Most of us see sales through the glamorous lens of meeting new clients, closing deals, and stuff like that.
There is a less glittery side of sales that we call sales prospecting.
This super crucial back-end aspect of sales involves creating attention and generating sufficient interest in a prospect to win a conversation.
As you explore the subject, you can shape your prospect’s understanding of their problems, the solutions you offer, and persuade them to take action.
Sales prospecting should be an ongoing process to ensure your pipeline is lined up with high-value, high-quality prospects at all times.
You don’t want to be the team with unmet quotas and that pressurizes prospects to convert to where they block you.
To that end, we have five digital marketing strategies that may help support your sales prospecting activities.
1. Leverage Buyer Intent Data
Buyer intent data comprises behavioral signs site visitors exhibit. It’s the sum of the actions they take during the purchase cycle.
From the articles they read, to the information they download, frequency of visits, and the pages they spend the most time on.
By knowing the brands actively researching solutions, your team can put together laser-focused sales messages with a higher chance of success.
This is a particularly good tactic for potential customers who are in the early stages of the cycle.
While you’re at it, it may be a good idea to invest in a prospecting tool to make the job easier.
These tools cultivate dependable databases of potential customers as per your set criteria. The key thing is to ensure the tool is scalable and flexible to handle future growth.
Examples of sales prospecting tools include Datanyze Insider, Detective by Charlie App, Zoominfo, and Vainu among others.
Buyer intent data allows you to:
- Pick out prospects actively seeking the solutions you offer.
- Contact prospects at an opportune time—which mostly early on in the journey
- Build conversations centered around key intent indicators.
- Segment targeted qualified prospects and prioritize accounts.
With your focus lying squarely on active prospects, you minimize resource wastage and are likely to reach and influence buyers before your competitors do.
2. Create Content that Influences Purchase
A survey by DemandGen showed that up to 67 percent of the participants relied on content to inform purchase decisions.
Clearly content influences the choices B2B buyers make and you should maximize the opportunity to boost your sales.
But before you hop onto content creation, it pays to know what content buyers appreciate and what they would like to see more of.
Here are some tips:
- Incorporate more research and data. Unlike the B2C buyer, a B2B buyer will need stats to back their decision to buy from you. Industry reports, valid surveys, studies, trade publications, and interviews with experts can do the trick.
- Curb sales messages. Sales pitches make the story all about you and not the customer’s needs. It’s okay to mention what you offer but let your content educate audiences on their needs and how they can be solved.
- Un-gate some of your content. Understandably we gate content to generate leads which make this tricky. Find a balance between gated and ungated content, shorten the information fields on the forms, and where possible make forms optional. Those who opt-in will be prospects who want to hear from you.
- Vary content. Incorporate different formats to keep things interesting. Long-form content, videos, podcasts, interactive content, and infographics work.
3. Make Cold Calls
Sales prospecting is tough, but here is some good news—up to 82 percent of B2Bs want to hear from sellers and they want to hear from them early.
When you combine buyer intent with cold calling, you have a potent formula for securing meetings with potential customers early in the game.
And when you get that prospect on the line, deepen their understanding of their needs, educate them with new perspectives, and demonstrate value.
Practices to consider include:
- Do your research. Under which customer profile does the prospect fit? What are their potential pain points? Can you solve these issues? Is the prospect working with a competitor? More information leads to better message tailoring.
- Great first impressions are important. Identify yourself and let the prospect know your reason for calling earlier on. Act professionally and show your ability to solve their challenges.
- Set small goals. Sales teams experience tremendous pressure to close deals, which can be overwhelming. Set small achievable goals like securing a second call, or scheduling a meeting or a demo.
4. Incorporate Video in Your Strategy
The video prospecting technique adds a personal touch to your communications with prospects.
You share useful information about your products/services in a way that builds both relationships and credibility.
Potential buyers can put a face to the seller and see your offerings in action before making a commitment.
Video can also be the differentiating factor in your email marketing campaigns encouraging more open rates.
According to Campaign Monitor, video has the potential to boost open rates by up to 19 percent while slashing unsubscribes by 26 percent.
Here are sales prospecting videos worth considering:
- Support videos. Visitors come to your site to look for information. You can increase the chances of engagement by sending them a helpful video. Here you’re not pushing your solutions forth, rather providing genuine guidance which helps them perceive you as a problem solver.
- Introductory videos. They inform potential customers about your solutions with specific details that prospects typically want to hear about. Be sure to emphasize your availability to help at all times and add a CTA to encourage the prospect to contact you.
- Follow-up videos. These videos are great for introducing new offerings to encourage upsell or cross-sell. They should spell the benefits of the offerings to help your customers make informed decisions.
5. Prospect on Quora
With over 300 million monthly users, this knowledge-sharing platform is a fine place to prospect.
Users post questions and those knowledgeable in that field share answers. Good answers are upvoted which improves their authority and visibility.
If you don’t have an account, you’ll need to create one, flesh out your profile and follow interests that relate to your ideal audiences. You can then follow other (relevant) users and start answering questions.
On your “read” page, you’ll find questions relating to your interests.
Scroll through the thread to find recent questions that aren’t riddled with answers and respond to them.
Let your responses provide value and avoid being over salesy or repetitive—it will only lead to downvotes. Also, avoid sharing links unless the user expresses interest in knowing more.
If your conversation with a user is going really well, you can use Quora Messaging to connect with them. Being smart and respectful will attract prospects who are seeking the solutions you provide.