Prospecting is one of the most important stages of the sales process- and yet it still remains as one of the more difficult ones, especially when you want to decrease your sales cycle stages for quick revenue growth.
In fact, in a certain report, it states that 42 percent of salespersons named prospecting as the most challenging stages of the sales process.
But why is it so challenging?
Well, this is because; prospecting as an activity is never as thrilling as closing a deal. Hence it is mostly postponed for when the “other important things” are done.
However, without a sales pipeline filled with excellent leads, no other fresh sales are going to happen. This is the reason why it is so important to understand that it is prospecting which kick-starts sales and ascertains to a lot extent, whether or not a deal is going to be closed in time.
Over here the logic and math are simple:
The more prospects you have the more chances you find to decrease your sales cycle and close a sale, as each prospect equals an open opportunity.
Now, even though traditionally speaking, it was always the marketing teams that had been entrusted with generating leads for sales, however, it necessarily does not mean that sales reps should abort their own prospecting efforts and only wait for sales qualified leads to pour in.
Therefore, sales reps still have to embrace ways for prospecting and harvesting self-generated leads.
There is another more fact that you need to acknowledge about prospecting- leads will not just fall on your lap, and so you got to take actions for something to happen like book a consistent time in your work-calendar to prospect every day, which will go a long way in making sure that this important activity happens on a regular day-to-day basis.
Therefore here are 5 trending tips on sales prospecting, which is one of the most time-consuming and challenging tasks that sales face for finding potential customers who will convert quickly and are the right fit for their offering(s).
1. Create an ideal prospect profile
Take some time to discover what your ideal customer’s profiles look like after doing research on the information stored in your CRM database.
Find out who are your major customers, who are the worst customers, who are your most profitable customers or which customers are least profitable and thereafter create a profile for each of these groups.
Never assume that just because a customer is there in your easy to use CRM database they fit your brand’s ideal customer profile.
In fact, it has been found in a new study that more than 50 percent of your prospects are not fit for whatever you are offering to your customers.
If you are doing an ABM (Account-Based Marketing) and once you have completed the homework, use the profile list and also your existing company list in your easy to use CRM to find other businesses that match your existing company’s profiles which will help your sales to focus on the bigger catches in the sea.
2. Actively work on your call lists
You have got the warm lead list, cold call list, and even list of lost leads in your CRM database.
Therefore, prioritize each list and find out time each day to call the people in the lists after writing down a list of questions for all the prospects in your database.
Never underestimate the power of phone calls. In recent research, it was found that 67 percent of consumers accepted calls from new sales reps within the last one year and 27 percent of sellers declared that establishing phone calls to new contacts is extremely effective for decreasing the sales cycle stages that bring quick revenue growth.
Hence while making your calls learn about the needs and wishes, pain points, and most importantly where your leads are in their sales cycle and decision-making processes, since if you can uphold an interesting conversation the act of qualifying leads tend to become a lot more easier which in turn boosts conversion and sales growth.
3. Send personalized emails
Never think that email marketing as a sales tool is dead.
Since in reality, it is just the opposite as email marketing using an enterprise-level CRM tool or Salesforce Alternative CRM software solutions for SMBs is alive and kicking, as more than 80 percent of buyers say that they prefer to be contacted by brands via email, as stated in a study published by Rain Group.
Nevertheless what is really dying as we speak is mass or bulk email, as with 26 percent higher open rates than bulk emailing, personalized emails are now on the run.
Therefore, after primarily ensuring that the contents in your emails are customized and tailored to each prospect’s needs, your first task is to astonish your leads on how much you are aware of their company, and thereafter make sure that the contents are specifically addressed to your prospect’s needs.
Additionally, to make your leads open and read your emails, ensure that your personalized emails look well on handheld mobile devices, as in the modern times even more than half of all emails sent are opened on Smartphone(s), and so emails that are mobile-optimized receives 15 percent higher click-through rates than those that are not.
4. Ask for referrals
Nothing can be more beneficial for any business than having happy customers since customers who are happy with your offerings spread the happy word.
According to research, more than 91 percent of B2B buyers are influenced by word-of-mouth when they make their purchasing decisions, and hence in the B2B landscape, referral-based sales closing ratio stands in between 50 to 70 percent.
Hence ask your existing customers for referrals, since the truth remains that only 40 percent of salespeople do so.
Now, if you are not sure when to ask for referrals, the best time to ask for a referral is just after the sale is made as this is when according to research more than 83 percent of customers would remain happy to make a referral for your brand.
Therefore share whitepapers, send an invitation to events, or email other contents that you think would be valuable for your customers, just to make sure that your brand stays on top of your customer’s minds, which can also help decrease the sales cycle stages of your company.
5. Build your social media presence
If you are still unsure, let us assure you that social media is not a fad, but is really here to stay.
Per se, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and other similar social media websites are channels that your potential purchasers visit to know more about your offerings.
Now, according to social selling statistics as more than 91 percent of B2B buyers are presently involved and active in social media, and more than 65 percent of sales reps use social media to fill their sales pipelines, therefore, if you have not created your social profile, do it immediately as social media presence adds to your prospecting arsenal, without replacing your other prospecting activities.
Finally- Follow up, follow up, and do more follow up
It can be concluded by stating that as your fruits of labor normally do not show up on the very first contact with your leads, timely follow-ups are an excellent means to build up relationships and demonstrate trustworthiness and your determination for selling to your prospective customers.
Therefore, use Sales Force Automation in your CRM to set follow-up reminders with your prospects as according to research it has been found that you always have 21 percent more chance to find a reply to your second email if the first email goes unanswered.
Therefore let us begin our journey for B2B prospecting right from here, after reading this blog, as it is high time that sales reps and businesses must start paying attention to their buyers, leveraging their contents, and understand who their buyers are and what all they need for decreasing their sales cycle stages and providing your brand a rapid business growth.