Prospecting – The Achilles Heel of Inside Sales
“I’m responsible for prospecting my leads, and the results I want aren’t there… Any advice?”
I’ve found that the salespeople who struggle the most to make quota have two things in common:
- They are using a flawed sales process (and in most cases don’t even know it)
- They call on low % prospects — a lot.
This is a deadly combination because even if you are the best of the best with respects to your actual sales process (what you say, when you say it, how you say it etc.) if you are calling on low % prospects, you will still come out with less than stellar results – and will be exhausted, frustrated and broke in the end.
Know Your Niche – Get Rich
Successful prospecting starts with knowing who your targeted audience is.
Example: If you sell advertising and your niche audience is the ultra-luxury car market, building your prospecting list to contain all the authorized Ferrari, Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, etc dealers in the United States can be a very effective strategy.
Sell to Common Folk – Go Broke
However, if you are a logistics company, making a list of all the companies that need shipping would not work out as well simply because the list would be too broad.
One of the keys to successful prospecting is finding your niche. Even though you can technically help all companies, who require shipping, without a niche market to hit with a specific USP (Unique Selling Proposition) you’ll be looking for a needle in a haystack.
If you are responsible for developing your own leads, find your niche before doing anything else.
WARNING: If your method of prospecting is to look for a lead and call it, then look for another lead and call it, etc, STOP.
This has to be one of the least effective ways ever invented to sell. You will have more success at selling when you “BUILD” your targeted list first and then make the calls.
I learned this once when starting a new job and the president who took me under his wing did not allow me to make any calls until I understood:
- Who their targeted audience was;
- How and where to find them and
- Had at least 250 prospects that matched the criteria he gave me, under my name in my CRM account.
- He gave me a week to accomplish this. (I completed the task in two and half days)
That’s the power of a) having a solid sales process and b) knowing how to find and call high % prospects.
Added Bonus of Identifying Your Niche
Once you’ve identified who your niche market is, you’ll be better equipped to also branch out into “social selling” activities that will attract high % prospects that will want to contact you and discuss what you have to offer them.
– Michael Pedone
Michael Pedone teaches inside sales teams how to pick up the phone and close business. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – An online sales training company.
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