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The Sales Review

Tactics and strategies to align with the modern buyer

High Quality Prospecting for Broke Sales Teams

Posted by Julia Manoukian on Nov 16, 2016 11:49:31 AM

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There are a ton of tools out there for sales teams to prospect, but the reality is most of them are costly. A lot of smaller companies can’t afford these tools. There must be a way to get the job done without breaking the bank, right?

Lucky for you there are actually many free tools that help sales teams drive an engine of consistent, high quality prospecting and build their brands with social selling.

This is part of John Barrows session at #DigitalSalesCamp. Sign up now. The sessions will also be available on-demand.

The Average Sales Pro Is Dying A Very Painful Death

Forrester predicts 1 million sales jobs will be eliminated by 2020 — that’s 20% of the entire sales force in America. Because marketing automation, business and artificial intelligence are becoming more mainstream, salespeople must ask themselves: what can I do that a computer can’t?

That question is getting harder and harder to answer. That’s where Ironman comes in.

Look at Tony Stark. As a human being, he’s got it all: he’s super intelligent, he’s super rich, he’s really good looking (good for him), but without his suit, he’d easily get killed. Suit + Tony = Winning.

That’s what sales teams need these days: to leverage the technology without taking the human component out of it.

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Ideal Customer Profiles

The very first thing sales teams and individual pros can do to start their prospecting journey is build customer profiles. Who is your ideal customer, and what does that customer look like?

Not just basic “level 1” demographic information like:

  • Size

  • Number of employees

  • Revenue

  • Industry

But “level 2” information like:

  • What kind of technology are they using?

  • Who or what is their competition?

  • What kind of social presence do they have?

  • What does their website look like?

These level two categories take a little extra effort and yield a huge reward. To find this out, check out their company website or give their receptionist a call and ask a few questions.

Everybody should have a list of at least top 25 accounts that they’re trying to get into. These are your tier 1 accounts. You should take on a quality approach to these. Compose very high-quality, thoughtful emails to these accounts. Really think through your contact strategy.

The tier 2’s are your quantity approach. Figure out segments of that territory. Say, I’m going to see every VP of Sales in the SaaS industry that uses Salesforce and come up with a message that’s specific to them. This could be based on their persona, or based on a specific kind of technology they use.   

Tier 3’s can be practise accounts. Every time you want to try a new approach, try it with these accounts. As long as you’re not doing anything offensive, you can do whatever you want to do.

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Rising Above The Noise of Marketing: Social Listening

The key here is personalization. We’ve all heard about trigger-based selling. Anything you can make a connection to — your account Tweeted about something, opened up a new office, etc.

Look out for news on:

  • Executive quotes about…

  • Executive priorities

  • Hiring/Growth

  • Promotions

  • New products

  • New clients

  • Awards

  • Mission/Goals/Values

You have to personalize your messaging, otherwise you’re never going to break through the noise with a generic template grab.

After identifying the accounts and the stakeholders within them, sales teams would be best to sit down and think through main triggers that happen within businesses you can add value to: merger and acquisitions, open up a new office, launch a new product, strong social media presence, whatever it may be. Once you’ve identified the triggers, listen for them.

Use LinkedIn, Google Alerts, Owler (Google alerts on steroids), Facebook, Feedly and Twitter — all of which are free.

You can actually create templates for certain trigger events. Not for blasting, but for efficiency.

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This is high-quality prospecting in a very efficient and targeted way.

The Other Side of Prospecting: Building A Brand

Your brand is going to be what carries you through the rest of your career. If you’re a thought-leader you’re 5 times more likely to get the business than if you’re not.

While we’re not all going to become thought-leaders overnight, you can still move in that direction by listening to what other thought leaders are saying. Feedly, the free RSS aggregator can help you keep your pulse on your industry by following established thought leaders and brands.

Maybe you’ve had a conversation with a prospect and they’re not ready to buy. Ok, fine. A week later you’re going through your feed and a headline catches your eye “How Much Is Lack of Assertiveness Costing Your Sales Organization?” Not only can you build your own thought leadership by sharing this article to your network, you can share the article with a prospect directly. It’s not a sell, it’s providing them value.

If you schedule your days by taking this approach every morning, you can easily send out a few high-quality emails, read articles that helps educate yourself, post articles to help build your brand, and share these articles to help maintain consistency and stay top of mind.

All it takes is one hour, once a day with these free tools you didn’t have to pay a single dime for.

This post is part of Jon Barrows’ session at Digital Sales Camp. To register click here.

Julia Manoukian

About the Author

Julia is focused on creating, managing and producing everything content-related at Sales for Life. From product to content marketing, she is committed to constantly evolving the company's marketing strategy to exceed the demands of the ever-changing buyer.

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