How to Prospect Efficiently: 4 Essential Steps & 8 Great Tools

How to prospect efficiently? This is a question asked by all entrepreneurs and sales leaders, but it seems that there is not a single method that can be adapted to all types of businesses. In fact, prospecting is mainly linked to the ability to precisely target potential customers and find the right method to attract them.

It is essential to put in place an effective prospecting strategy. Depending on the activity and the size of the company, it can be carried out in very different ways such as direct prospecting, prospecting calls, and marketing campaigns. The main objective is to reach a very targeted audience for a high and simplified conversion.

So we decided to dig a little deeper into the subject and break down sales prospecting into 4 stages. As a bonus, we will list 8 tools that will help you prospect effectively, simplify the sales process for your salespeople, and increase your turnover.

1 – The Art of Targeting: Define Your Target And Tools To Find The Right Contact Databases

Define and Understand Your Buyer Personas

Finding and defining your typical customer profile is an essential step in filling your prospecting lists with hot prospects, who will be interested in what you have to offer them.

To understand the typical profile of your customers, you need to first ask your employees who are in contact with them on a daily basis. These are, for example, your sales representatives or your account managers. You can also conduct interviews with customers to find out the main reasons that led them to test your services/products in order to refine your sales messages.

You can also look into frequently asked questions (support, chatbots, after-sales service, etc.) to understand the main issues and questions leads commonly pose. It is important to know how to explain their challenges and your solution, to identify the psychological levers in order to formulate the added value of your offering.

What’s also important is looking into your competitors’ messaging and their customers. Know what differentiates you from them and why customers should be looking at you instead.

The typical profile of your target decision maker is defined with their identity (age group, gender, geographic area), their center of interest (social network analysis, “by interest” groups), their motivations or on the contrary, their brakes. Once identified, you can then select and prioritize verticals in order to generate qualified prospecting lists.

Generate a Qualified Prospecting List— noCRM Prospecting List

To generate a prospecting list containing target companies, you can target databases such as the one of the chamber of commerce. You can also add companies that are already in your own database from past marketing campaigns.

The next step is to identify the right contacts in each company. For this, you can use LinkedIn to find your decision-makers.

Lastly, once the contact is identified, you can use tools such as Hunter Email to find and verify their business email address, as well as phone number. 

In the long term, in order to keep the efficiency level up, you will need to update your prospects’ database regularly and adjust your target if your KPIs drop. For this, it is imperative to remain attentive to your customers, to the development of your business relationships, and above all, to the changes in the market.

To help you generate those lists, we have picked two solutions that deliver:

Logo Mixdata

Mixdata is a solution that provides B2B salespeople with the most innovative technology in terms of Big Data and semantic targeting.

Mixdata analyzes in real-time more than 10 million websites and crosses legal, financial, geographic data, as well as appropriate keywords, to allow salespeople to refine their search as much as possible and find contacts or decision makers in the form of files with scoring, dividing these contacts into 3 categories of relevance (Bronze, Silver and Gold).

Logo Nomination

Nomination is a solution that offers the most suitable access points to your potential customers, in order to increase the effectiveness of your B2B prospecting.

Nomination continuously collects data and monitors the progress of hundreds of thousands of decision-makers, to detect prospects who correspond to your desired target and provide you with their full contact details, so that you can deliver the right message to them at the right time.

You can also find a list of 12 tools for lead generation in 2020 here.

Of course, all these databases can be imported into the prospecting lists in noCRM, to be processed efficiently by your sales representatives.

2 – Write Engaging Emails

Use message structures that convert

Approach your contacts with an email first instead of calling them directly.

Typically, for email prospecting to be effective, it must respect certain fundamentals:

  • The content of your message must be dynamic
  • The shorter your email is, the more likely it is that it will be read 
  • Formulate the problem of your target: it is essential to understand your contact’s challenges and drivers so that you can write an email that summarizes their pain points and your solution to that
  • Your email should be tailor-made to the prospect. It’s not enough to just change the recipient and company name to “personalize” your message. You can include images/videos, and relevant news to their company.
  • Build trust by providing your target with use cases and anecdotes of success stories.
  • Determine the call-to-action: schedule a meeting, read a use case, download a file, invite to an event, etc.
  • To finish your email, don’t forget to always leave links to your website, your contact details and an action button inviting the target to be redirected to your LinkedIn profile, your landing page, etc.

Once all these elements have been gathered, you will need to decide when to send them and think about scheduling reminders.

Fortunately, there are a large number of email solutions that put these features at the heart of their business and guide you in developing engaging emails. We have selected two of our favorites for you:

Logo Mailshake

Mailshake is intended to meet the needs of companies wishing to use emailing as an efficient and rational prospecting channel. You can personalize and send cold prospecting emails on a large scale by integrating relevant “call-to-action” buttons, to continue interacting with prospects by phone or via social networks.

Logo Quickmail

Quickmail is a great tool for creating mass email templates and tracking them. It also allows you to segment the audience and provides you with various performance indicators. The system will also automatically correct typographical errors in your messages.

3 – Prepare Your Prospecting Calls and Identify Their Pain Points

After contacting your prospects by email, the next step is to talk to them on the phone. The first call with your prospect is essential to provide a good impression, establish a relationship of trust and identify their pain points in order to understand which levers will be most effective to win your deal.

However, it is best to go through a mailing campaign first and agree to a call or encourage your contact to book a time slot in your Calendly, or any other online calendar you use.

Once the call has been scheduled, you need to prepare for it. Again, if you want to succeed, you must respect the fundamentals:

  • Find out some information about the person you are about to call
  • Call at the right time to avoid disturbing the person (hence the importance of agreeing to a time slot in advance).
  • Have an entry pitch, which must be short and punchy, to make your prospect wants to know more.
  • Always smile (because you can feel it on the phone too!).
  • Listen more, speak less. This will allow you to understand the precise needs of your prospect, choose the right argument, not rush the commercial speech and deal with objections.
  • Know and master your product/service.
  • Always end your call with a next step (sending a quote by email, a Zoom demo, a physical meeting, etc.)

During this first call, you must also make sure to collect as much crucial information as possible, and keep it so that you always remember key points.
It is something that is not always simple, since you must listen to your prospect while taking notes, try to understand if they’re the decision maker, identify their challenges in order to ask more relevant questions to solve them. All this comes only with practice and experience. That being said, there are methods and tools to help your salespeople in qualifying their prospects.

Sales Script by noCRM

The Sales Script is the latest sales tool by noCRM which allows you to create a sales script from scratch or generate one from existing models. This fully customizable sales script will allow you to list key questions to qualify your prospects and gather the information you need to close the deal. This way, all your calls will be structured in a consistent and uniform manner.

Sales Script Generator

To complete this sales script, it’s very simple! Just check the boxes corresponding to the questions you absolutely want to ask. You can also add notes if necessary.

In addition, you have the possibility of timing your calls and scoring them from 1 to 5.

Once you have finished your call, you can add all the information in noCRM or any other CRM solution in one click so you can always have it in front of you for future reference.

Sales Script integrations

Try the Sales Script: free and unlimited. Forever.

To make your calls, we have also selected two tools that will surprise you:

Logo Phonewagon

Phonewagon is a complete and rapidly deployable solution for your prospecting calls, which has the advantage of offering unlimited use. In other words, you don’t pay for your calls by minutes, but with predefined rates, which allows you to plan the cost of your calls in advance.

The interface is ergonomic and intuitive, with an elaborate monitoring indicators section. Record your calls, ring multiple phones at the same time and receive automatic summaries via email daily, weekly or monthly.

Logo Cloudtalk

Cloudtalk is call tracking software that adapts perfectly to the size and profile of your business. They work in various fields such as medical services, home services, accounting, legal, etc. Cloudtalk gives you access to phone numbers from over 60 countries.

Other cool features include conference calls, the ability to send personalized messages and confirmation notifications from templates. Cloudtalk also allows you to record your calls and integrates with your CRM or noCRM 😉

4 – Take Your Prospect Through Your Sales Process -> Until Closing

Once you have qualified your prospect by following our steps listed above, you will have to follow up on your leads at the right time and with the right information.

To do this, at noCRM, we have created a loop of “To Do – Standby” automatic reminders which allows you to avoid having leads stalling your pipeline without planning a next action. You either have to work on your lead right now, or you will have to carry out a sales activity at a specific time on a predefined day.

To follow this whole process and ensure that your lead goes through all the key stages of your sales process, you can create and manage your own sales pipeline. Once the opportunity is WON, you can take them through a post-sales process to follow up and ensure a smooth handover.