A Better Way to Prospect and Generate Leads
Tuesday, 15 July 2014 | Tuck Mixon
You want to grow revenue faster and more profitably. Your salespeople are challenged to win new customers, and filling the pipeline with good prospects is one of their main challenges. While your top salespeople have healthy pipelines, other salespeople do not. These salespeople often prospect inefficiently and ineffectively. Many chase bad prospects. And yet most salespeople only contact a small fraction of your ideal customers, and they don't contact your good prospects enough to really know if you can help them. At most companies, salespeople need to generate at least 50% of their prospects, and unfortunately, many struggle to find and engage good prospects.
You could blame the salespeople for these problems and tell them to make more calls and network more. But in our experience these problems go beyond the salespeople. Because these issues can be symptoms of poor systems, random processes, or ineffective management, it's also a leadership issue. Are salespeople held accountable for prospecting results? Are they targeting your ideal prospects systematically? Are they getting referrals from customers? How many good customers are you missing because of ineffective, inconsistent prospecting?
Because there are Better Ways to Prospect, you can help your people prospect more effectively. Many clients get three to five times as many good appointments. Thousands of salespeople now generate more prospects with less effort. At this point, you don't know if your opportunity is for a small 10% increase in pipeline or if you can double or triple your pipeline. With better systems and more effective prospecting practices, your salespeople can fill their pipelines with more good prospects. And you can grow revenue faster and more profitably.
What is one of these Better Ways to Prospect? It involves targeting your ideal prospects with a series of emails. Not newsletter type emails from Marketing, and not product focused emails either. Emails that address business issues your prospects care about. Emails that help your salespeople identify and get introduced to the right people. Emails that generate appointments with 2% to 8% of prospects.
You can use Outlook or GMail manually if you have relatively few, high-value prospects. If you or your team have hundreds or thousands of prospects, then an automated system that provides intelligence on opens, forwards, and clicked links is better. A good system works for multiple salespeople and helps you identify the interested prospects. I use and recommend BuzzBuilder Pro. Combined with other tools that improve prospecting, (LinkedIn, SalesLoft, Avention), your salespeople can prospect effectively and productively. If this approach fits your business but you don't have time to write effective emails or you doubt your salespeople will load prospects into campaigns, then you can hire firms to generate appointments for you. At $100 to $200 per appointment, your effective salespeople might be more valuable selling instead of prospecting.
To get even more appointments with these ideal prospects, your salespeople can call them after emails are sent. What you say, what you ask, and how you say it really does matter. In our experience, the fastest way for your salespeople to get better at calling prospects is to record their calls and listen to them. Most will be shocked at how they sound. Ideally, they listen to their calls, they listen to other salespeople's prospecting calls, and they get good coaching from other salespeople, from their manager, or from an outside coach.
What if your salespeople got two additional appointments per week? How would that impact your business? Do the numbers for your business, and if you want help doing the numbers, contact us. Call us at 952-239-0722 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Within 90 days, your pipeline can be completely different from where it is today. If ineffective prospecting, weak pipelines and salespeople not making their numbers are issues for you, take action.