Prospecting is difficult. There’s no denying it. In fact, one study revealed that 40% of salespeople said prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales process.
Why is it so hard?
There are a lot of reasons. It’s hard to capture buyer attention and to stimulate interest and desire. It’s difficult to persuade buyers into action. Many sellers don’t have the right mindset around prospecting.
If you’re looking to step up your game and achieve greater prospecting success, here are five ways to instantly improve your results.
1. Lead with Content that Captures Buyer Attention
In order to break through and secure meetings with buyers, you have to find a way to capture their attention. Buyers are sold to all day. That’s why it’s even more important that you do your homework and provide buyers with useful content that impacts their business. If you can do this, you have the best shot at buyers accepting a meeting with you.
In the latest Top Performance in Sales Prospecting research report, 488 B2B buyers revealed the top five offers that are most likely to sway them to accept a meeting or connect with you.
- Primary research data relevant to the buyer’s business
- Content 100% customized to the buyer’s specific situation
- Descriptions of the provider’s capabilities
- Insight into the use of products or services to solve business problems
- Best practice methodology based on the provider’s area of expertise
Of the buyers studied, they shared that only 42% of sales meetings are valuable to them. Buyers want value in their meetings, but most sellers aren’t delivering it. They want your insights and expertise. At the same time, they want to hear about your products and services and how you can help them reach their goals. If you want that meeting, bring your content “A” game.
2. Leave Bulk Emails Behind and Send Customized Messages
80% of buyers say they prefer to be contacted by sellers via email. While email is the No. 1 way buyers prefer to be contacted, sellers must be careful about how they use email to communicate. If buyers prefer email, then you can get away with sending mass emails, right?
Only 5% of sellers say sending bulk email is effective. Buyers don’t want stock emails. Instead, they want tailored, 1-to-1 emails that pertain to their company and industry. Take the time to create high-quality, customized emails and send them individually. This should significantly improve the chances of your emails not only being read but also responded to.
3. Cold Calling Lives and the Phone Still Matters
The notion that cold calling is dead isn’t anything new. There’ve been numerous articles claiming that it’s history. Some sellers simply despise cold calling and hopped on this bandwagon. Unfortunately for those sellers, or fortunately for their competitors, they’re missing out on sales opportunities.
Of the 15 outreach methods studied in terms of effectiveness in prospecting, three of the top five involved the telephone:
- Making phone calls to existing customers
- Making phone calls to prior customers
- Making phone calls to new contacts (i.e. cold calling)
Whether it’s cold calling or warm calling, the phone is very much alive and a crucial part of the prospecting process. In fact, 69% of buyers say they have accepted a phone call from a new provider in the last 12 months. Given that it takes on average eight touches to generate a meeting or conversation with a targeted buyer, one or several of these touches should be made via the phone.
4. Convert Cold Meetings Into Sales with Value
It typically takes a lot of work to land that first conversation. Once you do, your next big challenge is to win the sale. Buyers make purchases for different reasons. However, we found that there are four key factors that influence if a buyer purchases from you.
- Provider focuses on the value they could deliver to buyers
- Provider collaborates with buyers
- Provider educates buyers with new ideas and perspectives
- Provider offers valuable insight related to the buyer’s industry or market
If you want to convert more meetings into actual sales, sell the way buyers want you to. Given that buyers report that 58% of their sales meetings are not valuable, there’s a huge opportunity to improve here.
5. Make a Great First Impression on LinkedIn
One of the most surprising results was the sheer number of buyers using LinkedIn. Consider this: 82% of buyers look up providers on LinkedIn before replying to their outreach efforts.
That’s the vast majority of buyers.
A response from a buyer likely hinges on your LinkedIn profile. Put your best foot forward and make a good first impression with these tips for optimizing your profile.
Prospecting doesn’t have to be the most challenging part of your job. You can overcome this hurdle, but it’s going to take the right mindset and you’ll likely have to tweak how you’re currently doing it.
Before you make your next outreach, find content that’s going to resonate and make the buyer want to meet you, customize your messages so the buyer knows they’re not just another one of the 200 emails you blasted out, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone, focus on the value you have to offer, and make sure your LinkedIn profile is all-star status. Following these tips will pay off in the end.