Like any business endeavor, sales prospecting is a dynamic, evolving process. When one part of the system stops working, it can bring new prospects to a halt. By evaluating your strategy, identifying common problems and adjusting accordingly, you can jump-start sales.
A crucial part of sales prospecting is lead qualification. If you find that your prospects are low compared to the amount of time you're spending in calls, consider pre-qualifying your leads. Split your process into two calls; one to verify that your contact is the decision-maker and meets your baseline qualifications and one to handle the sales pitch. Depending on your resources, you can tackle the process in-house, or hire it out to an agency. Pre-qualified leads help reduce the time you spend speaking with people who aren't likely to buy, which can quickly boost your sales prospecting.
Sales prospecting works best when executed across a variety of channels. If you're focusing on one method, such as cold-calling or emailing, consider adding other channels into the mix. Break the ice with an email, follow up with a phone call, and reconnect on social media. Send information packages in the mail to give the contact a physical reminder of your company. With multiple small contacts, you can increase your brand exposure and warm up potential customers without overwhelming them.
Create a Schedule
Prospecting is an easy task to put off, particularly when you have other work that demands attention. Over time, the cumulative effect of procrastination can leave you struggling to catch up with other sales professionals in your company. When your prospects start to slide, consider creating a schedule. Dedicate a specific amount of time each day to prospecting and stick with it — even when business is booming. The sustained effort helps ensure a steady stream of new business throughout the year.
Narrow Your Focus
Chances are, your most lucrative customers fall into one or more specific categories. If your sales prospecting strategy is not targeting these groups, you're wasting valuable time. Instead of going after a general pool of customers, narrow your focus to one or two groups, and create a tailored communication strategy for each one. Your pitch should speak directly to the needs of people in the category and explain how your product or service can add value. With a focused campaign, you don't have to waste time trying to tailor the sales pitch to each individual caller, and you can spend time on the people who are likely to need what you're selling.
For sales professionals selling everything from information to engineering equipment, sales prospecting is a crucial part of the buying cycle. Investing the time and effort to retool your strategy can pay off in the long run with better leads and faster conversions.
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