If you’re a sales rep and you’re not prospecting every single day, chances are that your sales pipeline is looking pretty barren.
We get it, though. Prospecting isn’t that simple and can be one of the most challenging parts of B2B sales. But it’s crucial to maintain a healthy pipeline and fill your calendar with meetings.
So you’re in the right place if you’re unsure where to start or need the advice to give your prospecting that extra push.
Keep reading to learn our three top prospecting tips that’ll get you booking more meetings in no time.
- 1. What is Sales Prospecting?
- 2. Three Sales Prospecting Steps to Book More Meetings
- 2.1 Identify Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
- 2.1.1 How to Identify Your ICP
- 2.1.2 Identify Triggers
- 2.2 Implement These Sales Prospecting Methods
- 2.2.1 Cold Calling
- 2.2.2 Cold Emailing
- 2.2.3 Video Prospecting
- 2.2.4 Social Selling
- 2.3 Structure Your Day to Maximize Your Time
- 2.3.1 Time Management Tips for Sales Prospecting
- 3. On Your Mark, Get Set, Go Book More Meetings!
Rather watch than read? The Sales Feed team asked top sales experts for tips on booking more sales meetings on this episode of Sales Stuff Explained.
What is Sales Prospecting?
Sales prospecting is the first step in the sales process. This includes reaching out to people you think might be interested in your product or service.
The goal is to book a meeting with your prospect so you can educate them on your offering and convince them to buy.
Three Sales Prospecting Steps to Book More Meetings
If you’re in an outbound sales role, you know prospecting is hard. Sellers across the board agree that reaching buyers is getting more challenging, and 42% say booking meetings with potential customers is a top challenge. So, let’s jump right to it and learn more about the three prospecting steps you can use to start booking more meetings ASAP.
1. Identify Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
To start, it’s crucial to get an idea of your company’s ideal customer profile (ICP). An ICP captures the ideal or perfect customer—that is, the customer that’s the perfect target for your solution.
How to Identify Your ICP
Remember the following when identifying your ICP:
- What does the typical customer look like?
- What’s the status quo of what goes on within their organization?
- What are they typically trying to accomplish with a product like yours?
Once you have your ICP, you might get overwhelmed by the sea of people you can potentially call. The best way to approach this is to select a specific niche of ICPs to narrow down on.
“If I get more into that ICP niche, my confidence in selling to that customer will increase, and my ability to provide value to that customer quicker will also go up.”Kara Smith BrownLeadCoverageFounder & CRO
You can do this by looking up people who work at companies in the niche you’ve chosen. From there, make a list of people who’ll benefit from your product, and then choose people who are senior enough that they can probably make the purchase.
Once you’ve found the right prospect, do additional research on them to give yourself a jumping-off point that’ll help you stand out.
All the information you’re gathering on your ICP is called a trigger.
Triggers provide context behind the reason why you’re reaching out to the prospect. Triggers are typically the first sentence or subject line in a sales email, or an opener in a cold call. This way, the person you reach out to (who may not know who you are) has some summary/context.
A few good ways to identify triggers include looking at the following:
- The prospect’s LinkedIn profile
- The prospect’s company website (press releases, newsroom, etc.)
- Interviews on YouTube done by the prospect
Once you’ve identified those triggers, start reaching out to your prospects so you can start filling up that sales pipeline.
2. Implement These Sales Prospecting Methods
Now that your ICP has been identified, it’s time to choose your prospecting method. Nearly 60% of sales pros agree it’s taking more touchpoints to move deals forward to close. The most excellent chance of success is an omnichannel outreach approach that employs a variety of touchpoints across different mediums.
Right now, the most popular prospecting methods are:
The best sales reps don’t just use one prospecting method, though. They use a good mix of all of these.
The first prospecting method, and probably the most well-known, is cold calling.
If you’re calling a customer without having an appointment on their calendar, it’s a cold call.
When cold calling, always introduce yourself and recognize that you’re calling out of the blue. From there, get into your sales prospecting.
Cold calling can be awkward initially, and you might encounter failures or rejection. But don’t take them personally. Truthfully, customers have different priorities, and sometimes they’re just not interested in buying. Just keep cold calling, and you’ll eventually find the people willing to buy from you.
In this episode of Sales FAQ, eight trainers, leaders, and practitioners dish out the best way to open a cold call. Watch this video to learn what works best for them!
The next most common prospecting method is cold emailing. Like cold calling, you’re sending an email to a prospect without any prior contact.
Some people waste no time deleting prospecting emails in their inboxes. So the best way to approach cold emailing is to keep your email short and structured like this:
First sentence: Quick context as to why you’re reaching out.
Second sentence: Describe the current state and the current problem with it.
Third sentence: What does the future look like for them with your product or solution?
Final sentence: Finish with a call to action (CTA), like booking a meeting.
Try to avoid the following when sending a cold email:
- Long emails
- Poorly formatted emails
- Cliches (“I hope this email finds you well,” “bumping this for visibility,” etc.)
- A calendar link to book at their convenience—instead, suggest specific times (“book a call with me tomorrow or Thursday”)
Make sure to read your email out loud before sending it. You’ll hear issues that aren’t apparent while reading and can edit them before the email goes out.
After sending, don’t be discouraged if your email doesn’t get a response. Even the best emails don’t get responses sometimes. Don’t give up! Just keep sending.
Using video messages to prospect is a game-changing outreach method and is a powerful way to book more meetings. Nearly three-quarters of business or sales development reps use video messaging for outbound prospecting.
Video stands out in inboxes—over 60% of reps say it’s helped increase response rates. The customer gets to see you and feel your energy. And best of all, when you use video for sales, you can personalize your message in no time flat (even if those videos are only 15-30 seconds long).
With video tools like Vidyard, you can easily record and send a video via email clients, sales engagement platforms, or even LinkedIn InMail messages. You can also take advantage of video analytics to see how much of the video somebody watched and even get notified when they view it so you can follow up immediately.
Here are a few things to consider for your video outreach:
- Avoid looking creepy (filming in a dark room, in the corner, etc.)
- Don’t make it too long (shoot for 30-60 seconds)
- Provide a brief written summary before the video embed in case they can’t watch it in their current situation (i.e., a company firewall blocks it)
Not sure what to say in your prospecting video? We have an array of video prospecting templates that you can use to get started.
Social selling is a newer but efficient prospecting method. It’s a great way to create your personal brand, be recognized by millions of people using social platforms, and produce content to drive sales.
Use social media to educate people in your networks about your solution or product by commenting on posts, sharing content about your product, or sending video messages.
You can also leverage video to further engage and connect with your audience. Video can be an eye-catching way to start conversations with prospects. 93% of businesses landed a new customer because of a video on social media. Just remember to keep your videos authentic to who you are.
3. Structure Your Day to Maximize Your Time
Now that you know what prospecting methods you should use, your success as a salesperson will be very predictable based on how you also choose to spend your time.
Ask yourself: How much time do I need to spend to fill up my pipeline? What do those daily pipeline-filling activities look like?
Breaking up your day into smaller doses, like time-blocking your weekly calendar to create focus periods, can help maximize your prospecting time.
Time Management Tips for Sales Prospecting
When managing your time for prospecting, consider these things when you time block your day:
- When is the best time to call prospects?
- When is your energy level the highest so you can be the most effective on these calls?
- Are you being consistent when making those calls?
- Will you be able to stick to your calendar?
You have to have a process that works and a goal every day. This way, you’re not letting your day take control of you.
“Prospecting is like working out! It’s hard to do, but if you’re consistent, you’re going to get results.”Morgan J IngramJB SalesDirector of Sales Execution
On Your Mark, Get Set, Go Book More Meetings!
And that’s everything you need to know about sales prospecting, with three easy prospecting steps to help you book more meetings.
Once you get those tips and prospecting strategies down, you’ll fill up that sales pipeline like there’s no tomorrow.
So get out there and start prospecting. You’ve got this!
This post was originally published on July 13, 2022. It was updated on February 24, 2023.