Sales Prospecting in the Digital Age
For decades, we at Richardson have talked about the Three Critical Success Factors of Prospecting: Will, Skill, and Knowledge. We have trained and coached thousands of companies on strategies and a consistent framework to improve sales prospecting efficiency. We promote a more strategic approach when the prospect is an executive, involving needs-based dialogue, an effective prospecting plan, and both the confidence and discipline to execute the plan.
All of these elements remain as vital today as ever in today’s uncertain business times. Prospecting still involves persistence in securing a meeting, capturing the potential customer’s interest, earning credibility, and encouraging new ways of thinking.
These sales prospecting tips and techniques will help your team more effectively sell into new and existing accounts.
The web offers sales professionals more extensive opportunities for prospecting than ever before. Research can be quickly and easily accomplished using sales prospecting tools like LinkedIn, Google Search, and Google Alerts. Company websites are rich with information about products, markets, internal culture, news items, and geographic reach. There are often links to financial reports, research reports, white papers, and other key information.
Social media connects people with common interests — whether the desired outcome is to build relationships, find resources, or solve business problems.
One of the most effective sales prospecting techniques is using the power of social media to make a deep connection with prospects. Following these social sales prospecting tips will deliver immediate results for your team:
- Use LinkedIn to build your network, find prospects, and learn about those prospects by researching them further. You can also connect and communicate with them through emails and in-mails, discover who they know, and even request an introduction to their connections. Advanced search features allow the pinpointing of prospects according to a number of criteria. Additionally, LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator offers even more tools specifically for lead generation, social selling, and prospecting techniques.
- Search Google to find web pages, images, videos, and other information about prospects, both on an individual and company level. Just type your search term into the box, click enter, and see the wealth of information available on your person or topic of interest.
- Set up Google Alerts to keep up to date with news and happenings within your prospect’s organization. Google Alers is an automated service that monitors the Web for specific search terms or keywords that you enter. When new content is found, an e-mail notification is sent directly to you so that you can use this information for calling sales prospects. You can specify how often to get alerts, the types of results that you want, and other options.
Being able to effectively use sales prospecting tools is only one part of an effective prospecting strategy. Sales professionals still need to build their skills, knowledge, and technique to engage prospects in consultative dialogue once the initial introductions and calls are made.
That’s why clients continue to turn to Richardson for sales training and performance improvement from prospecting throughout the sales process, helping sales professionals to build relationships and profitable business.
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