11 min read

Top B2B Prospecting Methods

Top B2B Prospecting Methods

Sales professionals need to be continually Prospecting, so getting good at it isn't optional, it's essential!  Unsure of where to begin? Look no further, as we have compiled a comprehensive list of the most effective prospecting techniques to ensure you are covering all aspects of your sales strategy!

 

Prior to diving head first into prospecting, it is crucial to dedicate time to researching your prospects. This will ensure that they align with your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and that you have gathered sufficient information to tailor your outreach approach effectively and have the opportunity to personalise your outreach for better results.

 

ICP graphic

 

Even if your prospect seem like a good fit for your ICP, it is essential to have the answers to these types of  questions -

  • Is what I’m selling going to solve a pain/challenge they have?
  • Does the product I offer align with their needs and industry?
  • Are they showing genuine interest in acquiring the product I offer?
  • Are they utilising a comparable product offered by a competitor?

Research can be a daunting task, especially when you need to scour the web, pour over LinkedIn, and blog articles to find valuable information. Streamline this process with the assistance of ChatSpot.

ChatSpot helps you dive deep into company data like funding rounds, locations, and technologies used, saving you time with valuable information in one place.

 

Begin your initial outreach with a concise and targeted approach aimed at addressing specific issues [relevant to each Buyer Persona] with a tailored solution. Utilise insights gathered during the research phase to connect the prospect's current challenges or goals with your offering, ensuring your message is not only relevant but also engaging.

Psychographics takes things to the next level. Originally introduced over 50 years ago, psychographics empowers sales and marketing teams to create precise strategies that target specific audiences based on psychological factors.

Companies use psychographic data to drive revenue by understanding what emotionally resonates with their audience and delivering relevant, compelling messaging.

While psychographics first emerged in consumer behaviour research, today B2B sales teams are leveraging this data to personalise engagement with key personnel and management within their target accounts. 

 

Demographics v Psychographics graphic

 

Next step is active Outreach. Is it Inbound, Outbound, or a blend of the two?

Inbound is where the leads come directly to your business. Typically, these leads are generated through form submissions (but could be other sources such as webinars, etc.) and then directed to a sales representative to follow up. Inbound prospects are already familiar with your business and are actively seeking a solution.

With Outbound Sales, sales teams use various Strategies for lead generation, including cold calling, LinkedIn messages, and cold emails. Let's explore the top B2B Prospecting Methods.

Best B2B Prospecting Methods

 

Social Selling

2022_Design_Icon_Target_RGB_S-1Social Selling has become the talk of the town, thanks to the ever-evolving buyer's journey and the widespread use of social media platforms. It's all about using these platforms to connect with prospects, nurture relationships, and ultimately drive those sales numbers up. Social sellers can build trust and credibility in the digital realm by sharing valuable content, engaging in industry conversations, and actively listening to customer feedback.

Trueleads LinkedIn Automation helps you expand your sales funnel and increase your sales pipeline with the ability to focus on social selling, build campaigns to 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree connections, send personalised messages and synch with HubSpot, making it a real game changer for sales folk that currently spend a lot of time prospecting on LinkedIn.

By strategically utilising platforms that B2B prospects and customers are active on, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, sales reps can effectively nurture leads, showcase their expertise, and establish a robust online presence that resonates with their target audience. We know online interactions heavily influence decision-making, and mastering the art of social selling can provide sales professionals with a competitive advantage and unlock new opportunities for growth and success. 

 

 

Email 

email icon2Email is a powerful tool that is both cost-effective and quick to use. By sharing valuable information about your business through emails, you can showcase the value of your product or service to customers. Email outreach helps keep your product or business at the top of your consumers' minds. Establish and nurture relationships with your customers by providing them with informative content.

Your subject line needs to grab a prospect's attention to ensure your email stands out in their inbox and gets opened. Next, focus on the first ten words of your message. These words are often visible in the inbox preview, so craft a compelling first sentence that entices the prospect to read more. 

Don't try to cover every feature and benefit of your product in your sales email. Keep the email short and relevant to the challenges your prospect is dealing with.

For a more personalised approach consider using video emails as part of your outreach. Platforms like Sendspark, Wistia and Hippo Video allow you to create personalised video messages that help put a face to your name and spark curiosity in your prospects.

Note: Be mindful of email deliverability -  you don't want to damage your domain reputation with emails that are considered spam. Email campaigns that have a high bounce rate can also damage your domain reputation so it's important to keep your CRM update to date..

 

Warm Calling

Calling iconCold calling can be very difficult. Warm calling is a better and more effective strategy for securing appointments with key decision-makers in your target accounts. 

To capture your prospect's attention, it's essential to have a compelling message ready, so take the time to truly understand their business, their challenges and preferences. Exploring your prospect's social media profiles and website can uncover valuable insights to personalise your approach. Look for common ground, whether it's a shared interest, connection, or group, to establish a meaningful connection.

Using the Double Tap technique is one great way to boost your response rate when making warm calls. This involves following up your initial call with another form of communication, such as an email, LinkedIn message, or video. Showing your determination and persistence with the Double Tap method is sure to catch your prospect's eye!

 

NO MORE “where is your pain?” or what keeps you up at night”

Successful sellers do the research so they know the answers to these questions before calling any prospect

 

 

Content Marketing

Types of content marketingContent marketing is the process of planning, creating, distributing, sharing, and publishing valuable and relevant content via channels such as social media, blogs, websites, podcasts, apps, press releases, print publications, and more. The goal is to reach your target audience and increase brand awareness, sales, engagement, and loyalty.

According to HubSpot research, 70% of companies use Content Marketing in various forms. Useful content types include blog posts, paid ads, social media posts, infographics, checklists, videos, ebooks, webinars, and podcasts.

This type of content can be helpful to share not only in nurture campaigns but also with your prospects in your sales campaigns.

 

Digital Content Tips

 

Direct Mail

Direct mail can create impactful experiences that establish trust and captivate decision-makers and c-suite executives.

In addition to boosting response rates, direct mail offers a unique opportunity for creativity and establishing a personal connection. Unlike email and text messaging, direct mail does not require initial permission for GDPR compliance. Therefore, if reaching a customer via email is not feasible, you can still engage them with a personalised message and thoughtful or quirky gift through direct mail.

Direct mail is a great way to initiate an account-based sales campaign. However, due to higher costs, focusing on larger, more lucrative accounts is advisable.

 

Referrals

Referral prospecting is all about leveraging your existing network of contacts, clients, and business partners. Begin by identifying individuals who may have connections to the prospects you are targeting (such as business associates, strategic partners, or clients) and kindly request an introduction. You can do this by making a phone call or in person which leads us to networking...

 

Networking

Networking, like sales prospecting, is a process and not an event.  It takes time to develop a network, especially if you’re new to the working world or still trying to establish yourself in your industry.  Identify your reasons for networking. Is it to find new business, contacts or introductions, or is it to retain and build existing relationships?  Identify the people you should network with. Do you know the names of the people you need to develop better relationships with? If you haven’t already met them, can you arrange to meet them?

 

Introducing SpokeSpeak

 

A community for Sales Professionals to ask questions and share tips on all things Sales. Listen to other sales folk comment on their current challenges, top tips, and burning questions.

Visit SpokeSpeak to send us your questions, comments and tips...

 

 

 

 

8 Top Tips for B2B Sales

 

1. Embrace Technology 

Your CRM is like a secret weapon in your sales arsenal. By integrating automation tools into your prospecting strategy, you can nurture leads effectively and share valuable content faster.

These tools streamline the process of distributing content, managing customer relationships, and engaging with prospects on social media platforms. They work together seamlessly with your website to guide potential customers through the sales funnel, ensuring that they are well-informed and ready to make a purchase. With a high lead score indicating their interest, it's the perfect time to close the deal and seal the sale.

Using Sales Hub you can keep on top of your daily prospecting tasks with the dedicated Prospecting Workspace. Calling, email, video and research all in one place makes much more sense than jumping from one system to another!

Without marketing automation, you are shooting without aim. Close ratios tend to be higher for leads that are nurtured over time and when you are viewed as a thought leader.

To get started, consider taking an integrated approach to generating, nurturing, and converting leads into customers by automating various sales and marketing processes to optimise your pipeline. Import your contacts into your marketing automation software, (HubSpot smart CRM comes to mind 😍) and segment each group with the criteria that are important for your business. Identify the goal of your conversion points and highest needs, and create engaging content for each stage of the buying process.

One critical element of your prospecting is the availability and the quality of your data. Getting access to clean, precise, and reliable data is vital to making a connection with your prospects. This is where tools like Clearbit are invaluable. The first HubSpot Native Data Provider, Clearbit, goes beyond enrichment and is now supercharged with AI, Clearbit records, scores, routes and reveals buying intent from your visitors. Gold dust for B2B sales teams!  LinkedIn is a good place to start the search for B2B prospects, helping you validate your data and carry out research.  

 

 

 

2. Improve your List Building Skills

List Building is a key task for anyone involved in prospecting. There are a variety of methods and tools (Clearbit, Apollo, Cognism, Zoominfo, LinkedIn, etc.) you can use to build prospect lists. While starting to build lists with spreadsheets is an option, it's not the most scalable solution. Purchasing lists is an option for some businesses, but it often leads to issues with poor-quality data.

A more effective approach is to create your own lists. even though it can be time-consuming and tedious, it is a valuable and essential task.

The main success factors to list building are:

  • verifying your data, (preferably from more than one source)
  • following appropriate email guidelines (GDPR etc)
  • using a sales automation tool
  • using an integrated CRM
  • prioritising your contacts and prospects 
  • updating your CRM regularly to maintain the quality of your data

 

3. Set Goals and Time-block 

Establishing clear objectives is crucial for evaluating progress. Developing a daily strategy will guide you in determining the most effective B2B prospecting techniques to prioritise. By time-blocking, you ensure that you have dedicated, uninterrupted periods specifically allocated for prospecting. This is key as an ad-hoc approach to prospecting is a recipe for disaster.

Use SMART Goals  - they must be Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-Bound

 

4. Focus on Quality over Quantity

Having many leads may seem appealing, but their true value diminishes if they aren't progressing through your pipeline. That's why focusing on a select group of high-quality, engaged prospects is more beneficial. While cultivating quality leads requires time and effort, your B2B sales team will appreciate the impact of prioritising quality over quantity, especially when they experience a boost in their closing rate.

By filtering out low-quality leads, you can enhance productivity, expedite the sales cycle, and streamline your sales pipeline.

 

5. Use a Multithreaded Sales Approach

Fuelled by digital interactions and cutting-edge technology, a Multi-threaded outreach strategy efficiently coordinates interactions with diverse buyers, delivering personalised support and seamless communication. Stakeholders receive customised assistance by aligning messaging with individual needs along their distinct purchasing journeys.

This strategy puts the customer at the centre and opens up multiple avenues to advance a deal, as salespeople are not confined to communicating with just one stakeholder. Building relationships with multiple contacts in a single account is a smart move that can lead to greater success in closing deals.

 

6. Use a Multi-Channel Strategy for Outreach

Multi-channel outreach is the process of using multiple sales channels to reach out to your sales leads. For example, your first point of contact could be a cold email. Then, you send them an Email on LinkedIn or a cold call on their office direct dial. This is where the concept of multi-channel outreach comes into play – a strategy that leverages multiple communication channels to engage, inform, and build relationships with your audience.

Example

LI Multichannel Prospecting

Accelerate your campaigns and improve success rates by combining Multi-Threading and Multi-Channel outreach is the same campaign.

NOTE: Engaging this powerful duo in the same campaign does, however, increase the risk of errors. Navigating  the complexities of combining multi-threading strategies with multi-channel outreach can pose challenges in managing your strategies effectively. Accordingly, it's crucial to have the appropriate tools in place to streamline operations and prevent mistakes from spoiling your efforts!  

This type of campaign is easily set up and managed in HubSpot Sales Hub.

 

7. Become confident in managing concerns

Be prepared for what prospects often say when they push back on your messaging.

  • Not interested:  Inquire about the prospect's key concerns and priorities. Showcase how your product or service can effectively address the obstacles they are encountering..
  • Work with a competitor: Inquire about their level of satisfaction with the competitor's product on a scale of one to ten. Highlight your product's unique features or functionalities, which are not available with the competition.
  • Don’t have budget: Highlight the cost-saving advantages of utilising your service. Showcase success stories from satisfied customers who have experienced financial benefits by using your product.
  • They haven’t responded: Follow up with tailored information and leverage various communication channels.

Balance is key. Adopt a helpful not pushy approach and your prospect will be more open to continuing the conversation.

 

8. Follow Up

It's crucial to follow up promptly as it plays a vital role in closing deals successfully. Some sales opportunities are missed because of delays in responding to leads or prospects showing interest. While some may hesitate to follow up, being proactive is key to sealing the deal and should be a priority for all of us.

 

FAQ - your questions answered

 

Sales Consulting Services

From Lead Generation Campaigns, Go To Market Strategy, defining Ideal Customer ProfilePricing and Packaging review and Sales Process audit, we guide you on what to do and how to do it. And show you how Sales Hub could be a great option for your sales team...

We map out a clear path to accelerate your growth and give you the choice to either implement it yourself or have us take care of it for you. Discover more about our Sales Consulting Services and why not take a look at our Growth Plans too?

 

Related:

Qualification: How To Improve Sales Win Rates

 


 
To further assist with your prospecting efforts, see our related articles linked below

Larger PRS  headshot2

 

or schedule a call with Peter Russell-Smith, BBA's Managing Partner and Sales Strategist 

 


 
BBA wavy graphicUSEFUL LINKS

How to Prospect New Clients

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What are the stages of the sales cycle?

What is Full Cycle Sales?

Top 7 Strategies for Successful Multi Threaded Sales Campaigns

 

 

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