1 year ago
April 13, 2016

Sales Prospecting in 2013

To meet your sales goals in 2013, you will need to up the sales prospecting ante; relying on past customers will not get you where you need to be.

Rhys Metler

sales prospectingThe economic outlook for most industries is improving and more empowered prospects are ready to buy your organization’s product or service, but first you have to find those prospects. To meet your sales goals in 2013, you will need to up the sales prospecting ante; relying on past customers will not get you where you need to be. Here are three ideas to improve your sales prospecting results in 2013.

Create a Sales Prospecting Plan

Without a plan for your 2013 sales prospecting, your sales goals might remain remote. Use your 2012 close ratios calculate how many new leads you will need to cultivate to reach this year’s sales goals (of course, you can plan to improve your close ratio in the process, but it is realistic to start with your most recent past performance). Divide those leads into the number of working days in 2013 to determine how much outreach you need to do on a daily basis. Then:

  • Make daily, weekly, and monthly sales prospecting goals, and schedule time to catch up should you fall behind
  • Create a method to track your progress, including a measure of the quality of leads generated from each source you are using
  • Periodically re-assess your sales prospecting progress

Sales Prospecting for Quality

More quality prospects lead to more business, but ask anyone involved in sales to name their favorite resource for sales prospecting and you’re sure to get a different answer. Some sales people are confident in the quality of paid leads through various sources, while others reject the practice of paying for leads. Whichever side of the paid lead fence you’re on there are plenty of ways to add more leads to your database through prepared sales prospecting.

  • Perform a competitive analysis. Where are your competitors finding business, and how can you access similar sources?
  • Narrow your focus. Is there an underserved segment of the industry that could use your organization’s offering? Become an expert on that industry and devote part of your time to extremely focused prospecting in that area.

Improve Sales Prospecting Presentation Ratios

The first contact you make with a prospect sets the tone for future contacts. You plan for the first contact before the prospect even knows that you are out there, researching his or her business, industry challenges, and need for what you are selling. You then introduce yourself and roll out a fantastic sales story, clinching an agreement to hear your full presentation when the prospect’s schedule is more open. Yet despite your dedicated follow up, the prospect refuses to move closer to scheduling the presentation. How can you move forward?

  • If you follow up and reach a voicemail, don’t leave a message. If the prospect isn’t calling you to move forward he or she probably won’t call because you left a general voicemail. Hang up the phone and call again a day or two later until you reach the prospect directly; he or she will never know how often you called if you are not leaving a message.
  • Provide value with your follow up. Don’t just call to touch base; at best this is awkward for the prospect and at worst can be an annoyance. Find something likely to be of interest to the prospect, such as current public news about a competitor or a recent trade magazine article, and follow up with that.

By adding more quality prospects to your pipeline you are adding value for your organization as well as for yourself. Your sales manager, and the managers and executives above him or her, are paying attention to more than just your hard sales numbers. Sales prospecting is an important part of your job and the more quality prospects you bring in, the closer you come to achieving top performer status. This year, take your sales prospecting to the next level and reap the benefits.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.