Sales Prospecting Tips: 5 Strategic Ways to Connect With Your Next Customer

Sales Prospecting Tips and Techniques to Stay Persistent & Close More Deals

Although sales prospecting has long been viewed as a necessary evil in sales organizations, it now enjoys somewhat of a resurgence thanks to the increased adoption of social selling which involves using online networks such as LinkedIn to research potential customers and connect with them before approaching them about your product offering. Social selling was recently identified as the number one marketing trend for 2016 according to Sales Benchmark Index’s annual Sales 2.0 study.

What is Sales Prospecting?

Prospecting is a process used in sales to generate new, qualified sales opportunities.  Although prospecting is sometimes viewed as a difficult and often time-consuming process where 40% of salespeople said that it was the hardest part of their job.  Prospects are hard to find, sales pitches can be rejected, and the sales cycle is long, prospecting is a crucial step in the sales lifecycle.

Sales prospecting is an ongoing process, with salespeople frequently revising and updating their list of prospects to target the most promising leads. Sales agents may use social media tools to identify new leads.

Salespeople use different means and techniques for the task of prospecting.  Below, we’ll cover sales prospecting tips and techniques you can use to implement into your approach:

1. Create a sales pipeline

A sales pipeline is a set of leads for a given campaign, typically sorted by time and value to the organization. It’s important to create such a pipeline because it allows you to rank leads based on how much revenue they will generate if they become paying customers. You can then allocate your resources to the customers that are most likely to contribute positively to the organization. Additionally, having a sales pipeline allows you to track prospects that are in various stages of the buying process- from not even knowing about your product/service yet all the way up until when they have made their final purchase decision. By doing so, you’ll be able to stay in touch with these potential buyers throughout their whole journey.

Now that you have a better understanding of what a sales pipeline is and why you need one, let’s get into the reasons why it’s so important to establish a good sales pipeline. The benefits associated with having a well-organized and functional sales pipeline will allow your organization to achieve its revenue goals faster while saving time and money along the way. Some of these benefits include:

  • Get organized
  • Stay in touch with strategic key prospects
  • Increase revenue opportunities by closing more deals
  • Speed up time from prospecting until closed deal
  • Less manual/repetitive tasks
  • Better management through analytics

2. Meet your ideal prospect

In sales, there are sales prospects and sales leads. These terms get used interchangeably which often causes confusion for new sales reps who don’t understand the difference between these two types of people/customers! In general, here’s how to tell them apart: A sales lead is someone with contact information but no purchasing history while a sales prospect has some level of buying history but lacks contact information. write a paragraph on sales prospecting tips

3. Send out frequent sales emails

One of the most tried and tested ways to engage with your next customer is through email. 8 out of 10 prospects said they want to talk to a rep over any other medium.

Here are some tips on how to send out sales emails that will make prospects want to reply! write a paragraph on writing effective sales emails

The subject line: put yourself in the shoes of someone receiving an email from you, would they be interested enough in opening it? The answer should always be yes, otherwise why bother sending it at all right!? One way to ensure this happens every time is by creating an enticing headline for your sales email; something like “New product launch: ABC Corp edition!” It’s short, sweet and gives just enough information about what could lie within. Another good tip when crafting sales-related headlines has to do with personalized emails


4. Leverage LinkedIn

In today’s age of social media, salespeople are expected to have a strong social media presence.

If you’re just starting out, or can’t remember the last time you logged onto LinkedIn, make sure your profile is up to date.  Ensure that you’re using a recent headshot, your title is up to date, and your overall profile is professional and thoroughly filled out.  View this checklist and follow the steps of updating and optimizing your LinkedIn profile.

To take your LinkedIn game to the next level, regularly post relevant content about sales prospecting tips.  This will help build authority in your niche which will increase awareness of who you are as well as what services/products you’re selling. The more followers and people that you are connected with and can create a genuine relationship with on social media the better.

And lastly, and more advanced, you should familiarize yourself with LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator.  This sophisticated tool allows you to research potential customers and identify key decision-makers.  Connect with potential customers on LinkedIn and other social media platforms.  Use Sales Navigator to identify the right contacts at a company, get alerted when they make changes in their role or company, and see who has been visiting your profile.

5. Follow up with your sales prospects

The sales prospecting process can be a long and tedious one, but it is important that salespeople don’t give up.

If your salesperson is following these sales prospecting tips then they should have no problem in building rapport with their next customer. Following up after the initial meeting or phone call shows interest from your side as well as a keenness to do business – make sure this step isn’t skipped!

In fact, experts suggest follow-ups every two weeks for up to six months. Anytime after 6 months and you aren’t receiving responses/buying signals, you may want to throw in the towel altogether. Keep things light by sending warm greetings, helpful links to relevant content, and be prompt with any request given. This will help warm the lead and help get to know each other and build trust slowly. This will help create a more lasting relationship between both parties and increase your chances of closing the sale.


Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you found this article of sales prospecting tips and techniques helpful and useful.  By now, you know that sales prospecting can be an effective way to increase sales, but it takes effort and perseverance. Sales representatives need to be prepared to contact a large number of potential customers in order to find a few that may be interested in their product or service. It is also important to keep in mind that not every customer will be a good fit for your product or service, so sales reps need to focus on qualifying leads and only pursuing those that have the greatest potential. Sales prospecting can be a challenging process, but using the right techniques can make it a bit easier. By using social media and other online tools, sales reps can research potential customers and connect with them before attempting to set up an in-person meeting. Sales agents who are able to develop a large network of potential customers can have an easier time converting them into sales opportunities.