The Importance of Prospecting in Sales
There’s no denying the importance of prospecting in sales. Everyone understands that without sales prospecting, there are no new leads. And without new leads, sales shrink and companies die.
Okay, maybe that’s a dramatic oversimplification, but still, sales prospecting is vital to B2B organizations. Why else would companies be spending so much on sales prospecting tools? In fact, on average, B2B companies pay over $4,500 per rep per month on sales tools, including sales prospecting tools (InsideSales.com).
This investment signals that the ROI on sales prospecting tools has a profound impact on a sales organization’s pipeline and revenue. So how exactly does the sales prospecting process help sales organizations succeed? Let’s break it down.
Sales Prospecting Brings in More Leads
The main (and most obvious) way prospecting helps in sales is that it brings in more leads. In the age of inbound marketing, more and more emphasis is placed on making available content that is easily found and offers enough value to potential buyers that they are enticed to raise their hand and find out more information from a sales person.
While there’s a lot to be said about the power of inbound marketing, it’s no replacement for having a sales prospecting strategy in a multi-pronged demand generation plan. According to HubSpot, 72% of companies with less than 50 new opps per month didn’t achieve their revenue goals. That’s a lot of pressure to put on any one demand generation method. By making prospecting a part of your larger demand generation strategy, you’re better poised to hit quota and create enough opportunities to move the needle. Your sales team is 56% more likely to attain quota if they reach out to buyers before they engage with sellers (Sales Executive Index)
Sales prospecting also helps you to connect with buyers that are ready to buy now. In fact, 19% of buyers want to speak with a sales person during the awareness stage of the sales process, when they’re first considering new solutions and products (HubSpot). Even better, 60% of buyers want to discuss pricing on the first call. You have to strike while the iron’s hot, and sales prospecting lets you do just that
Sales Prospecting Helps You Understand Your Customers
A lot of sales people dread prospecting because of the amount of rejection inherent in reaching out to strangers and asking them if they want to buy something from you. While it’s true a lot of prospects are going to either say no or ignore you completely, there’s always opportunity to understand the needs and concerns of your buyers.
By analyzing the conversations you have with prospects who say no, you can optimize your sales messaging to maximize the amount of positive sales conversations you can have with future prospects. By using sales prospecting tools that allow you to analyze recipient falloff, you can zero in on the parts of your message that aren’t resonating with potential buyers. Negative sales prospecting conversations also give you insights into the inner workings of companies you want to sell to. You can learn a lot by asking the right questions. These conversations are a great chance to understand the budget constraints of target companies, the organizational hierarchy of the sales organization, and the strategic initiatives buyers are currently focused on. This information can be incredibly valuable both in helping you understand your target market as well as generating information you can reference later on; remember, just because a prospect says no today doesn’t mean they’ll say no down the road.
Sales Prospecting Helps You Qualify Customers Better
Qualifying buyers frees up a lot of wasted time on unproductive sales prospecting and marketing. Knowing what makes an ideal buyer is invaluable both to your sales and marketing efforts. By prospecting, you can get a better sense of what questions you need to ask to quickly determine if a prospect is ready to buy from you.
As part of your sales prospecting method, make sure to document prospects’ answer to important qualifying questions, like how big their company is, how many people they have on their team, how many potential users they would have use your product or service, and what their budget constraints are. You can then document these responses in your CRM or sales prospecting tool to better get a sense of patterns and trends with both those prospects who buy from you and those who aren’t ready to make a purchase. You can then use this information to qualify future prospects faster, allocating resources to those potential buyers that are more likely to buy.
Sales prospecting is crucial both to your bottom line as well your sales organization’s ability to forecast deals coming down the pipeline. By consistently making sales prospecting a part of your day to day sales activities, your team will be well-poised to crush their number quarter after quarter.
Ready to improve your sales prospecting efforts? Download our free ebook, “The Ultimate Guide to Video Prospecting,” and learn how to supercharge your sales prospecting strategy with personalized video for social and email outreach.
Posted on July 11, 2018