A few decades ago, understanding products and services was the core of a successful sales process. However, the highly competitive economy of the modern era has transformed this sector. Consequently, sales have become buyer-focused, and prospecting has established itself as the backbone of the craft.
To be able to embrace the prospecting strategies we’ll discuss later, you need to understand the importance of this process. When approaching sales, inexperienced professionals focus on deal-closing strategies and hitting monetary targets. They forget that prospecting comes before these steps and allows them to take place.
Prospecting sets the tone for the overall sales cycle. When done right, it creates a potential customer pipeline and establishes your credibility as a salesperson. It also allows you to prioritize the correct account, helping you save time and energy and boost revenue.
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Traditionally, sales teams try to identify the existing customers who need the product or service they offer. While this method is effective to a degree, it limits the growth potential of your business.
In addition to your existing customer base, who else could benefit from the product or service you offer? Consider other industries or geographies that are adjacent to the ones you currently serve. If your offering is relevant in those contexts, dig in to learn more about the potential new prospects.
Once you’ve identified your target audience, try to learn more about them. You can profile them based on their demographic, location, interests, and other characteristics. These assessments will give you an insight into the clientele you’re targeting and allow you to take meaningful actions.
As a result, your team can drop the deals that are unlikely to result in sales and prioritize more promising and potentially profitable prospects. Startups will focus more on local markets, while already-established brands will go for the international audience. The customers’ profiles will dictate the way you approach sales.
Finding appropriate ways to engage with new prospects is the next step in the sales cycle. It all comes down to creativity — step out of the box and think of original ways to connect with clients. There are several approaches you can take at this stage, depending on your line of work.
The following list explores some popular options:
A marketing strategy that has persisted through time despite changes in the marketplace is word-of-mouth. Most buyers still place more trust in what they hear from their peers than any other sources. So, having satisfied customers who can and will vouch for your brand remains one of the most powerful advertising tools.
The best way you can leverage this opportunity is through referrals. Ensure your sales team is regularly getting testimonials from clients. The most appropriate time to ask for them is immediately after the sale. At that point, the customer is still enthusiastic about your products or services and likely to recommend them to others.
Your salesperson can present them with a list of customers you’ve been targeting and ask if they can assist you with them. Conversely, they can ask the customer for general referrals — businesses they know will benefit from what you have to offer.
Monitoring your progress and results is vital to every business process, including sales. So, adopting the outlined strategies is only half the job done. Ensure you observe the changes new tactics have created within your workplace and the results they’ve yielded. This type of review will let you know what methods have worked in your favour, generating the most prospects and sales. Plus, they’ll reveal missed opportunities, areas that need improvement, and techniques you should drop.
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