B2B Sales Pipeline with Better Prospecting
Only a few sales teams consistently meet their revenue targets. The teams that don’t typically spend a lot of time training their salespeople and perfecting their sales processes. These efforts can fix a broken pipeline but they don’t ensure a steady supply of leads in the first place.
A predictable pipeline process ensures you have enough qualified leads entering your sales funnel through active prospecting. It allows you to improve sales processes without the fear of missing out on qualified leads, and tide over seasons of low inbound leads effectively.
In this article, we discuss how SDRs can improve their prospecting processes to generate a predictable sales pipeline. Let’s get right into it.
5 Steps to predictable Prospecting
1. Know the Ideal Customer Profile
Ensuring that you provide value to potential customers from the get-go is critical. The easiest way to do this while improving your sales success is by reaching out to the right prospects. And an ideal customer profile makes your prospecting more effective. So, how do you do it?
First, ensure you collect relevant consumer data. This should be comprehensive. You should cover firmographic, technographic, geographic and behavioral data, including job designation, company, age, preferences, and preferred channels. Most sales pipeline management systems and CRMs today help with this.
Next, look for similarities between your valuable customers. Understand common customer problems, buyer motivations, and behavior. This will help you craft the perfect sales pitch. Lastly, combine the expertise of your sales and marketing teams to make prioritizing potential leads easier. This provides more direction to your outbound prospecting efforts.
2. Personalize Outreach Efforts
75% of buyers expect vendors to tailor their sales pitches to address their specific goals and challenges. This means you need to personalize your outreach.
Research your prospect thoroughly before your first outreach. Use data collected from your CRM system and check their parent company’s public-facing resources. This will help you gauge the buyer’s purchasing constraints, and interests. Now you can craft a sales pitch to convert your prospect to a lead.
But personalized communications don’t stop with prospecting. They can help you convert leads in your sales pipeline to paying customers as well. Start by tracking your lead’s behavior from site visits or social media interactions. Understand their preferred communication channels. Then develop outreach efforts considering all of them.
You could also check your prospect’s progression through the sales cycle from the sales pipeline dashboard, develop targeted outreach based on it and get higher conversions.
3. Ask for Referrals
According to the 2022 Marketing Mix report, 54% of surveyors relied on referrals to get qualified marketing and sales leads. The reason is simple – trust. When making a big purchase customers gravitate towards products their peers vouch for. After all, these products have a proven record of being effective. So, how do you convince your customers to give you one?
Well, you simply ask them. After a successful interaction with them, ask your customers if they’d like to review your service via call or email. You could even send out surveys to your customers from time to time, as and when they use your services.
Note that a steady stream of referrals can get you a steady stream of leads with minimal effort. Furthermore, you can display customer referrals on your website as social proof. This can help you cultivate many more prospects to qualified leads.
4. Execute Multichannel Prospecting Campaigns
Today, your prospects are not just a cold call away. They can also be reached through social media channels, emails, and SMS. This means instead of sticking to one channel for generating leads, you can reach out to them via different channels and boost your chances of striking up a successful conversation.
Besides, no two outreach channels are equally effective. For perspective, research shows that SMS marketing has a higher click-through rate of 6.16% compared to email marketing with a CTR of 2.8%. And when alternated, they can be far more effective than cold calling. Here’s one way to go about it.
Start by checking which channels your prospects use regularly. Note that this will differ depending on your industry. Say, your prospects are active over email, LinkedIn, and Twitter. You can send a connection request to a potential buyer on LinkedIn, or connect with them through meaningful conversation over LinkedIn groups. Once they accept your request you can reach out to them via email. You can further create personalized landing pages for your prospects, and use calls to follow up on emails or vice versa.
These approaches help you build a deeper connection with prospects, pushing them further down the different sales pipeline stages.
5. Set a Cadence
If you’re relying on outbound prospecting, you need to connect with them at least 6 to 8 times to ensure they are sales qualified. And once they enter your pipeline you need to engage with them time after time to ensure better conversions. A sales cadence that tells you when and how to contact your leads.
Go back to your customer profile to understand your prospect’s broad interests and preferred modes of communication. Trial different times of contact to understand when a given prospect is most responsive, then trial the number of attempts. Keep in mind, this will differ depending on your prospect.
Further, make sure you space two outreach attempts appropriately and keep the efforts consistent. Pro-tip- you can automate email, SMS, and social media outreach based on prospect interactions today.
Lastly, set a duration for your sales cadence and know when to stop outreach. This ensures you don’t waste time pursuing a lukewarm lead.
Check Your Sales Pipeline Metrics to Know the Success of Your Efforts
The above prospecting approaches should help you with better sales pipeline management and boost your sales metrics. You should see a higher number of qualified leads, a lower average sales cycle and lower customer acquisition costs. That said, no two organizations will benefit from the same prospecting approaches. So, if one approach doesn’t work for you, don’t shy away from tweaking it for your business.