Prospecting is one of the most important components for lead generation and it is often quite misunderstood by sales professionals.
It is extremely important to have a steady stream of leads inside your business and that won’t happen if you don’t have the right prospecting strategies and processes in place.
In this article we will look at different types of prospecting strategies that can help you generate more leads as a sales professional.
Prospecting is the first main step inside the sales process. It consists of determining your target market and customers and developing the proper systems in order to go after them and market your products and services.
Why Prospecting is So Hard
The biggest challenge with prospecting is that most salespeople don’t even know how or where to start prospecting. If you are a solo entrepreneur and are starting a new business venture this can be the biggest hurdle to get past.
Let’s look at different types of prospecting strategies that can help you get more leads and acquire new customers.
Different Types of Prospecting Strategies
Outbound prospecting involves the process of identifying people that might be potential customers for your business. Once you have identified your target customers it’s time to contact them and see if they are in the market for what you are selling and how your product can help them out. Generally, this kind of prospecting is referred to as “cold outreach”.
Some of the common Outbound prospecting strategies include:
- Cold Calling
- Linkedin Marketing
- Trade Shows
- Industry Networking Events
- BNI Groups
- Paid Advertising
- Cold Email
The main goal of outbound prospecting is to get the leads into the sales process so you can qualify them as a prospect and present the necessary product or service to them.
Inbound prospecting is a method for generating leads and prospects by creating helpful and engaging content on your website and having prospects provide their contact information organically for you to reach out to them.
In certain cases, prospects and leads that come through inbound sources can have a higher purchasing intent, but it isn’t always the case. It will depend on what kind of product or service your company offers.
Common inbound prospecting strategies include:
- Creating and publishing content (such as blog posts, social media posts)
- Social media listening and engaging (engaging with your social media audience)
- Creating helpful video tutorials (creating YouTube videos, product demo’s
- Holding webinars and company sponsored events
- Surveying current customers and leads
Pro tip; use a CRM system to keep track of your propsects
Making Prospecting Easier
Now that you have some insight behind the different types of prospecting strategies, how can you make prospecting easier for your line of business?
One thing that can make prospecting easier is having a full understanding of your product and service offering. Once you have the necessary expertise for your products and services you can begin to develop your target customer.
Once you know who your target demographic and target customer is, it’s time to choose a prospecting strategy to help you get leads. The strategy you choose will depend on your skillset, knowledge, and your budget. It’s important to note that it will be necessary for you to test different prospecting strategies to find one that is most effective for your line of business.
Pro Tip: It’s important to test both inbound and outbound prospecting strategies to gain an idea of which type is most complimentary to your business. In most cases you will end up using a combination of the two which can help you drive more prospects.
After testing different prospecting strategies, you should have an idea of which one is most effective for you. From there it’s important to develop a concise sales script and process which can help you duplicate and scale your results.