool of 660 million users as of 2020, the potential to reach a market in this professional social network can’t be overstated.
- Twitter: While this short-form social platform has a vibe and an audience all its own, Twitter provides the opportunity to directly connect with fans and engage with followers in a meaningful way. Many companies are employing Twitter as a quick-form method of answering customer questions in real-time (Jetblue and other companies excel at this) and even use the platform as a frontline of customer support.
- Instagram—This Facebook-owned visual platform is so much more than a place to share pictures. Savvy B2C and B2B marketers are leveraging the power of Insta to tell stories, create product placement opportunities, and take their brand marketing to the next level. Consumers are responding to this visual selling revolution: over 1 billion monthly users frequent the site.
Consider using the most powerful and oft-overlooked sources of new business as part of your marketing efforts. While only 26% of non-top-performing sales professionals regularly solicit referrals from their current clients and customers, this practice is the bread and butter of top performers.
Referrals are a winner for everyone: they bring in more follow-on sales with little groundwork and make it easy for customers to adopt your product or service the way they prefer. This works better if your stakeholders are higher up in the organization, where decision-makers rely heavily upon referrals for security and speed in their buying decisions.
Taking things to the (physical or virtual) “streets’ is an excellent way to expand awareness of your product or service. Networking opportunities abound. Whether participating in tradeshows and conferences, keynote and teaching opportunities, professional organization and promotional events, in-person and virtual networking opportunities can give you the chance to get in front of a variety of decision-makers and influencers to discuss your product or service in a warm atmosphere. They can be highly effective, with nearly three out of four attendees saying that the face-time aspect of a networking event makes them more likely to buy the products or services on offer, according to an Event Marketing Institute report.
Outbound Marketing and Outreach
Pounding the pavement may seem more labor-intensive than some of the other methods described in this post, but outbound marketing such as cold emailing and cold-calling are still two of the highest-rated methods of conducting prospecting and keeping the pipeline filled out.
Over the last 20 years, cold emailing has become common practice for most outbound teams, and an entire suite of tools and platforms have risen to help marketers make the most of their efforts. However, with this widespread adoption comes a backside of fatigue, so marketers who employ this method need to be sure they’re adhering to best practices.
When you think of a salesperson, you’ll often picture someone with a fair amount of hustle making 20 calls a day trying to put together a deal. This is for good reason: over 40% of marketers still consider phone calls to be their number one tool in the kit. While the response rate for cold-calling is low, for high-ticket or complex products and services, getting on the phone with a stakeholder is the crucial first step in moving to close.
14 of the Best Sales Prospecting Techniques
1.Send a Surprise
Since 73% of consumers rate experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions, give your prospects a unique and memorable human experience by standing out and finding original ways to build new connections along the sales cycle. Instead of a standard email, try sending them an UberEats gift card, and ask if they’d be willing to meet over a quick Zoom lunch. Or, have a handwritten note delivered to introduce yourself, your company, and the ways your product or service can alleviate some of their greatest pain points.
2. Make Cold Calls
We know it’s not everyone’s favorite part of the job—in fact, over 60% of sales reps say it’s their least favorite part—but given the potential effectiveness of this habit, it’s well worth consistently engaging cold prospects in an attempt to get them down the funnel. Calling is unique in that it’s a direct, one-to-one conversation with your potential customer. But good calling techniques are crucial: they must be well-crafted and personalized. Employ the research you’ve done and make real connections with your prospect, and the call won’t be cold for long.