Are you having trouble keeping prospects? When your potential buyers disappear off the face of the earth, it relays a bigger problem in your sales pitch. You need to ask yourself these questions: Did I not listen enough? Was I too pushy on that last call?
Research shows that 91% of prospects are willing to give 10 minutes of their time to listen to an offer early on in their journey. That is if you have something valuable to say. So bite the bullet, go in headstrong to nail your 10-minute sales pitch call.
Best practices in sales prospecting keep your prospects locked into your pipeline. Once your leads are in, you can nurture them through a longer sales cycle and convert them into winning sales. Here are three of the best ways to do exactly that.
sales prospecting 101
The first step for turning prospects into sales is research. You need to browse through B2B company websites and social media profiles to gather valuable information about your ideal customers. Then you need to delve deeper, using technology that provides firmographics—data on industry, location, company size, etc.—to confirm whether these potential prospects fit your ideal customer profile.
Once a prospect qualifies, you must track down their email address and phone number to start planning your initial outreach. Framework your outreach method around a cold call, cold email, direct message on social media, direct mail, or SMS. Once a connection has been made, your prospects enter the sales funnel where they will continually be nurtured till a purchase is made. The ultimate goal is to fill your sales pipeline with new prospects.
B2B sales prospecting isn’t always about finding new leads. You can also dive into your CRM database to find lost prospects and develop a new strategy to re-engage and win them back.
In a survey, 77.3% of salespeople stated that their company only provides one-quarter of their leads. That leaves three-quarters of leads in your hands. The best way to bring them in is to put best practices in sales prospecting into action.
3 best practices in sales prospecting
1. Create an emotional bond
It’s time for some cold hard truths about sales prospecting.
The UK’s self-proclaimed “most hated trainer” Benjamin Dennehy says that many SDRs still don’t understand what sales prospecting truly means. On the podcast INSIDE Inside Sales, Dennehy speaks about seeing salespeople stuck on the never-ending hamster wheel of prospecting, trapped in the preparation phase, never building up enough of an emotional connection before pitching to their prospect. They under-research and don’t have enough material to make a strong, hyper-personalized outreach message. There’s also the opposite problem, when reps over-research, wasting time on prospects that haven’t been confirmed as sales-ready.
An emotional bond is the only way to escape the endless cycle of preparation and move on to receiving engagement through marketing channels and book meetings.
So how do you create an emotional bond?
Put logic on the backburner. Decision-makers make rational choices, but they are also human and will make purchasing decisions based on emotional triggers, like:
- FOMO (fear of missing out): Most companies in your industry are already using influencer marketing and are seeing an increase in sales, are you looking to train your marketing team?
- Status: Is your office furniture outdated? We have furniture to make you look more professional
Tapping into your target buyers’ reputation, power, and fears is a best practice in sales prospecting. Equally important is knowing when to quit. If a prospect doesn’t show interest then they are not ready to progress to the next stage of the cycle, get back to them later and move on. Always set a time limit and remember what the endgame is—to get your pipeline qualified ready and hit your monthly quota.
2. Get both contact details and firmographics at once
Are you using multiple tools just to get the basic contact details and firmographics for one lead? Are you currently using multiple email finder extensions, verification tools, and company insights platforms? Then stop.
Lusha Extension is going to make your sales prospecting so much easier. Our accurate B2B contact provider gives you the exact details and firmographics you need to qualify prospects, craft a personalized sales pitch, and write a memorable cold call script. Whether you’re prospecting on B2B websites, Gmail, or LinkedIn, Lusha will give you direct email addresses, cell phone numbers – and important company intel like revenue, industry, and location. Then you can cut any manual errors and stay ahead of the prospecting game by saving all your contacts and this juicy info directly to your CRM.
What makes Lusha Extension different from other email finder extensions?
Lusha Extension makes outreach so simple. Its awesome hit rates mean you’ll spend more time receiving the right contact details instead of getting endless “email not found” notifications and having to switch to another tool. Maximizing the yield of your research tools is one of the best practices in sales prospecting. Why? It’s a surefire way to increase the number of leads you bring in.
Take FortuneTech, a consulting firm that doubled their weekly prospects from 40 to 80 with Lusha Extension. They struggled for years to find the right contact information via LinkedIn, by doing it all manually. Once their sales team implemented our LinkedIn email finder Chrome extension (which only took a couple of minutes), they started to book 7x more meetings each quarter!
3. Keep your pipeline fresh and full with the ‘30-day rule’
How do you know if your sales pipeline will be full three months from today? Take a look at your efforts from the last 30 days. If you’ve failed to bring in qualified leads or prospects regularly, you already know your answer. In the book Fanatical Prospecting, Jeb Blount describes his ‘30-day rule’: prospect for thirty days and you’ll see the results (aka sales) within the next three months.
It makes sense. SDRs are under more pressure than ever to close the deal as soon as possible. Despite the fact that even the smallest B2B sales cycles can take up to four months and larger ones seven or more months. Missing even a single week of B2B sales prospecting can put a huge dent in your quarterly revenue. Hunting for new business opportunities daily, even when your pipeline is full is a best practice in B2B sales prospecting.
The secret to prospecting daily is time blocking
Time blocking schedules a task to be completed within a certain time period. For example, to increase your cold call connection rates, you may want to schedule your calls between 8 am and 10 am. That daily two-hour block is then reserved exclusively for making outbound calls. Use time blocking to prioritize your high-value tasks and responsibilities towards the beginning of the day, to ensure activities like sales prospecting—which is the lifeline of your company—are knocked off your to-do list before anything else.
Make the most of every minute
Once you have blocked off a couple of hours for solid prospecting, be sure to use it! Here are three things to remember:
- Focus on prospecting strictly: Don’t give in to notifications or other distractions that will pull you away from prospecting. If everything has its own time slot, there’s no need to even think about answering an email or checking your phone.
- Prioritize your lead list: Some leads are more difficult to qualify or find contact details for. Place them on the back burner and concentrate your efforts on gathering as many qualified leads and contact details as possible.
- Schedule both deep and shallow tasks: Prospecting isn’t just researching: it’s making a connection, creating or sharing content, and writing cold email templates. Make time for both big and small tasks.
Look closer to home
Finally, another of the best practices in sales prospecting is to look for new business internally. Old leads that haven’t converted into sales may still be valuable to you. Before you start looking, see if they still qualify, by using Contacts API, a bulk-enrichment tool that will provide the contact details and firmographics of thousands of leads and company profiles sitting in your database. Even if it’s been years since you last connected, you’ll be provided with updated information, enabling you to reach out again!
- Create an emotional bond: Prospecting is the preparation phase that comes before you make your sales pitch. Don’t get stuck there. Find an emotional trigger to weave into your offer and craft your outreach messages and content around it.
- Prospect daily: It can take months to close a deal. Daily prospecting helps ensure you’ll have a healthy pipeline over the coming months. Carve out a few hours by practicing time blocking so you’ll never miss a day’s prospecting.
- Get contact details and firmographics together: Lusha Extension is a B2B lead enrichment tool that finds both contact details and firmographics—something many email extractor tools simply don’t provide. SDRs will have enough to pitch and nurture them through a full sales cycle.