Is sales prospecting one of your biggest pains? It may be little comfort to know, you’re not alone.
In fact, sales prospecting is consistently ranked as the biggest challenge within the overall sales process. While technology is constantly improving the efficiency of outreach activities and our access to relevant audiences, it can still be an uphill struggle for many.
Below, we share a few tips that might help to improve your efforts…
Identify your purpose
Before leaping into a new sales prospecting campaign headfirst, consider what you are actually hoping to achieve. Work backwards by outlining your end goal, and then develop a strategy to support these clearly-defined goals.
For instance, if you’re simply hoping to acquire a high number of new leads, you’ll need a different strategy to your colleague who needs leads that meet a very particular set of professional requirements.
Develop your persona
It’s difficult to get someone’s attention at the best of times, but this is especially the case if your dream prospect is time-poor, overloaded and constantly approached with similar offers.
Personas are the backbone of any successful sales and marketing strategy. Data driven personas reflecting the professional and personal qualities of your ideal customer profile should be informing everything from tone of voice to targeting channels and process.
Centre the content of your sales prospecting campaign around your audience’s biggest challenges and ambitions, the things that keep them awake at night. Reach out to them in the most personal way to make the best first impression and capture their highly sought after attention.
No-one wants to be treated like a number, so avoid being generic in your sales prospecting approach. Make it personal and look for ways to connect with the individual. As a minimum address people by their first name, and add impressive levels of personalisation by mentioning a project they’ve previously worked on, or really knock their socks off by creating a detailed report unique to their industry or company.
Don’t know much about your prospects? Utilise the abundance of information shared on social media and especially their LinkedIn profile. Read through their latest activity, see what they’re commenting on and check which groups they’re active in. It could just reveal a nugget of information that gives you a competitive edge.
It can be a hard pill to swallow, but even the best sales prospecting campaign can take time to show results. In fact, research from the RAIN Group shows it can take an average of eight touchpoints to generate a conversation with a new prospect.
Getting someone to respond to an email or return a call is really difficult, no matter how enticing your offer is. It can therefore help to play the long game and start by simply building bridges rather than trying to close a deal. Develop credibility with an awareness building campaign, planting a seed in your prospect’s mind and introducing a compelling offering.
In our experience, sales prospecting can benefit from eye-catching collateral. If a particularly impressive piece of direct mail is pinned to a noticeboard, placed on people’s desks or passed around the office, for instance, you can effectively create multiple touch points across a whole team.
An impressive piece of direct mail pinned to a noticeboard or passed around the office can effectively create multiple touch points across a whole team.
The best sales prospecting campaigns also use a little (or a lot of) ingenuity. The marketing world is evolving at an existential rate, and your business needs to stand out from the crowd and earn the attention of your prospects.
Luckily, you can take your sales prospecting up a level with innovative new tools. Naturally, there are plenty of ways you can scale calls, automate reminders for your sales team and analyse performance. However, you can also use technology to form meaningful human connections. Could handwritten direct mail be an unlikely hero in your sales prospecting strategy?
Our clients have experienced incredible results from working with Inkpact to deliver personalised messages to their audience. One global coaching and mentoring company found that one in three clients responded to a handwritten message. Meanwhile, a market research company secured a face to face meeting with one in every five letters sent.
How would your business benefit if your sales prospecting campaign achieved these kind of conversion rates? Get in touch to discover how Inkpact can help to reach your dream leads.