what is sales prospecting

What Is Sales Prospecting and Why Does It Matter?

More than 60% of buyers want to hear from sellers when they are actively searching for a solution to their problem.

That must come as a surprise for many salespeople who imagine prospects don’t want to hear from them until they first make up their minds. It’s an opportunity for you to fling the door to more sales wide open with prospecting.

What is sales prospecting, and why should you care about it? Keep reading to find out more.

What Is Sales Prospecting?

Prospecting is the art of nurturing sales via outbound and inbound outreach to interest potential customers in your offering.

Historically, prospecting was a term used by miners looking for gold. Similarly, sales representatives work each lead to identify golden prospects who can ultimately convert into paying customers.

Prospecting works in tandem with your sales funnel. Each action you take to nurture prospects will work towards filling more leads into your funnel. But that doesn’t mean prospecting is limited to the first stage along your sales funnel.

Regarding outbound outreach for prospecting, things such as cold calling/emailing and event outreach work to your advantage. Inbound outreach will rely on tactics such as email marketing, website leads, among others.

Why Prospecting Is Valuable in Growing Your Sales

Do you need more sales? Then you need to find more leads and prospects to nurture. That’s a simple summary of the vital benefit prospecting offers.

But are there other benefits tied to prospecting that impact your sales?

In-Depth Understanding of Your Customers

Imagine if you had to develop content without any idea of how it’s framing should look like. Can you genuinely evaluate the effectiveness of that content without grasping the design?

Sales are quite similar. If you don’t grasp the demographic and psychographic makeup of those you want to pitch, you’ll not be an effective sales rep. That’s where prospecting comes in.

As you get your sales off the ground, you’ll quickly learn if your value proposition resonates with your target market or not. If it does, that’s good, but you don’t rest on your laurels – you still tweak it.

But what about when your prospects and leads don’t find your value proposition useful?

Through prospecting, you’ll pick up on where your target market disconnects from what you are offering. You can use that insight to inform your buyer persona, giving you more clarity on who you’re serving for more sales.

Better Pivoting

There are times where feedback from prospects and leads points you in a different direction. The question then becomes whether you should change your business plan or keep plowing on.

The more prospecting you do, the more feedback you unearth to better your offering or even identify a whole new market segment. As such, any pivoting you do isn’t based on guesswork but real-world market feedback that can grow your sales.

An excellent example of this is the Apple Watch. When Apple launched its smartwatch, the target market wasn’t crystal clear. The initial product position placed the Apple Watch as a smartwatch that makes life even more convenient.

As more consumers bought the smartwatch, Apple realized that they were primarily relying on it for health monitoring. That led Apple to invest in positioning the Apple Watch as a fitness and health asset first.

Since this was the most significant need the device met for most consumers, the sales now speak for themselves.

Market Validation

Did you know that 70% of all new products fail? It’s possible to dig as deep as humanly possible in customer research and still not position your product right. In such a scenario, faltering sales are inevitable.

Prospecting becomes a valuable tool in such circumstances as it helps you judge how well your product can do in the market. Either prospects and leads convert in growing numbers, or you hardly make any sales.

Depending on the market feedback prospecting helps you acquire, you can decide whether to shelve your product or pivot it. If you choose to drop the product, you’ll better focus on growing your sales with your other offerings.

Identifying Your Best Sales Channels

When pursuing sales prospects, you rely on a mixture of several sales channels. The results each channel delivers can point you to the most favorable sales channel to invest in for more sales.

For example, let’s say you’re selling a B2B product by combining email with LinkedIn outreach. If you realize that InMail is generating more prospects that turn into leads than email, you can divert more resources to the former.

Dedicating scarce resources to the right sales channels can make the difference between hitting your sales targets and being in the red.

Better Qualification

Knowing what an ideal buyer looks like is critical in making your sales more efficient. When you have the right data to form a qualification framework for your prospects, it ultimately drives your sales up.

Prospecting is a means by which you can uncover the right questions to ask and what to look for in a prospect. If you have a buyer persona, prospecting can fortify the profile to make your sales process more effective.

Another vital benefit prospecting gives you is also qualifying who to talk to early on for better decision making. Once you identify the right decision-maker, you can pursue them and shorten the sales cycle.

Failing to qualify the right decision-maker to nurture only serves to lengthen your sales cycle, frustrating your forecasts.

Sales Is a Continuum – You Must Make Your Prospecting Matter

Nothing happens in an organization until something gets sold. Thus, you never stop selling, and by extension, prospecting. To get better results, you should seek the right answers to the question, “What is sales prospecting?” So that you gain the right approach to lifting your sales.

Click2Sell strongly believes prospecting can be made easier. Talk to us today for simplified sales prospecting that eliminates the peaks and valleys of sales for higher revenue.

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