Prospecting training allows you to improve your sales effectively
- Prospecting process
- Hot and cold prospecting
The original use of the word "prospecting" in the phrase the sales enablement refers to the efforts of individuals to find gold by visually scanning creek beds and rock formations. When traces of gold were spotted, prospectors would spend time sifting through the earth to find the precious nuggets and traces left by washing the earth.
That's what today's commercial prospectors do: they sift through large lists of potential customers to try to discover those who are interested and ready to buy.
What is prospecting?
Prospecting is the first step in the sales process, which consists of identifying potential customers, called prospects. The objective of prospecting is to develop a database of potential customers and then contact them with the goal of converting them from a potential customer to an active customer.
How do we proceed in sales?
We ask ourselves if this person is interested in our services or products, unless they have done business with us before. For now, they are only Potential Customers, here are the two categories they will fit into:
Prospects (lead): These are companies or people who, according to your diagnosis could be in need of buying one of your offers. They are unaware of your existence, at least for the moment. You are still hesitating whether they would buy or not. You can wake them up to your existence to determine if they are potential buyers.
Phot prospects (hot lead): Hot leads are prospects who, having made contact, have validated their interest. Imagine, your kitchen appliances are on average 10 years old, this could be an interesting prospect for a kitchen designer. Provided that he has access to this data.
A customer is a prospect who has spent money with you.
Different prospecting tactics:
To connect with sales leads, buyers who may or may not be potential customers for your business, there are a number of popular prospecting tools and tactics you can use, including:
- Phone calls: designed to engage in a discussion with the person who answers the phone.
- Automated voice messages: designed to try to persuade the listener to take action to get more information, such as visiting a website or calling.
- Email: designed to share information and prompt the recipient to take an action that identifies them as a prospect.
- Direct mail: mailed in the form of flyers, postcards, or catalogs, for example, designed to share information that may prompt you to consider a purchase.
The primary objective of these marketing efforts is to qualify a recipient as a prospect, which is someone who may or may not have a need for your company's products or services. Knowing that someone does not anticipate needing your offerings - and therefore is not a prospect - helps you refine your prospect database so that you can focus your marketing dollars on the people most likely to become customers.
Cold and hot prospects
To find the right prospects for your products or services, it's good to have a step-by-step plan in which a prospect goes from "cold" to "hot."
Cold prospects are people or companies that fit your customer profile, but are not yet familiar with your company. Advertising, public relations, cold calling and networking are the best ways to reach these people.
Hot prospects are people or companies who have come into contact with your company as cold prospects at an earlier stage. The best way to approach them is through a direct mail campaign, but also through (personalized) advertisements and telephone appointments.
The ultimate goal is to convert a "hot" prospect into a customer. To do this you must position your product as a solution to their problem. It is easier to understand the meaning of prospecting in sales if we go back in history and remember the prospectors during the gold rush. Their job was to sift through rocks looking for signs of gold. The principle of B2B sales is exactly the same.
You can also read our article on CRM to take the next step in sales enablement.