Consider this: While you are conversing with a total stranger, they are constantly checking their watch. Once the conversation is over, you feel as though you’ve wasted your time because it is obvious that they are not paying attention. Selling without prospecting feels like that. Through prospecting, you can make sure that each lead you speak with is either already a match for your product or has the possibility to be one. Researching potential customers beforehand can save you a tonne of time, though you won’t know for sure until you complete the lead qualification process.
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What is Outbound Sales Prospecting?
Outbound sales prospecting, also known as lead generation, is a technique for gathering contact information from potential new clients. It’s critical to have a deep understanding of your target market, including the types of companies, professions, and buyer personas you are aiming for. Websites, social media platforms, and prospecting tools are used to generate leads. You can filter leads utilizing this data and customize your offer.
Why is Outbound Prospecting Important?
Without a doubt, inbound close rates on sales are significantly greater than outbound close rates; it only stands to reason that someone who initiated the contact by contacting you about a service or product is more likely to convert.
Thankfully, the era of “spray and pray” sales, in which SDRs sent emails to specific leads related to job title and territory, is passing. We are currently shifting toward a more deliberate, account-based sales approach that is not only more focused but also considers important buying signals and sales data, such as trigger events. This suggests that a company is more likely to purchase. Increase your chances of connecting with potential customers and closing deals by incorporating timely, pertinent account data and sincere personalization.
How to Prospect
- To determine whether you can add value, research your potential customer’s industry and business.
This is the single most significant aspect of prospecting. To increase your chances of helping them or their company, you must make sure you are qualifying your prospects.
During this prospecting stage, you hope to achieve the following objectives:
- Check to see if the opportunity is feasible.
- Begin qualifying and ranking prospects.
- Look for chances to connect with people through personalization, rapport-building, and building trust.
- Prioritize your prospects according to how likely they are to buy from you.
You can save time and ensure that your strongest efforts are going to the prospects who are more inclined to convert by prioritizing your prospects. The degree to which prospects are prioritized will differ depending on the type of sales organization and salesperson, but the key concept is to group prospects into a few buckets according to the possibility of them buying.
- Create a unique pitch for every potential customer.
In order to fine-tune your pitch and individualised your outreach, you will gather detailed information on your potential clients in this step. Therefore, you must first ascertain what matters to your prospects.
There are several options for doing this:
- Look at the prospect’s blog to find out their interests from the articles they publish and write.
- Locate and look over their social media accounts.
- Do they have any new posts or recent updates?
- Review the “About Us” section of the business website.
Finding a reason to connect with your prospect requires that you first learn more about their company and job. Do you have any connections in common? Has a trigger event occurred? Has our website seen them recently? If so, what keywords led them to our website? How many pages did they read? A decision map that outlines the options and end goals for your prospect can be made if you want to take your preparation to the next level. This will enable us to more effectively respond to any criticism and tailor a pitch that aligns with their main goals.
In order to better position the service or product offered by your company within the market and address potential customers’ objections, you might also perform a competitive analysis.
- Your contact with prospects, whether by phone or email, should be specifically tailored to their industry, business, and goals.
When reaching out to a prospect, whether by phone or email, keep the following general advice in mind:
- Customize. Mention a particular issue the potential customer is having and the solution to it.
- Keep up with the times. Verify that the problem a potential customer and their team are attempting to remedy is still relevant.
- Stay human. Nobody enjoys conversing with a business robot. Incorporating small details helps us connect with people on a deeper level.
- Don’t sell; help. Give without expecting anything in return. It’s about them, not us, in this process.
- Keep it informal. Just keep in mind that this is a conversation. Stay as genuine and non-sales as you can. Prospecting relies on the fact that you never try to sell. Simply put, you’re trying to figure out if a relationship would be beneficial to both parties.
- Iterate your prospecting strategy to identify areas for improvement.
Take notes as you go along so you can later determine which activities were time wasters and which contributed to the prospecting process.
Each time you speak with a potential customer, you should evaluate how well you have:
- Unrecognized difficulties aided in setting clear goals
- Confirmed budget availability
- Comprehended the decision-making process
- Identified consequences of inaction that are known
- Outlined potential outcomes of success
This way, you will be able to develop your sales prospecting strategies going forward.
Effective Outbound Prospecting Strategies
The most successful outbound prospecting strategies are cold outreach, but there are many important considerations to make in order to maximize your outreach and increase responses, engagements, and ultimately sales.
- Sell the product’s worth first. Sell the value instead of the product! Start by explaining your product’s or service’s value proposition and how it can assist the prospect in resolving their issues with effectiveness, security, profitability, and productivity. Too frequently, clients focus on features rather than specifically what creates value. You won’t get very far if you can’t make the prospect understand the urgent need and picture the potential value in working with your business.
- Determine the problems that your product or service can address. Understanding specific problems that your service or product can legitimately help to solve is a crucial next step. Make sure to target your outreach to them specifically, outlining the advantages of a potential partnership as well as the problems your solution can solve. Instead of pointing the finger, rather focus on identifying challenges and demonstrate how your services can provide solutions. Try to persuade them that taking a chance by trying something new is less risky than continuing to use the same approach or procedures.
- Make your personalization pertinent. Keep in mind that every prospect is a human being with their own distinct experiences and a clean slate. Spend some time learning about their interests, hobbies, and values to determine what is truly important to them. Get to know them by browsing their website and other social media channels, and then personalize your outreach and approach to sound human and useful to the prospect or their business.
- Be totally focused on prospects. The name of the company or the prospect should be included along with personalization in order to give your outreach prospect a sense of importance. Explain how collaborating with them could lead to the best outcomes. Make the prospect the center of attention rather than the other way around. Place your messaging and strategy in relation to the prospect-focused value proposition.
- Provide evidence. In order to determine the success of a product or service, prospects like to see examples of how you have assisted others in similar industries. Back up your story with some evidence (a case study, blog post, white paper, etc.) demonstrating why one of your biggest clients decided to work with you.
- Keep links to materials out of your initial outreach. Links should not be included in the initial email as they may cause deliverability problems. Instead, request permission to send the potential customer some information. Without conditions, provide data, a demo, or a video.
- Make interesting subject lines. The email’s first line, subject, and body all carry equal weight with their contents. You won’t even have the opportunity to explain the benefits of your offering if the prospect doesn’t open your message. In an ideal world, subject lines would be no longer than two to three words, feature action, and be personalized. To determine which subject line is gaining the most traction, conduct a few different A/B tests.
- Draw interest quickly. To pique the prospect’s interest and encourage them to keep reading, the “hook” or attention-getter should be communicated in the first line. Once they are “completely hooked,” you can tell a story about what you’ve heard from competing businesses, the difficulties they might encounter, and how your workaround can assist them in achieving their long-term objectives.
- Create a compelling CTA. Use an action-based call to action to conclude your email (CTA). Ensure that the CTA corresponds to the action you want them to take. This also clears up any ambiguity regarding the benefit they will receive from interacting with your offer. By choosing the appropriate words and expressions that promote engagement and action, some of the best CTAs elicit a sense of urgency, grab attention, and clearly communicate value. They should be clear about how prospects will profit from taking the action that the CTA is urging.
- Keep it brief. Being succinct with your messaging is another best practice to keep in mind when conducting outbound prospecting. The majority of prospects are busy, so don’t waste their time with drawn-out emails, messages, or calls, regardless of whether they are in the C-suite, a vice president, a department head, a manager, or an assistant.
- Convey the mood. Keep your communication cordial, sincere, and professional. Avoid using words associated with spam, such as “free,” “offer,” and “cash,” as well as any references to return on investment. Instead, write in a conversational style. Instead of sounding robotic or like an automated template, try to make it sound casual and human. When making follow-up calls or sending follow-up emails, avoid asking “How have you been?” This can be immediately unsettling because it sounds as though you don’t know the person. Instead, ask, “How are you?” This sounds assured and comfortable. When speaking with a potential customer on the phone, be sure to be approachable, easy to understand, and able to convey your offer effectively. To maintain the prospect’s interest and the flow of the conversation, ask open-ended questions. So that you can confidently respond to any objections that are raised, pay attention to what prospects say.
Sales Prospecting Tools
- Appollo.io – With 200+ attributes attached to each contact and company, Apollo offers users the option to create virtually limitless permutations of prospecting lists and contact groupings.
- HubSpot – Keep track of deals, store contacts, and business information, and manage tasks like meetings and follow-ups with ease. Sending personalized email sequences to your customers makes relationship building so much easier.
- LinkedIn Company Pages – These updates can be used as catalysts for actual conversations with your prospects.
- Google Alerts – Set up customized alerts to send updates on any keywords that are important to your prospects on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. These can be used to customize your outreach.
- Datanyze – After a customer stops using a competitor’s product, get in touch with them to catch them when they’re looking for a better product.
- FoxClocks – Manage your prospects across numerous cities, nations, and time zones.
- Evernote – Utilize this tool to record pain points, company information, and action items during an exploratory prospecting call.
- Kixie – Create sales cycles and automatically track all of your interactions with prospects by integrating it with HubSpot.
- HubSpot App Marketplace – Look through the sales apps specifically for choices that can assist you in simplifying whatever it is that your team finds most difficult.
- Sales Hub – Send your prospects an email to schedule a follow-up meeting or provide information relevant to what they are watching.
- Hunter – Hunter provides you with three tools available for searching emails.
- SalesHandy – In order to assess their interest and advance them towards the next stage of your funnel, email tracking enables you to track how frequently and when your emails were opened.
- HubSpot Prospects Tool – For the prospects that matter the most to you and the team’s reps, set up recurring email digests and notifications.
- Twitter – Utilize Twitter’s advanced search to scan a prospect’s feed for the information that will help the sales process.
Prospecting need not be a challenging and time-consuming process. In actuality, it might be beneficial for both sales representatives and prospects. Adopt a few of the tactics and test out various methods and tools to see which ones your team responds to the best. Then, you can be certain that you’ll start turning more qualified prospects into paying clients.
All of these suggestions only function if your outreach checks off every other requirement. You must begin with your ICP and buyer’s persona, a properly segmented list, carefully written copy, CTAs, subject lines, and signatures with the appropriate timing and a cadence that works.