Done effectively, sales prospecting is one of the most useful ways for a salesperson to spend time — it ensures that you always have a steady stream of leads in the pipeline. With the right techniques, you can streamline your prospecting approach to eliminate wasted time and make it easier to transform leads into new customers.
Do It Daily
Sales prospecting often falls to the back burner because it doesn't usually produce immediate results. After all, when you're meeting your quotas and raking in big commissions, it can be difficult to take time to nurture new leads. By making a habit of daily prospecting, however, you can ensure that you don't have to scramble for potential new customers when a major client pulls out or sales inexplicably dry up. If you find yourself letting it slide, block off 30 minutes to an hour on your calendar, and treat it like any other required work task.
Lead qualification is an easy step to skip during sales prospecting, but it's crucial for efficiency. Be choosy as you select potential contacts. Do your research to ensure that they need your product and have the resources to invest. Don't offer blind loyalty to your first point of contact with a lucrative lead — make sure they have the power to control the budget and make sales decisions. Cutting out any names that don't meet these qualifications can save hours of wasted time and ensure that your efforts go toward the best possible prospects.
Take your sales prospecting to the next level by joining forces with other salespeople. Find businesses that sell different products to similar customers, and share your leads. Start by getting to know the other person's products and services. When you come across a prospect who's well-suited to the other business, pass along their information or provide a personal introduction. This strategy is mutually beneficial — it exposes both parties to a larger audience without posing competition issues.
Integrate Multiple Channels
Phone calls are no longer the dominant channel for sales prospecting. Round out your approach and give prospects the chance to breathe by employing other communication channels. Warm up your contacts with non-invasive means of contact: Add them to your LinkedIn network, send out informative emails, and react to their Twitter or Facebook posts. Engage in discussions on social media, and leave thoughtful comments on their professional blogs. A holistic approach creates familiarity and enables you to establish yourself as an industry expert, so you aren't starting from scratch during a phone call or a prospect meeting.
Sales prospecting is a necessary task for most sales professionals. With a lean, strategic approach, you can make the most of your time and increase the rate of conversion.
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