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What is Sales Prospecting?

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❶The end goal is to move prospects through the sales funnel until they eventually convert into revenue-generating customers. For example, medium-sized businesses consisting of a larger team.

Lead vs Prospect

What Is Prospecting?


The person in charge of making a final decision on the sale. We usually have to go through a gatekeeper to reach them. The first contact a sales rep makes with a prospect with the aim to qualify them as a lead for the next step in the sales cycle. When the buyer purchases a product or service from the sales rep. When the buyer fails to purchase a product or service from the sales rep. Ratio of prospects that a sales rep closes and wins.

Reps no longer have to choose between inbound or outbound prospecting. Instead, they must decide how to do both responsibly. Research takes longer without any prior history with a contact. Warm emails to explore a relationship with a lead who has already expressed familiarity with your product or service.

Using social media to explore a relationship with a lead who has already expressed familiarity with your product or service; sales reps can provide value to prospects on social media by answering their questions and introducing them to useful content.

Research process is shorter as we already have their contact information and interaction history. Because, let's face it -- not every lead you get will be "warm. Yet, salespeople are still cold calling as if buyers have no awareness. Experienced salespeople can expect to spend 7. Companies using inbound and responsible outbound sales techniques are better positioned for success in this new realm of buyer awareness. But with a twist. As we mentioned earlier, we understand that everyone has their own approach.

Pick and play with whatever works best for your own sales hustle. This is by far the most important aspect of prospecting. Here are some important qualifying dimensions to evaluate if a prospect has a high probability of becoming a customer:. This type of qualification is based solely on demographics. Does the prospect fall within my territory? Do we sell in their industry?

Does it fit our buyer persona? Say our target market consists of small to medium-sized businesses with anywhere from to 1, employees. We should eliminate any potential customers outside of these criteria. Diving deeper, our product or service will naturally provide higher value to a particular profile within that target market.

For example, medium-sized businesses consisting of a larger team. Those customers are also more likely to upgrade to a higher tier of our product, providing more lifetime value as a customer. There are two types of people involved on the other end of our sales process: If we get them to rally around our offering, they can make a compelling case to decision-makers before we even speak with them. Decision-makers are, of course, the ones that either approve or reject the buy. We can ask these questions to determine the decision-making process: Will anyone else be involved in this decision?

Does this purchase come out of your immediate budget? Time constraints and budget limitations are often the biggest objections we receive from prospects. Our pitch and sales techniques are also likely to be more refined with markets we feel comfortable talking about, so we should prioritize these prospects first. Value-added prospects to whom we can provide more value are more likely to buy our offering.

Look at job boards to find departments in which a company is investing or growing. This can further inform us of their key goals or challenges. Our prospects will likely have varying levels of knowledge about our product or services. The more awareness they have, the more likely they are to see the value in our offering and become customers.

If a prospect has visited our website, subscribed to our blog, or posted content about something related to our offering, they probably know a lot about our company or service.

There are a bajillion sales qualification frameworks. Here is the basic breakdown and some examples of questions asked when connecting with potential customers to follow the framework:. Now we can focus on creating a highly targeted, relevant list. Based on our research, we should have a fine-tuned profile of our target customer, and every company or individual on our prospect list should meet that criteria. Levels of prioritization will vary between each type of sales organization and each individual salesperson, but the main idea is to create a few buckets of prospects based on their likelihood to buy and focus on one bucket at a time.

Now we can assign a value between 1 and to these dimensions for each prospect in our list. Add up these dimension scores until each prospect has a total score. And now our entire list is prioritized. We can also qualitatively classify prospects by rating them on a spectrum from high, medium, and low as follows:.

Every other business day. Five touchpoints every other day. The end goal of this step is to gather in-depth information on our prospects in order to hone our pitch and personalize our outreach. So first, we must determine what our prospects care about. Do we have mutual connections? Has there been a trigger event? Have they recently visited our website?

If so, which search terms drove them to our site? Which pages did they look at? If we want to get more high-level with our prep, we can create a decision map to outline our prospect's options and end-goals. This will help us better handle any objections and personalize a pitch that resonates with their primary objectives.

We could also conduct a competitive analysis to determine how we can better position our company's service or product within the industry and how we can combat prospects' objections. Kyle Van Pelt reads 30 articles in 30 minutes every day and uses the content in his email outreach in a tailored, relevant way.

Create a list of top priority prospects on Twitter to more easily track trigger events and streamline the research process. Watch as this feed populates with prospect activity. We can check this every morning and afternoon to see if any trigger events have occurred that would provide a valuable opportunity for us to connect.

Keep these general tips in mind when contacting a prospect, whether on the phone or through email:. Batch prospecting sessions for hours at a time and take a quick five minute break between each hour. Get an egg timer, and set the timer on a countdown for 20 minutes, 30 minutes, or 45 minutes, depending on how much time we scheduled for the call. In terms of establishing contact, we must decide between email or phone communication.

Some of us will initially jump on the cold email approach while others will dive into the cold call. Successful first touch strategies often incorporate both approaches to take advantage of the pros and minimize the cons.

Jeff Hoffman pioneered the BASHO sequence which advocates a combination of voicemail and email messages to gain leverage with prospects. Wait for 72 hours. Alternating between voicemail and email, with unique messaging each time, this technique gives prospects the opportunity to consider our offer, conduct their own research, and respond at a time convenient for them.

But, how do we leave a voicemail or send an email that prospects want to respond to? If the answer is positive for each, then he is a prospect, otherwise a suspect. The salesman collects the names and addresses of friends and relatives and interviews the persons who are likely to be prospects.

A person who is convinced or satisfied readily recommends the names of his friends and relatives who according to him should also be benefitted by the proposition. This method is most effective in development of prospects of intangibles like investments and insurance covers.

Further, the salesman is having easy access to these recommended person which is a special merit. Strictly speaking, every individual is the center of attraction or influence in one way or the other. Being the center of his or her own worlds he or she has some influence on those who are in the orbit or world. This point is encased under this method. A salesman develops a selected band of persons who serve as his center of influence in his own territory or the community. The more friends a salesman has, the more center of influence he can tap in finding the prospects for his products.

These selected persons are either the customers or the influential friends of customers. Such persons may be ministers, MPs, MLAs, doctors, lawyers, bankers, professors, club officials, business leaders, social workers and the community leaders. For a prospect minded salesman, prospects are everywhere. The salesman plays the role of a keen observer as if what is going on ground.

A salesman, who is agile and alert to identify the prospects, does it so easily and quickly. He observes keenly, meaningfully and meticulously. It may be a conversation — a street comment- cinema house chitchat- office grape- wine- comments at public meetings- remarks at recreation- a close talk in a hotel- a dialogue during a journey.

As a creative professional, he makes an all out effort to explore such possibilities and exploit the opportunities open. A shrewd salesman reserves some time daily for meaningful and purposive observation to gain prospects in normal course.

Junior salesman are employed, many a time, to locate the prospects, in a particular territory of a specific social status. As these junior salesmen are to spot or locate the prospects, they are called as spotters.

These spotters move from house to house spotting out prospects. The work of spotters is purely to locate the prospects and report them to the senior salesmen who would take over the responsibility of selling as the experienced professionals. That is, a detailed survey is conducted by the juniors and follow up work is taken by the seniors.

Most of the people cooperate for such survey work. This method is lucratively used in case of products which are attractive, useful and durable like automobiles, two- wheelers, TV sets, air-coolers, air-conditioners, vacuum-cleaners, sewing machines, cooking-ranges, washing-machines, sound-gadgets and so on.

Here, the salesman does not know the prospect even as a lead salesman takes a calculated chance by collecting the names and addresses of such leads in a particular locality and meets them by canvassing.

The thrust is on service than sales as he is meeting him for the first time. The underlying idea is to benefit a person by calling on him. The salesman contacts the former and present users of the products by mail.

The contact message covers the arrival of new products. Circular and sales letter along with advertising folders are sent to both old and present and likely customers depicting the latest features of the new line, advantages of new line and the benefits of the new line.

This direct mail approach needs a selected mailing list which is up-dated.


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Sales prospecting is a process that turns your target market into a customer sale. Breaking down the process into 5 stages can help you not only notice areas of improvement but figure out ways in which you can increase sales and make your work more efficient and effective.

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The 7 Steps of the Sales Process. 1. Product Knowledge In the broadest sense, prospecting is an ongoing process that everyone in the company (particularly the sales force) should be involved in. Very often, a great lead turned customer was first discovered after being heard or seen in the news at a party, or event, etc. 3. The Approach.

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Prospecting: The process of searching for potential customers, clients, or buyers in order to develop new business. The end goal is to move prospects through the sales funnel until they eventually convert into revenue-generating customers. In fact, when it comes to the sales process, prospecting is the part salespeople and sales development reps struggle with most, according to leaders in one study. The key is to identify those who fit your organization’s customer profile and hold the potential for becoming buyers. When you qualify the right prospects, you can build steady.

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Prospecting – The life blood ofselling - First step in the selling process - A prospect is a qualified person or organization that’s has potential to buy - It is the life blood of selling because it identifies potential customers - 2 reasons – increase sales and replace customers that will be lost over time - . Customer prospecting is part of the customer acquisition process, whereby the communication touch points in your marketing program are designed to draw in new business. Prospecting programs should utilize consumer data to selectively target potential customers .