A Quick Guide to Sales Prospecting for SaaS And Tech Leaders

sales prospecting

A Quick Guide to Sales Prospecting for SaaS And Tech Leaders

Written by: Nayeli Vivas

Imagine the following scenario: Your company sells a project management platform for small and medium sized businesses located only in Los Angeles and its surrounding areas. You have a sales team dedicated to finding the right prospects for your platform but they haven’t really worked out a strategy for finding them. They usually just Google small and medium sized businesses in the LA area, look them up on LinkedIn, and send the same automated message to all the possible prospects they are able to find, hoping to get someone interested in the platform they are trying to sell. Time goes by, their efforts haven’t really paid off as they forecasted, and they are not sure how to identify and target the best personas for your product.

That is what selling without prospecting looks like.

Sales prospecting is the process of identifying good-fit customers, clients and/or buyers for the products or services that your business offers. What does this mean? It is all about finding those potential customers who need your products or services and turn them into actual customers for your business. You can check out our 4 Step Guide to a B2B Ideal Customer Profile to help you polish your methods in targeting those leads who might be truly interested in what you have to offer. 

Within a company, the Sales Development Representatives (SDR’s), or Business Development Representatives (BDR’s), are the ones in charge of reaching out to potential customers, hoping to create new opportunities for the company and help the sales team generate more revenue. SDR’s and BDR’s help fill the company’s sales pipeline and allow Account executives to better focus on converting the already qualified leads into long-time customers.

Sales prospecting can be done through email, cold calling, SMS Messages, LinkedIn and other forms of outreach. Other tools, like Sales Intel, Zoom Info, Apollo, etc. are also used to help the sales team research the right companies and people to target. All these tools are used to make sure that the sales pipeline is being filled with qualified leads that you know are a good fit. 

So how do you do sales prospecting the right way? Here are five steps to follow:

1. Do thorough research on your prospect and their business in order to determine whether or not you can provide an added value to them.

This is probably the most important step when doing sales prospecting since you have to make sure that you are choosing the right prospects and improve your business’ chance of success in converting them to customers.

2. Prioritize your prospects based on how likely they are to become your customers.

Prioritizing your prospects can save you time and money into dedicating your efforts to those who are most likely to become your customers. However you want to prioritize your prospects depends on your type of business. The most important thing to keep in mind is you are grouping your prospects into different categories based on their actual interest and likelihood to buy.

TIP: You can prioritize your prospects based on these key three indicators:

  • Need: Does your product or service fit the potential buyer? Do they have a requirement for this product or service?
  • Budget: Is there a price fit? Do the prospects have the budget to buy your product or service? What is the perceived value of your product or service? 
  • Authority: Are you targeting the right audience? Are you trying to reach the right decision-makers in the right market?

You can visit this website to learn more about these indicators and additional ones to consider for your prospecting process.

3. Make sure to prepare personalized pitches for each one of your automated outreach campaigns.

In order to draft a personalized pitch for your targeted outreach campaigns, you can start by dividing the prospects into different groups based on common likes and interests. How will you be able to do that? For example, one category can be made up of a list of companies that are hiring for a specific role in the industry. This role could be a Salesforce role, for example, and it could become a campaign for which you will be able to create personalized pitches based on that information. Another personalized campaign could be about prospects that have liked a specific post of yours or from someone else that relates to what your business does or sells. This way, you are able to personalize your campaigns at scale. 

Personalization at scale is necessary nowadays if you want to create meaningful and relevant relationships with your prospects and use your resources efficiently.

A lot of times, you don’t even have to try too hard to dig into your prospects’ lives and interests to get their attention. Just think about it. If you do some research on the prospect’s role at their company or what their company itself is currently doing or working on, you will most likely find some hidden jewels that can help you prepare a personalized pitch and get their attention. This will let the prospect know that you did your homework, that you are truly interested in what they do and that you are reaching out to them in order to help them.

TIP: It is best to start working with a few campaigns for each group of prospects at first (if you decide to organize them into categories), that way you are able to capture a value proposition for each campaign and track their individual success within a decent time frame. 

Also, multi-touch campaigns are a great way to reach customers, mainly through LinkedIn, email, cold calling and Pay-Per-Click ads, among other social media platforms and advertising models.

4. Create a great first pitch in order to generate a good first impression.

Whether it is by phone or by email, your pitch should be highly focused on your prospect’s business, goal or industry. Try to keep these tips in mind when contacting a potential client:

  • Personalize the message by addressing a specific problem that the prospect is encountering and provide a solution to that problem.
  • Make sure that problem is still relevant to the prospect.
  • You can still take advantage of automated messages without sounding like a robot. Just keep your pitch real and humane by adding details like birthday wishes or happy holidays to try and establish a deeper connection with the prospect. 
  • Don’t try to sell on your first communication with your prospect. Instead, provide help on anything they might be encountering with and ask for nothing in return.
  • Keep the conversation as natural as possible.

KEY TIP: Remember, sales prospecting should never sound like you are selling something. It’s about creating a relationship with the prospect and finding a way in which both are mutually benefited by it.

5. Go over your prospecting process with the goal of understanding your rights and wrongs and make any necessary adjustments.

It’s important to keep notes about every single activity you carry out during the prospecting process to determine which activities were helpful and which ones were just a waste of time. This assessment will help you improve your prospecting techniques in the future. 

As you move through the prospecting process, you might find yourself engaging with prospects in one of these two ways: outbound prospecting and inbound prospecting.

Outbound vs Inbound Prospecting

Outbound prospecting: This is when you reach out to those leads who haven’t yet expressed any interest in your products or services. You usually find these prospects on platforms like LinkedIn, Hunter, Google, or other platforms. The outreach technique consists of cold calling, emailing and LinkedIn. 
Inbound prospecting: This is when you reach out to those leads who have already expressed some interest in the products or services that your company offers. They might have visited your website, subscribed to your newsletter or have already requested a demo or a meeting with one of your sales reps. The outreach technique consists of sending warm emails to explore a possible relationship with the prospect.

Why is sales prospecting so important?

Sales prospecting is crucial to the sales strategy of any company because it provides qualified prospects to sell the products or services to. These are prospects who are truly interested in buying your products or services in order to solve a problem or an issue they are facing. It is about focusing first on making sure you have a pool of highly qualified prospects, instead of prospecting large numbers of people in the hopes of finding good-fit prospects in that large group. 

Hubspot has found out that more than 7 out of 10 buyers want to hear from salespeople early on in the buying process, making it more likely for them to respond. Hubspot also states that 82% of buyers accept meetings when a salesperson reaches out to them first. If you want to know more facts about the importance of sales prospecting, read this Hubspot blog on sales prospecting. 
Prospecting doesn’t have to be a complicated and irritating process. It can actually be a very positive and meaningful experience for both the sales reps and the qualified prospects. It is time for you to put into practice the tips and tricks mentioned above. However, if you want to skip the nuisance of putting up this whole process altogether and focus on other things, you can book a call with us and let our experienced sales team carry out your prospecting process, a team that knows and understands your industry thoroughly.

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