When it comes to sales and business development, sales prospecting is one of the most crucial aspects. Sales prospecting for beginners can be a challenging task. If you fail in sales prospecting, you can’t even generate revenues.
The idea of prospecting is you are looking for an opportunity to make money, but the sales world is changing now. Prospecting is when a salesperson looks for different companies or individuals and develops techniques or hacks for prospecting.
In this article, we will show you what sales prospecting is, how it works, and whether you should be interested in it or not.
What exactly is sales prospecting?
Sales prospecting is all about searching the potential customers for your product or services to initiate business. In simple words, you find good-fit customers for your business.
It is the act of identifying potential customers and generating appointments. The goal of the prospecting is to initiate interest and then convert this interest into a sales meeting. In a way, you are hunting for the customers like a miner panning for the gold.
Why is sales prospecting for beginners crucial?
Sales prospecting is one to one approach. You only focus on the small and defined set of prospects within your targeted market. Prospecting is the ideal way to follow when your pipeline is thin, and you want to refill it quickly.
If you are in doubt, let us make it clear sales prospecting is very effective, especially for beginners. Prospecting is not beneficial but also a necessity for businesses to draw customers and increase revenues.
Here are a few reasons why sales prospecting for beginners is becoming crucial:
- More than 75% of the customers have admitted they want to meet the salesperson during the buying process. 80% of them have said they usually accept a sales meeting when a salesperson approaches them.
- If the sales prospecting works the right way, it becomes easier for the salesperson to attract new prospects and eventually turn them into paying customers.
- More customers mean an increased buyer pool, which ultimately reduces the risk of the entire customer base being eroded.
- Each new prospect converted to a potential customer means more revenue and increased sales production.
- A salesperson can increase their selling efficiency by asking the right qualification questions to qualify the prospects. Qualifying the prospects means finding the good fit customers.
Lead vs. prospect
One thing to keep in mind is during the qualifying process you have to ask the question to both leads and prospects to find customers who provide value and business.
When it comes to sales prospecting for beginners, it is essential to find the difference between the leads and prospects. Both terms are interchangeably used, but there is a significant difference between them.
A lead can or cannot be a good fit, whereas a prospect is a good fit who will consider making the purchase. However, the ultimate goal of the business for both is to convert them into revenue-driven customers.
Lead generation vs. Sales prospecting
At times, sales prospecting and lead generation go hand in hand. Most businesses use a combination of both to generate sales. Sales prospecting is quick and short term whereas lead generation takes time.
The marketing department is responsible for lead generation, and the sales team handles the prospecting. The first is a one-to-many approach, while the former is 1:1.
You can use lead generation when there is enough time to build brand awareness, and you don’t need the leads right away. It is also ideal when you want to use a combination of different marketing strategies and have time to execute the series of these strategies.
Use prospecting when you are finding new opportunities and want to close the first deal without any delay. In this approach, you focus on a targeted group of customers and are not afraid whether people know about you or not.
When you are into sales prospecting for beginners, use one-to-one email, calling, and social selling to find new prospects. You also need to have full confidence in yourself. Deliver the proposition value, question the customers, and handle their objections.
Sales prospecting for beginners in simple steps – How to prospect?
Define your prospect persona
To know your future customers better, we always recommend creating the buyer persona. It will help you define how you can reach the possible prospect with the right information and in the best possible way.
You can collect information like demographics, frequently used social media channels, struggles or their pain points, goals, and education.
Look for your targets
Once you have created the buyer persona, it is time to find a real person equivalent to it. There are several resources available for this. LinkedIn is an ideal place if you want to target a specific job or the education level.
Make sure to find the people who are the decision-makers and have a great influence in the business.
Pick the best strategy
How you will reach the potential customers highly depends on their avatar. Choose the strategy which is efficient rather than easy. There are two types of prospecting techniques: Outbound prospecting and inbound prospecting.
In outbound prospecting, you reach the customers through cold-calling, social spamming, and drop-in. With inbound, you lure the customers in. One of the most effective strategies of inbound prospecting is social selling.
Make the first contact
After picking the right prospecting strategy, it is time to make the first move. Things to keep in mind: make the first contact person, help the person, and show your human side.
Try to build a relationship
If your possible customers don’t agree to buy initially, don’t move to the next prospect right away. Try to schedule a follow-up and understand their pain points more vigorously only if you realize it could be a match.
Learn and adapt accordingly
Sales prospecting for beginners can always be improved. Getting a deal closed the first time is not an easy task. Deeply analyze the goals you have set and the outcome. Analyzing and adapting help you learn the art of prospecting and selling.
Tips to get the most out of sales prospecting for the beginners
- Don’t ignore your warm market. A warm market is people you know and referrals from the people you know. The cold market takes time to build a relationship.
- Work on yourself to become the best messenger you possibly could be. Don’t be weird; it’s all about building a relationship with the prospects.
- Find the common ground to give your little elevator pitch. It will make the prospects feel like they know you.
- Ask a question to let people talk about them. It is a simple tip, but it works. Let the prospect do the talking.
- Remove the pressure from both sides. Let the prospect know that you are educating him and providing information.
- Take your time to make the sale; don’t rush. You need to realize that building a relationship with the prospects takes time. Slow things down, relax, and get to know them.
- Focus on their pain points, not on your product. When it comes to sales prospecting for beginners, try to sell the solution.