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Why Sales Prospecting is Important – and How to Get it Right

If you’re a salesperson, you’ll know that prospecting isn’t always easy. But without maintaining a sales pipeline full of high quality leads, new sales aren’t going to happen. That’s why it’s imperative to spend time focusing on sales prospecting. Sales prospecting sets the tone for the entire sale, start to finish. It can also determine whether or not the deal is going to be sealed.

Clearly, it’s a crucial part of the role of a salesperson. But good sales prospecting holds many aspects. In this article, we’ll break down the different aspects of sales prospecting, and cover why each step is important.

We’ll focus on:

  • Why finding your ideal prospect matters
  • How optimising your current leads contributes to sales
  • How you can demonstrate your sales skills to the full through prospecting

Let’s get started.

Prospect Profile

You can’t build a house without the blueprints. Well, you could, but it wouldn’t turn out very well. Likewise, searching for sales leads without a “profile” will feel like aimless searching.
The first step to good sales prospecting is knowing what type of customer, or audience, you’re appealing to. Analyze your top sales and the demographics to get an accurate understanding of who fits your perfect prospect profile.

Ask yourself:

  • What pain points can I focus on for these sales?
  • Who is my ideal customer for these pain points?
  • Who are our competitor’s customers?
  • What aspects of my ideal customer can I categorise and search for?

Once you have your ideal prospect profile narrowed down, you can conduct fruitful market research. Having a solid profile from the start of your process can be the reason for your sales success.

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Finding Your Ideal Prospects

Next up, naturally, is finding your ideal prospects. Sales can’t happen without pinning down those prospects! In a similar pattern to creating a prospect profile, you’ll now want to figure out not the who, but the where. Where can the customers who fit your ideal prospect profiles be found?

While industry events and meetups are a great way to meet potential customers, we’re stepping into an age of online events and digital marketing. So ask yourself: What digital presence might my ideal prospects have?

Curating a list, or categories, of areas you might find your ideal customer is crucial to your sales prospecting process. Having information will help you to regularly show up where your customers are, in turn, resulting in more sales.

Personalise and Tailor Content

All that time and energy on researching your ideal prospect would be a complete waste if your pitch isn’t tailored to those same prospects. This step in the sales prospecting process is crucial to locking in those numbers.

It may seem blatantly obvious to appeal to your potential customers. But put yourself in the customer’s seat: receiving an email that’s entirely irrelevant to your needs or pain points will result in a trip straight to the junk box. With properly researched and categorised sales prospects lists, you’ll be able to easily appeal to a number of customers with one tailored email.

However, something that’s even more effective is personalised emails. Though they can be more time consuming, a personalised email with one potential customer in mind can do wonders. Pin down one pain point, and personalise that sale as much as you can with the information you have to hand. This can be a hugely effective step in your sales prospecting process.

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Follow-Ups and Check-ins

It can seriously pay to follow up on leads. Research shows that if your first email goes unanswered, you have a 21% chance of receiving a reply after sending a follow-up email. A timely follow up can demonstrate your dedication and care to the sale, and can go a long way in building your relationship with the potential buyer.

But what if the conversation is going smoothly, with shown interest, but the replies stop? This is where a lighthearted check-in can do wonders. Dropping a small email in reply to the last correspondence can remind the potential customer that you’re there if they need any further information, and that you’re still invested in their needs.

Adding small actions like these to your sales prospecting routine will keep it maintained, and potentially even make you part of the 21% that receives an interested response.

Act as a Trusted Advisor

Being a salesperson is more than just getting product out of the door. You’re presenting yourself as a trusted advisor on behalf of your company. Salespeople are usually the main point of contact for new customers, meaning that they’re the employees that publicly represent the business.

Sales prospecting is especially important for this aspect of the role of a sales representative. First contact with potential customers will leave a lasting impression on behalf of the whole company. Keeping this in mind when profiling and prospecting will add more value to the task.

Summary:

  • Creating a solid prospect profile from the start of your process can be the reason for your sales success.
  • Putting in effort to find prospects in the right places is crucial to creating a good list of leads.
  • Tailoring content to your ideal customer, and appropriately following-up with them can really heighten your chances of sales.
  • Prospecting, done right, not only creates a pipeline of potential customers. It helps to position you as a trusted advisor, resulting in loyal, repeat customers.

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