Generating quality leads is hard work. Over 40% of salespeople say that prospecting is the hardest part of the sales process, but it is also arguably the most important. Effective prospecting is essential to maintaining a full lead pipeline, gathering more contacts, and ultimately closing more B2B sales.
There are a variety of best practices for salespeople to implement in their process, not to mention sales tools for prospecting that will make the job easier and more efficient.
B2B prospecting is the process of identifying and initiating contact with potential buyers. Those potential buyers are your prospects, and the goal of communication is, of course, to convert them into paying customers.
That first contact can take a lot of different forms. The most common for traditional salespeople (as opposed to marketers) are emails, social messages, and cold calls. And one thing about that initial contact: it should always have a clear and simple call-to-action.
The CTA should have a very low barrier to entry, but can still accomplish two things for the seller. First, it shows genuine viability to move the prospect into the sales stage. By engaging at all, even with a small ask, the prospect is showing a sincere interest in your product. Second, it gathers more information from the person. This consumer data can be used to customize future marketing efforts, expand the seller’s network, or communicate through other mediums in the future.
The obvious benefit of prospecting is to generate more leads. Effective B2B prospecting goes much farther, though. The prospecting phase is a chance to establish a strong relationship with the customer. Building trust and rapport in the early conversations will accelerate the sales cycle. The best B2B prospecting doesn’t just fill your pipeline; it moves leads to conversion quickly.
Prospecting also helps sellers engage the right customers on the right channels, disqualifying the companies that will not benefit from your product. Over 50% of your prospects won’t be a good fit for what you’re selling, but the prospecting process prevents your company from wasting time in the future.
There are countless ways to discover new prospects: gated marketing efforts, live chats, existing business contacts, company directories, and many more. But before you make the initial contact, you should first have the person’s name, company, location, title, and any other public data that can help you personalize your pitch.
With the right B2B sales tools, you can curate most of your list within a single database that offers all that contact info plus viability insights. Here are some of our favorite resources for making initial contact, and what makes them great sales tools for prospecting:
The platform utilizes the well-validated personality framework, DISC, to enrich a user’s understanding of each individual prospect. Whatever information you have available before that initial contact can be leveraged to inform your understanding of these deeper components that move your conversation from a prospect into an opportunity. Crystal’s Chrome extension can even glean any public data about your lead and share helpful communication tips before that initial prospecting call.
All of these databases are invaluable sales tools for prospecting. They will connect you with qualified buyers that can fill the start of your pipeline. However, they’re all ultimately just for contact information, which works only after talking to your prospect in a way that resonates with them.
First impressions are essential in prospecting. Think of the times that you’ve gotten a cold call from a salesperson or an email and just felt annoyed. That’s because the message was not customized to you. The person reaching out didn’t understand what would motivate you.
These factors go deeper than publicly available contact info and help craft personalized outreach. These factors include:
A lead database may be one of the most important B2B sales tools for prospecting that a sales rep can have. Without a database that works for you and your company, it’s impossible to grow your pipeline. With a greater understanding of who’s on the other side of that contact info, you become more than a salesperson. You become a partner in that person’s goals.
When salespeople layer contact information with personalized insights about each prospect, they become more effective communicators, elevating the discovery call with stronger first impressions, and moving prospects to conversions in record time, all while using the information they have to communicate confidently and effectively throughout the entire process.