Sales Prospecting Techniques

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Sales Prospecting Techniques 101: Where to begin

“I love to sell, but I hate prospecting. How can I get better at something I don’t want to do?”

Sales prospecting is a key cornerstone for any sales professional that wants to increase sales.
To be successful at prospecting, it takes more than just “sales motivation” – it takes a strategic game plan. And although there are many sales prospecting techniques, it helps to always start at the beginning.

Sales Prospecting Techniques 101: Your ICP

Sales prospecting begins with understanding your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile)
This means that you know how to pick your zebra out of the herd.
The first thing to realize is that you may have several ICP’s. It might help to think in terms of baseball.
You’ll have clients that are “Singles”, “Doubles”, “Triples”, “Home-runs” and “Grand slams”
The analogy represents your average deal size. You could always go for the “grand slam” however you will most likely starve if that’s all you do. So it’s important to know where your bread and butter comes from (singles and doubles) and how to spot those types of accounts when prospecting.
Keep in mind that the parameters may change per ICP.
The first thing I would do is this… Run a report on all closed / won sales over the past 12-months and analyze the data. (I use a product called Datanyze that will do all of this for me – but here’s what I look for in the report)

  • Industry
  • Annual Revenue
  • Employee Size
  • Geographical Location

Narrow Your Sales Prospecting Focus

Once I see a list of all the closed / won deals over the past 12-month period, I take out the “grand slam” deals and I remove the smallest deals as well. Not the “singles” but the “oh I can’t believe we are about to take this deal” sale. After all, the last thing we want to do is go after more of those type of prospects, right?
So now that you have a scrubbed list of your primary clients, look for patterns.
Example:
You may notice that companies in the Computer Software field who are in the USA and have 100 – 250 employees and annual revenue of 10 million+ is one of your most popular, most profitable ICP’s.
However, Logistics and Supply Chain companies who are in Canada and have 250 – 500 employees and have annual revenue of 1 million to 10 million are one of your top ICP’s as well.
By starting your sales prospecting efforts with identifying your ICP and getting a clear picture of who your target audience is will get you on the right path to sales success. And when you’re having success at prospecting, you’ll no longer be resistant to doing it.
– 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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