Prospecting is critical to any sales team’s success. Without prospects, the pipeline and sales whither. Unfortunately, many people spend their valuable sales time on contacting bad leads, or even worse, cold calling. Strong sales prospecting techniques — before contact is ever made — helps to ensure your sales team isn’t wasting time that could be better spent on more valuable leads.

Here are five techniques a sales team can use to prospect more effectively: 

1. Aim High

A common problem among salespeople is that they start too low in an organization, attempting to gain a foothold and slowly determining who makes the purchasing decision. Today, you can easily gain insight into what a company’s organization chart might look like. Simply look at LinkedIn or scour job boards to see what positions organizations have hired for in the past. This helps you reach out to the decision-makers immediately, instead of wasting time speaking to people who don’t have any insight into the purchasing process. 

2. Build a Customer Profile

Many salespeople look at basic organizational demographics and conclude that this info is enough to begin reaching out to prospects. This includes whether they’re in the proper sales territory, industry or are the right size. To be successful, you need to dive a bit deeper by answering these questions about prospects first:

  • Are they likely to have any time or budget constraints?
  • How familiar with our brand or product are they likely to be?
  • Is it a market that we have had success in previously?
  • Which challenges is this customer likely facing? Are they the problems we’re best at solving?

Once you have this profile built for a prospect, prioritize prospects accordingly so more time is spent on the prospects most likely to be receptive to your efforts. 

3. Create Explainer Videos

Generating inbound leads automatically improves your sales prospecting. Inbound leads are never cold. They’re already aware and interested in your brand, shortening the sales cycle significantly. In B2B sales, customers spend up to 90 percent of the sales cycle before working with a vendor.

Explainer videos are perfect for this purpose. They’re short, concise videos that explain exactly who your company is and how you can solve a customer’s problems. An explainer video grabs people’s attention and gives them everything they need to know to take the next step. Since video is shared seven times more often than links, you should also expect to see greater engagement and reach.

4. Nurture Existing Leads

One of the best ways to find relevant prospects is looking at your existing lists of cold or underutilizes leads. You can nurture prospects by reconnecting with them in a timely fashion with relevant or new information. For example, HubSpot was able to capitalize by reaching out to people on its list who had either not responded or fell off during the sales process by inviting them to participate in a webinar with valuable, relevant information. In one month, HubSpot generated 1,200 leads and converted at an incredible rate. What’s more, HubSpot was able to knock it out of the park by using prospects it already had at its fingertips.

5. Tying It All Together

To make sales prospecting even easier, review the accompanying sales prospecting checklist to make sure that you’re not overlooking anything important. Use this checklist and your prospecting could be more efficient than ever.

Checklist Created By: Sales University Group Sales Training

Tyler York

CEO & President Brian O’Neill and Sales University Group have helped the most innovative, fastest-growing businesses and Fortune 500 companies with sales recruiting, sales training, sales consulting, inside sales and a unique program called “The Interim VP of Sales Program.” O’Neill is also the author of three books available on Amazon.