Sales prospecting techniques continue to grow as technology advances and improves communication.
While there are hundreds of sales prospecting techniques, we've compiled a list of five of the best ones. These prospecting techniques will help you gather more qualified leads to engage with and eventually convert to customers.
5 sales prospecting techniques
1. Personalize outreach by using unconventional mediums
Reaching potential leads requires cutting through a lot of noise. One way to stand out from the crowd is to personalize the way you target and reach new leads.
While cold emailing and calling are classic sales prospecting techniques, social media is a new way companies can search for potential leads. For example, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are three ideal channels for prospecting. You can search for leads by company type or industry on LinkedIn, follow specific hashtags on Twitter to engage with prospects, or join relevant Facebook groups to connect with new prospects.
David Libin, Account Executive Team Lead at Aircall, said that one phrase that stuck with him throughout his career, especially while serving as a business development representative, was to “know your customer’s customer.”
“When searching for companies that would potentially benefit from Aircall, that is something I constantly thought about. ‘How does the company I am prospecting interact with their customers?’ By researching their LinkedIn and other social media channels, I was able to gauge whether or not voice was a channel for that interaction,” Mr. Libin said. “If it was, then the relevance was there, and I was off to a good start.”
2. Capture high-quality leads by partnering with other companies
Another way to obtain prospects is to strategically partner with companies that have a similar customer base to yours but are not competitors. That way, your businesses can exchange lead lists, and you have a warmer introduction through the partnership.
Some other partnership opportunities include hosting or participating in joint webinars or events to reel in prospects in exchange for informational content. If your organization is pressed for time and resources, being a guest on another company’s webinar is a good solution.
If you host or join a webinar or event, remember to quickly follow up with prospects after to maximize the potential to convert them into a customer. One way to engage your prospects after an event, when your company is top of mind for them, is to develop an email or text campaign. One quick way to ensure the campaign’s success is to ask attendees if they are interested in receiving more information at the end of the webinar and share additional content with anyone who said yes.
3. Showcase your expertise and use relevant resources
Building credibility is a crucial step in sales. One of the best ways to build credibility is to establish yourself as an industry thought leader, and you can do this by sharing relevant content with prospects — old and new.
Sales collateral, like buyer guides, articles, and case studies, can help sales teams pitch to old and new leads. Salespeople can use a tool like DocSend to share relevant content with leads and track their engagement. If you cannot talk to the decision-maker off-the-bat, you can share content with your contact and ask them to pass it to their C-suite, so the messaging stays consistent.
You can also engage new prospects on social media. Consider sharing your company’s blog posts or writing LinkedIn articles to attract prospective customers. Remember to use hashtags so people can find your content or posts on social media.
Plus, leads are more likely to convert when they have more awareness of your company and its product. Content can help you build that awareness for a higher chance of a conversion.
4. Re-engage old leads
Re-engaging old leads is a prospecting technique that can turn up gold when executed properly. A sales and marketing automation platform like Marketo can help you reach leads at different points in the buyer journey with the right messaging.
You can also share relevant content in your email sequences with prospects that didn’t initially convert into a customer to re-engage them. For example, you can send a follow-up email to old leads with an article related to their pain points and tell them you thought it’d be helpful. That opens you up to new conversations with old but warmer leads.
Another way to re-engage old leads is to follow up with them using a mix of communication channels. One particular communication method that works well to re-engage old leads is texting, as it is a gentle way to touch base.
With business SMS, sales teams can develop more meaningful relationships with prospects since it enables rapid two-way communication. Business texting has an open rate of 98 percent and an average response rate of 45 percent.
In addition to following up with old leads, SMS can also help you contact new leads quicker — studies show that companies that reach out to a lead within an hour are seven times more likely to convert them than those who wait longer.
Sales teams can use texting alongside other communication channels such as phone and email.
5. Ask for referrals from existing customers
Another way to get new leads is to ask existing customers for contact referrals. The best way to successfully gather referrals is to have a good relationship with customers from the start of the buyer journey to the end.
Customers who are happy with their experience are more likely to recommend you to their contacts. When reaching out to potential customers, you can reference the referrer to increase the chances of a reply to your message or call. You can also ask your strategic partners to refer your business to their customers, offering them the same in exchange.
Referrals are easier to convert because they are warmer leads and will stick with your company much longer. Studies show that referred customers have a 37 percent higher retention rate than acquired customers. Referrals also have an 18 percent lower churn rate.
The bottom line
The more granular and personalized your approach is to sales prospecting, the better your chances are of converting them into customers. Try a mix of these tips, or use them as inspiration for your next round of outreach.