What is Sales Prospecting- Dos and Don’ts

Sales prospecting

With sales conversions becoming more buyer-focused, you’ve got to get more creative when it comes to prospecting.

All About Sales Prospecting

It’s no secret that prospecting is one of the biggest challenges that marketers face today. More than 40% of marketers say this is the most challenging part of the sales process, followed by closing (36%) and qualifying (22%)

As much as you’d like to believe that your product is top-notch and new customers will magically flow into the pipeline, it’s true that prospecting requires some extra efforts and investments in the right processes, activities, and skills.

So, let’s get started.

What is Sales Prospecting? 

Sales prospecting is all about identifying potential customers for your business. But how is this different from marketing, you ask?

The main difference between prospecting and marketing is the one-to-one as opposed to the one-to-many approach. 

Most marketing activities are like fishing- you put your bait out, and you wait for interested folks to come to you. 

Sales prospectors, on the other hand, are hunters. They don’t wait for the magic to happen; they chase after it. 

Sales Prospecting is particularly important during the early stages of your business. You’re the new kid on the block. No one has ever heard of you. It’s up to you to go out of your way and make an effort to get people to know you and convince them to give you a chance. 

Leads vs Prospects 

Leads come first, sale prospects second. 

Simply put, a prospect is a qualified lead.

A lead is like raw, unprocessed data. It represents every visitor who ever showed the slightest interest in your business. They might have just come across your website and visited a few pages. They’re not stable prospects yet.

A prospect, on the other hand, is a lead that has qualified as a potential customer. They align with your targeted buyer persona. Prospects are the leads you should spend your time nurturing. They have higher chances of making a purchase and recommending you to others.

Prospecting techniques to boost your performance

At first glance, it may seem like a simple three-step process: 

  • Search for prospects
  • Reach out to them in multiple appropriate ways
  • Lastly, nurture them till you’ve convinced them to close the deal

But, when you look at these steps closely, you realize it’s not as simple.

Not all prospecting activities lead to a jackpot. Some will require you to invest a lot of time, money and energy and still leave you with an empty sales funnel.

So, when old ways of doing things no longer move the needle, it’s time to embrace the new!

So what are the rules of the game?

DOs

Define a buyer persona 

Identifying your customer persona is the ideal way to begin. Once you have a list of traits that you want your target audience to possess, it’s easier to identify & pursue leads.

You can start identifying prospects by prioritizing traits based on:

  • the size of the company you’d like to target.
  • the pain points your product can solve.
  • the industry that needs these issues solved.
  • the designation of the decision-maker that you’d like to get in touch with. 
  • the company location etc. 

Most often marketers waste a lot of time chasing unqualified leads. Thus, it is essential to build an ideal buyer persona as this will help give direction to your prospecting activities.

Get social (pays to be friendly)

More than 90% of executives admit they won’t even respond to cold calls, according to research by Hubspot. But, 78% of them make buying decisions through social media.

You want to be where trigger- ready prospects are present. 

Leverage social media to build meaningful and transparent relationships with potential customers. Refrain from hard selling. Instead, build a presence that engages followers with stories that intrigue and provide value.

Sales Prospecting social media
Make Marketing Automation your best friend

Marketing automation is the answer to the new buyer’s journey. Without it, you’re shooting aimlessly.

Automation tools that link social, content distribution, email campaigns and customer relationship management (CRM) are important in getting the right message to the right people, at the right time.

It allows marketers to implement an integrated approach to generating, nurturing and converting leads into prospects and finally into customers by automating different marketing activities to optimize the sales funnel.

DON’Ts

Overlook Personalization in Emails

Don’t assume that email, as a sales tool, is dead.

Quite the opposite. It’s alive and kicking. Email, even today, is regarded as the most effective means of communication by most of the top marketing professionals.

But, there’s one thing that’s hard to find – Personalization in emails.

Knowing your audience is important when it comes to sending emails to prospective customers. Generic emails are doomed to user’s spam folders. Personalized ones, however, improve click-through rates and have a higher chance of driving a user to take action.

It’s tempting to send out a list of your products best features, but a unique email that matches each prospect’s needs gives you a much better chance of standing out. 

Make prospecting a one-off event

If you negotiate on daily prospecting activities, closing deals will turn into a one-off event and that’s not what you want. 

It needs to be a priority. On average, salespeople make far more calls in the last month of the quarter than the first two. And the success rate of those “eleventh-hour” calls are usually lower than any other month. 

Be consistent, set aside time each day for prospecting and stick to it. Prospecting then becomes “structured” time versus something you do when you get around to it. 

Conclusion

Prospecting doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, it can be a positive experience for both marketers and prospects. Adopt the above strategies with different tools and techniques to see what works best for your team and get the most out of your prospecting time. 



Marketing Automation Or Traditional Marketing – What Is Better For Your Business And Why?

marketing automation vs traditional marketing

Businesses today are growing much faster than before. They are operating at more complex levels where reviews, ratings and word of mouth have become quite important. In fact, it’s simply remarkable how reputation can make or break a brand image. That’s why businesses are becoming more and more careful about customer service and communications with the help of marketing automation.

As a functioning business there are two popular marketing communications – marketing automation and traditional marketing. Both provide marketing solutions and seem to be similar but in reality they are quite different. 

Here, you will understand the difference to see which solution is right for your business.

marketing automation is crucial in business strategy

Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

What is marketing automation?

Marketing Automation is a set of tools that simplifies some of the most time consuming marketing and sales tasks.

Once your business has an automation strategy implemented to handle repetitive marketing tasks, you are free to tackle more significant problems and human error is reduced. An automated marketing strategy can save time and resources to drive revenue while you focus on growth.

Marketing automation allows you to implement a marketing strategy without having to manually click “send” on every message, email, social post or campaign you create. 

An effective automation tool helps you identify your target audience, create personalized content for them, trigger actions based on schedules and customer behaviour, and nurture and score your leads. 

Many companies automate repetitive marketing tasks to not only maximize efficiency but to provide a personalized experience for customers. 

Marketing automation has various benefits. See how it is crucial in business strategy. Read here.

What can marketing automation do?

Email Marketing

Email marketing automation allows you to source and compile a list of potential contacts, create campaigns and send to a whole list of people in one go, send targeted/personalized messages, onboard customers, and share both informative and promotional content that will drive both visits and revenue for your business.

Lead Management

Marketing automation helps in engaging and nurturing a potential lead and driving them towards a decision while providing a smooth customer journey right from onboarding to conversion.

Analytics and Reports

Marketing automation provides metrics, key performance indicators and generates accurate reports which allow you to analyse and tweak your marketing plans accordingly.

Social Marketing

With marketing automation you can publish, manage and track social interactions for your business. You can also identify user engagement and its frequency. Moreover, you can assign a score to your leads by lead scoring to gauge lead quality and categorize them according to their relevance with your business.

Lead Generation

Marketing automation assists in building and deploying dynamic landing pages, SEO, and automating lead scoring in order to attract new customers and boost conversions.

Landing Pages

Build attractive and relevant landing pages or embedded web forms designed to attract and convert visitors into leads.

A/B Testing

A/B split testing is one of the most essential marketing automation software features that enables companies to use advanced email segmentation to compare results and optimize the effects of their marketing strategies.

API

Marketing automation provides developer APIs which allow users to integrate them easily with their already existing software architecture.

What is traditional marketing?

Traditional marketing refers to a broad promotion strategy that involves communicating with your audience in the form of print advertisements, billboards, flyers or pamphlets, TV, newspapers, radio etc. 

No matter how brilliant the results achieved through social media, email marketing or viral marketing are, there is still a very important place carved out for the more traditional forms of marketing. 

While it is an important means of reaching people, online marketing is not the only way. Potential customers still watch television and are receptive to messages in commercials. They still read newspapers and are intrigued by advertisements. People still drive past billboards and notice the message being conveyed, they still listen to the radio in the car and hear advertisements. None of this has changed through the advent of online marketing. 

The only drawback of this type of marketing is that it provides very little interaction with your audience when compared to online marketing. 

Traditional marketing can be particularly beneficial if you’re looking to target an older generation that isn’t always as internet savvy as the millennial audience.

Which is better, marketing automation or traditional  marketing?

Marketing is a field that’s constantly evolving. This makes it necessary for businesses to alter the way and means they reach out and communicate with their customers. It’s definitely different than how they did it 5 years ago.  

Today, all sorts of marketing information constantly bombard customers. Therefore, personal messaging is now the most effective form of communication.

Marketing automation makes use of all the information gathered about the user to create a strategy. This strategy delivers the information customers are looking for. They get it exactly when they need it at the place where they’re looking for it. 

If you want to share information about your product or service, you may want to go the traditional way. It’s the best approach to educate your customers.

If your goal is to identify customers based on their needs then marketing automation is the way to go. This way you can provide solutions that your customers are looking for and turn them into loyal customers.