Sales prospecting is the process of identifying potential customers, finding them, and creating a base of leads with the goal of further communicating and converting them into paying customers.
We’ve gathered three experts in the sales prospecting process and asked them directly in the interview about it.
Where do you Find Prospects?
A: Since we mostly use social media platforms to promote and attract new customers, we rely on LinkedIn to find high-quality prospects.
E: We often rely on word-of-mouth and existing clients to help attract new customers. To do this, we use email to keep in touch with our customers and sometimes to find new ones.
N: There are many ways we can find prospects, like from social media and referrals. In our case, we generate prospects from our email list. As we strive to make a good blog, many people who find it helpful drop their information to our mailing lists. That way, we’ve already filtered out who is interested in our business. We can then reach out to these prospects to convince them to become our customers.
Which prospecting method is the most effective and why?
A: In our case, creating a strong professional brand on the platform seems like the most effective method to gain more prospects. We make sure to always be an active participant in our industry by joining LinkedIn groups and engaging in discussions. We also follow news about our prospect’s business so that we are in tune with the latest trends and any relevant discussions.
E: We think having a credible website and good reputation is effective in gaining new customers. We let our work and customer satisfaction speak for itself. Other than that, we also read a lot of news on how the industry is doing to give us an idea of what we can do to innovate.
N: I think one of the most effective prospecting methods for our business is creating engaging content marketing. Today, people are used to consuming online content on a daily basis. It’s a great opportunity for us to tap into the market by providing helpful content. When the audience is engaged with specific content, it will be easier to introduce our brand and promote our product to them.
How do you identify potential prospects?
A: We focus on finding qualified prospects who already have a strong interest in our brand. That is why we browse users who have interacted (like, comment, share) with our profile and posts to find them. Sometimes, we also investigate our competitors’ networks to get a quick prospect list.
E: We identify potential prospects by how interested they are in our brand. If we have been interacting with them for a certain period, we consider them as a potential prospect. Most of the time, these are visitors who ask for quotes and our services.
N: We monitor our sales funnel religiously. When a lead has entered the funnel, we will analyze what the current is likely to take the next action. We can then segment the lead based on demographic, behavioral, geographic, and psychographic to find out whether they move further to our bottom-funnel. That’s why once we collect leads, we’ll work to nudge them to become prospects and then customers.
How do you make a prospect list?
A: We start by collecting profiles that match our target prospects. Filter out by their industry like non-profit organization, real estate, fintech, etc. Then, we scan the following to get a better sense and the best matches. Once we identify people who fit the criteria, we search for look-alikes to expand the list.
E: We list our prospects from our email subscriptions and those who have reached out to us to ask for quotes.
N: We list our prospects based on the direct sales form and email subscription form that we place on our site. We can then segment the leads we collected from the live form. The initial form is important to place and segment our leads as we know who are interested in buying our product and who are just tapping into our marketing funnel. After that, we can reach out to them with different methods to meet our goals.
What are sales prospecting tools are you using (if any)? How satisfied you are, what would you say about it? Likes/Dislikes?
A: We use Crystal for our LinkedIn sales prospecting. The tool helps us get insight into a person’s personality based on their LinkedIn and other social media presence. It allows us to analyze millions of data points — their personality AI shows us what personality type each prospect is so that we know what their likes are, and what they want to avoid.
E: We don’t use any sales prospecting tools.
N: We use Eloqua to automate our email marketing campaign. This tool allows us to design campaigns, analyze real-time firmographic data, and score leads at the same time. We can then segment our prospects based on their behavioral data more effectively.
What prospecting channel do you use to find and engage prospects?
Choose a prospecting technique and lead sources that work best for your niche and deliver the best-converting leads.