Businesses always begin with leads that come from sources like phone books, the internet, or through talking to others. Leads become prospects when they are identified as fitting the right criteria of the company. In other words, prospects have all the proper credentials to convert into a paying customer. The first stage of the selling process is to work out whether the target is a viable prospect. If they are, they can then be entered into the sales journey.
10 Proven Ways to Acquire, Communicate and Nurture Prospects
Prospecting for salespeople is both time consuming and challenging. Nevertheless, if done well, it rewards your business with clients who are the ideal fit. Here are some of the best ways to acquire a new prospect.
1. Determine a Prospect Profile
Create profiles based on your best, worst, least, and most profitable customers. Work out their pain points and how your product helps solve them. Find similar businesses matching their criteria.
2. Work Out Where to Search for Prospects
In most cases, this will be the same place you met some of your current best customers. Work out which social media channels and publications these types of prospects use.
3. Create Call Lists
Ask your prospect questions during the call, learning about their pain points, wishes, and needs. After all, interesting conversations tend to qualify leads more easily. Keep in contact with them and consistently work your leads list.
4. Keep it Personal
80% of buyers say they prefer to be contacted by personalized email rather than bulk email. In fact, personalized emails have a 25% better open rate than this. Make sure your email works on mobile, 50% of emails are read on the go, so click-through rate is better. Also, pay attention to the content you produce.
5. Request Referrals
40% of salespeople admit they don’t request referrals. Yet, the closing ratio for a referred sale is between 50 and 70%. Once a deal is made, request a referral. 83% of customers are happy to do this if they are happy with the service.
6. Become an Expert
Set yourself up as an industry expert and provider of solutions. Learn about your customer’s concerns and needs. Discuss the functionality of the product on your first call, giving examples, and answering questions as appropriate.
7. Make Use of Socials
91% of B2B buyers are actively involved in social media, and the use of social media by salespeople can improve win rates by 5% and deal size by as much as 35%. Additionally, 82% of buyers say they look for vendors on LinkedIn before replying to an outreach message.
8. Use the Right Content
During prospecting, think about what you’re trying to achieve. The content you use should aim to ease pain points and address difficult situations for clients.
9. Demonstrate Sales Skills Via Video
7 out of 10 B2B buyers say they watch a video at some point in the buying process. Moreover, 96% of customers admit they find videos useful when making an online purchasing decision.
10. Follow Up
Moving a lead through the sales process can take time and effort, but it’s worth the commitment. People appreciate quick follow up, which not only builds trust but builds relationships as well. There’s a 24% chance of a lead replying to a second email if a response isn’t given the first time around.
There are many different ways of acquiring a prospect – different people use different tactics.
Getting New Prospects Needn’t Always be a Challenge
Sometimes, getting new prospects isn’t easy. Details can be wrong, or the salesperson ends up speaking to a regular employee rather than someone authorized to make buying decisions.
These types of things can be avoided if businesses invest in tools to help gather direct contact details. The Lusha contacts extensions tool gathers contact details for the decision-maker and the hard-to-reach prospects to avoid your sales team wasting time contacting the wrong person. The tool not only collects more accurate B2B data, but the sales discovery process is shortened, and more deals can be closed helping to maximize sales teams’ efforts and results.
Benefits of Prospects and How they can Result in a Sale
When a salesperson prospects, they usually rely on different tools to find new customers. Although new customers are gained, and revenue increases, there are other benefits of looking for prospects.
Salespeople can use basic questioning to work out which potential customers might be the most profitable. As well as outlining the top prospects in which to go for, this technique also helps shorten the sales cycle, giving them more time to develop other contacts.
Data can be gathered during the sales process, as well. Salespeople can contact prospects, collecting data from them, and conducting market research. The result? Data that can be used to contact even better prospects in the future, as well as more robust sales strategies.
Data throughout the sales process can also help identify potential prospects, like during the market research stage.
Leads turn into prospects when they fit specific criteria that make them suitable for contact. The process of finding suitable prospects can be time-consuming and challenging; however, there are many tried and proven ways to gain them. These include using referrals, sending custom emails, and developing strong customer profiles. On the other hand, salespeople can encounter problems when looking for prospects. One of the most common is when they speak to an employee who isn’t a decision-maker within the organization, this is why many sales teams how now introduced contact tools to make the process easier.