By Amanda Wynne
It doesn’t matter how senior you get as a sales person. It doesn’t matter how many inbound leads your marketing team generates. It doesn’t matter how many sales development reps you have in place to support your team. No matter what, you’re still going to need to do some of your own prospecting.
Now, as much as you’d love to enjoy all aspects of your work, prospecting isn’t easy for most people. There’s lots of rejection involved from a lot of prospects that don’t enjoy being interrupted — no matter how great your value proposition is.
At the same time, your pipeline is going to depend on your ability to add new opportunities. So, try these four tips to make the process more appealing.
Look to Your Past Success
Stop for a second and consider where many of your best deals came from. I’ll bet there were many that started with an outreach you did — in person, maybe at an event, or through phone or email. Looking back at these past successes is useful for a few reasons. First off, it’s very motivating. You did that. It was your lead that you opened and closed. And you can do it again.
Second, it’s useful to understand how your prospecting succeeded. When you can honestly look at your prior efforts you can spot where there were tactics that worked well and others that wasted your time. Be honest and double down on what worked. At the same, mix in new experiments and try new approaches so you don’t end up in a rut.
Mix Things Up
You should try doing something new. Not only is it useful to boost your success rates, but it’s also great to keep you motivated. I’ve seen top reps realize that if they want to stand out from the crowd, they can’t rely just on email, phone calls, and LinkedIn invites. They need to do something different.
That’s where I’ve seen reps succeed by sending personalized notes that speak to a prospect’s unique needs. I’ve admired reps that partner with marketing to get unique gifts and mementos that they share and then follow-up. I know sellers that have experimented with video as a way to introduce themselves. Sure, these tactics can often have higher hit-rate. But I also like them because they keep you interested and engaged. They’re something knew and encourage you to think differently about your approach to your prospects.
Try engaging with your sales enablement team to support these non-traditional approaches. Odds are they’ll be excited too.
Focus, and Focus
It’s very dispiriting to stare at a list of prospects that you know will never convert. Most experienced sellers can give a prospect list a hard stare and know whether they have “good ones” or not. Yet having to dig through to find a diamond among the rocks can take you out of your rhythm and just frustrate you.
A better way to get a great results and stay motivated is to start with a great list. Today’s predictive analytics and lead scoring platforms have made poor quality leads a thing of the past. They do so by assessing the behavior and particulars of your leads and comparing them to previous results to predict their future conversion chances. That lets you as a prospector not depend on guesses or hunches. Instead, you can use data science to pick your best matches.
Don’t have a predictive tool in place? Get a hold of your sales enablement team and make the case in terms of time saved and higher conversion rates.
One of the keys to successful prospecting is to have your message match the needs and priorities of the recipient. That can be exhausting and time consuming if you are having to assess each prospect’s industry, company size, opportunity stage, product interest, and more before you choose which messaging to share.
A great way to deal with that is to use predictive content. Tools that look at past successes of your colleagues and match content with the needs of your prospects are critical. They’ll suggest to you which content and messages to share. There’s no hunting for materials. The right assets appear in your CRM or sales portal based on who you’re prospecting to. So, you can quickly send the right materials that will resonate — and then move on to the next prospect. Efficient!
By eliminating some of the drudgery and focusing on the positive, you can make prospecting fun and hyper effective for pipeline building.
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