As an industry, sales has become faster, more precise, and even more competitive. Consumers have access at their fingertips, and are educating themselves on your products and services before they even speak with a sales rep.
And as sales professionals, we have resources, tools, and technology to streamline the sales process. We can prospect smarter, manage the sales funnel with accuracy, and close deals faster. These helpful technologies have become a game changer, but are still not a salesperson’s best asset.
Your greatest resource as a salesperson is TIME. For some, it’s the hardest to manage and easiest to waste.
It’s also what you are asking of prospects. Why should they give you their time?
In sales, time kills all deals…and wasted time kills all opportunities.
In my experience, the net new introduction to the right decision maker at a large corporation takes the longest amount of time to uncover. Your ability to connect with the right decision maker, directly affects your ability to close a sale…so it only makes sense that more activity should lead to more conversations.
And activity takes time, so you need effective tactics to help you reach the right people in the shortest amount of time.
So how do you create a pipeline of new and high-value opportunities?
Here are 3 prospecting tips to create high-value sales opportunities:
- Shake the tree for low hanging fruit
- Follow-up for key intel
- Snipe (cold call)
Shake the Tree for Low Hanging Fruit
Right now, in your target marketplace, there are people with immediate interest in exploring your solution. All they need in order to move forward is to know that you are the one who can solve their problem.
You need to find these “ready to move” prospects quickly. You can use a service such as ZoomInfo to build a large list of key decision maker’s emails, and create a quick mail merge. You can reach out to thousands of people rapidly. Your odds of finding the low hanging fruit skyrockets, especially compared to a slower (but higher success rate) method like cold calling. It’s important to do your due diligence and target these contacts with the right message, identifying pain points, and how you can help them.
Follow-Up for Key Intel
From those email campaigns, you will be able to cross the “no thanks” prospects off the list, gain referrals elsewhere within the organizations, and receive prospect contact information from the “Out-Of-Office” and other automated responses. Use 2 or 3 large email outreaches that are short, to-the-point, and respectful. Respect the prospects who request that you hold off for a few weeks; and then actually follow-up with those who ask that you do. Document and measure your activity.
You are looking for that one deal that can take you from the status of “non-producer” to “top producer,” and all it takes is one “yes” from a major prospect.
Snipe (Cold Call)
You should also be building a targeted list of accounts that are a combination of your prospecting efforts and marketing activity. You will be spending more time directing your messaging to the key decision makers. Remember, they are bombarded with messages every day so this approach should be specifically tailored to the person you are reaching out to. Your messages should cover who you are, what you do, uncover their pain points, spark curiosity, and ask for a first meeting.
You should also connect on LinkedIn and Twitter to further boost engagement. This is the “sniping” stage. Each voicemail and conversation should reference the last touch point: “I sent an email about” or “I sent a LinkedIn message about,” the message should lead to a next step. Always provide reference points and context that is TRUTHFUL. Don’t lie or deceive prospects. Be truthful and build honest relationships. You need to close new business, but you need to make sure they are quality deals.
Activity is key when generating pipeline.
Once you have invested the time in reconnaissance, you can be confident that your more precise work will be focused on the right people. Contrary to debate, cold calling does work, but it should not be used in isolation. As Trish Bertuzzi of The Bridge Group states, “inbound + outbound = allbound.”
The timeless sales adage of “if you can measure it, you can manage it,” rings true around time management and productivity. Time is your biggest asset. It can easily be misdirected, and it’s easy to get caught up in wasted activity. As you perfect your selling approach, use these 3 prospecting techniques to reach the right decision maker with the right message to drive results.
Our featured author is Jordan Kert, a top tier sales professional with a hunter mentaility. As a Business Development Consultant, Jordan consults with business leaders, matching them with the right products and services to grow revenue. Connect with Jordan on LinkedIn.