How to Do Sales Prospecting? Tools and Best Practices

Sales Prospecting

The sales industry is evolving. Technologies like automation and artificial intelligence have made sales processes simpler and more efficient. Further, social selling has also opened new avenues for sales professionals to achieve sales goals.

But, despite these advancements, companies are still finding the process of sales prospecting and nurturing to be difficult. This study by HubSpot proves that 40% of sales representatives consider prospecting to be their biggest challenge.

Have you wondered why businesses are finding it harder to find and keep prospects? Why do businesses complain about losing prospects before they become a customer?

One of the major reasons could be an improper sales prospecting plan.

In this article, we will dive deep into sales prospecting, understand the best sales prospecting practices and learn about various tools that can streamline your sales processes.

What is Sales Prospecting?

Sales prospecting is the process of identifying the prospects to find out whether they fit your ideal customer profile. The goal is to nurture these prospects to convert them into paying customers.

Although acquiring and converting new leads is a part of every sales prospecting strategy, sales professionals must not forget to re-engage old leads or customers. This can be done with the help of a new or revised sales strategy.

Sales Prospecting Best Practices

1. Identify and Understand Your Prospects

Not every lead you generate or prospect you come across would be an ideal customer for the business. That is why identifying and understanding the prospects is essential for the success of sales prospecting.

According to Sales Insight Lab, 50% of the prospects are not an ideal fit for the business. So, instead of chasing the wrong prospects and wasting the time of the sales team, create a buyer persona and connect with only those leads that match your ideal customer profile.

Conduct thorough research on the prospects using some intuitive online sales tools. Pay attention to their website, social media pages, and blog to check if there is an alignment between their business challenges and your product or service.

2. Initiate Engaging Conversations with Your Prospects​
Initiate Engaging Conversations with Your Prospects

Effective conversation creates a sense of trust and builds better client-business relationships. Write convincing sales scripts for cold calls and engaging messages for emails. Personalize the messaging according to the prospects’ industry, job role, location, and other demographic information and behavioral factors.

Focus on creating a bond with your prospects with the help of engaging phone calls and personalized messaging. Address their pain points or challenges and provide them with a solution to resolve the same.

3. Keep the Conversation Going
Following up with prospects after the initial pitch is essential for closing a sales deal. This study by Brevet revealed that 80% of sales usually requires at least five follow-up calls post the initial meeting. Always send a follow-up email to prospects irrespective of whether they accept or reject your proposal. You can gain insights to understand how not-to-sell your products and make changes to the sales techniques. Do not be pushy or oversell. If a prospect is not responding or showing interest, follow up with them at a later date. Use CRM, such as HubSpot, Zendesk, or ActiveCampaign to create a reminder about this follow-up.
4. Leverage Technology to Optimize the Processes
Leverage Technology to Optimize the Processes

Automate the sales prospecting process wherever possible. Use intuitive tools (like the one mentioned in the section below) to free the sales team from manual tasks and encourage them to focus on other important tasks such as scheduling demos, resolving customer queries, and more.

5. Take Advantage of Word-Of-Mouth Marketing

Devise a referral program and ask your customers as well as prospects for referrals. This form of marketing ensures you reach out to a more precise audience and thus, increase the conversion rates.

Reward your customers with some tangible benefits as a token of appreciation of their effort. You can send out coupon codes for subscription renewals or offer a free trial of premium features to the referrers.

The above-mentioned plan with the right sales lead tools will skyrocket the prospecting campaigns and convert more customers.

Best 5 Sales Prospecting Tools You Should Invest In

Let us have a look at the top sales prospecting tools to help you streamline prospecting activities. Note that this list includes paid as well as free sales prospecting tools.

1. LeadsChilly
2. LinkedIn Sales Navigator
LinkedIn Sales Navigator

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is an excellent social selling tool that helps sales professionals discover prospects and connect with them organically. Besides discovering leads, sales professionals can also manage these leads effectively in custom lists and track them in a tailored pipeline.

The automated lead generation feature suggests the best leads based on the search history, sales preferences, and profile views. Further, you can gain powerful insights into the prospects and stay informed about their updates.

Integrating LinkedIn Sales Navigator with CRM software like HubSpot can help you track all prospects from a single platform.

Pricing – $99.99 onwards

3. Quora

Quora is one of the best question-and-answer websites that can help you source qualified prospects without any hurdles. You can leverage this platform for sales prospecting by connecting with the prospects and reaching out to them via Quora’s messaging feature.

Further, you can also create marketing opportunities by answering questions related to your product and industry.

Pricing – Free

4. MailTester

As the name suggests, MailTester is an email verification and email checker tool that keeps the prospects’ lists free from invalid emails. This accurate email list cleaning tool immediately catches irrelevant emails and ensures your email databases stay updated with the right email addresses at all times.

Besides, it identifies and deletes duplicate contacts. It also searches the email lists for spam traps. Thus, maintaining the sender’s reputation.

Pricing – $19 onwards.

5. HubSpot Sales
HubSpot Sales

HubSpot Sales is one of the widely used CRM that helps you track and manage prospects as well as customers. It also offers you to send personalized email messages by setting up email templates and custom email sequences. Further, it gives you detailed insights into the performance of the email campaigns via click-through rates, email bounces, open rates, and unsubscribe rates.

Pricing – Free, Paid plans start at $35 onwards

Final Thoughts

Sales prospecting can be time-consuming and challenging but it is an essential part of every sales process. With the help of the right approach and online sales tools, the sales team can achieve success at prospecting.