9 years ago
January 7, 2015

6 Sales Prospecting Tips That Work

Sales prospecting is one of the areas of sales in which no matter how good a sales person becomes, he or she can always do better.

Rhys Metler

6 sales prospecting tips that workSales prospecting is one of the areas of sales in which no matter how good a sales person becomes, he or she can always do better. Prospecting is at the front end of the sales cycle for a reason: There are so many outcomes that can eliminate a prospect from the sales cycle altogether, sales people have to collect as many prospects as possible to maximize closes at the other end. These six sales prospecting tips will work to help you get more quality prospects into your own pipeline.

1. Sort Suspects from Prospects Quickly

In a perfect world, each initial contact you make would be a prospect. You would already know that contact’s preparedness and likelihood to buy, and the sale would be easy. Selling does not take place in a perfect world, and sales people therefore must make contacts with suspects, sometimes with nothing more than a phone number and name. Sort suspects from prospects quickly by qualifying from the first conversation so that your sales prospecting time can be spent where it will achieve the greatest results.

2. Follow Up with Your Prospects

When you are in sales prospecting mode, how many times do you call a single prospect and leave a voice mail if he or she does not answer? An astonishing number of sales people only try once. Others may try two or three times. However, your prospects came to your attention for a reason, and it is up to you not to let them fall through. Routinely follow up with prospects until you have made contact. Those who need your offering will thank you for the perseverance. 

3. Track Your Own KPIs

Your sales manager may already be looking to how many sales prospecting calls you make as a key performance indicator, but this may only tell part of the story. If you want to improve your sales prospecting you are in the best position to do so by tracking:

  • How many sales prospecting calls you make in an hour
  • The average length of each call
  • How many presentations or follow up meetings are made
  • How qualified your prospects are at initial contact

These are only a few of the KPIs that you can track yourself, objectively or subjectively, to determine where you can make a change that would enact better results.

4. Listen to Your Own Sales Prospecting Calls

The strongest improvements come out of learning from our own mistakes. If your organization offers phone call recording, take advantage of it, or use today’s technology to record your sales prospecting calls on your own. By listening to your own calls you can pinpoint where and how you might like to make a change to increase your sales prospecting effectiveness.

5. Ask for References via Introduction

If you are serious about your sales prospecting, you are already asking past clients for referrals on a regular basis. Make those referrals go further by asking your clients for a reference via introduction. Satisfied past customers will be happy to take a moment to send an e-mail or mention you in conversation to others that could benefit from your product or service in the same way that they did. This turns a cold lead into a warm lead right away, and is one of the sales prospecting tips you can start using immediately. 

6. Approach Sales Prospecting with the Right Attitude

Attitude makes the sale, and the sale starts with your sales prospecting. If you are approaching the time you have set aside for prospecting with anything less than positivity and a desire to succeed, your prospects will know. Focus on the joys of prospecting in meeting new people and making your goals instead of simply crossing it off your to do list. If you do, your sales prospecting results will naturally improve.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ 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 daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.