Get in touch

Outbound Prospecting

Think prospecting as a technique to fill your future business pipeline by pursuing leads that you hope will evolve into clients. While existing clients create revenue today, a salesperson must always be thinking about where the business will come from next week, next month, and even next year. In selling, prospecting is not a haphazard or part-time operation. All great salespersons are always engaged in prospecting in one way or another. They are continually focused on where tomorrow’s business will come from.

Now you may be thinking: if we’re truly involved in relationship selling, shouldn’t we be able to rely solely on prospecting? 

Admittedly, doesn’t building long-term relationships with our consumers ensure that they will remain loyal for years to come? Why do we have to be concerned with gaining new customers all the time?

These are important questions with critical responses. Of course, building long-term relationships with your clients will help you keep your firm more steady and sustainable. Also, it’s usually less expensive to keep your existing profitable consumers than to find new ones.

On the other hand, all sales organizations are constantly attempting to recruit new clients, keep consumers away from competitors, and increase their market share. Growth, from both current and new consumers, is the core of business success. So, we should not underestimate the importance of focusing simultaneously on retention techniques of existing clients and best practices for finding new ones, as both contribute to the business growth. 

Apart from this broad perspective on growth, several other factors may make prospecting for potential clients an even higher priority.

  • Your main contacts in the client firm quit or change positions. In this example, the relationship might change as a result of this. Thus, if the outcome isn’t positive, continuous prospecting can minimize any losses from that customer.
  • Your firm needs to increase revenues to pay for expansion or other expenses. In such cases, your company’s compensation and rewards system may be modified so that salespeople are compensated more for prospecting and obtaining new clients than for retaining existing ones.
  • A customer relocates to a new location outside of your area of sales responsibility. In this scenario, the business may simply be transferred to another salesperson within your company, but you will be responsible for finding a replacement. Prospecting ensures that a ready pool of potential new customers is available.

The above-mentioned examples can be considered red flags. Understanding the potential risks can help you to focus on both existing client retention and most importantly on applying effective prospecting techniques that can constantly enter new clients into your sales pipeline. In sum, prospecting is a key activity of successful selling.

 

How to stay in control after your new business meeting?

Business meetings are an integral part of the sales process and are therefore of great business interest. Salespeople usually make a great effort to make business meetings meaningful and productive, provide a constant flow, and eventually close the deal. 

But what happens next?

The next step is crucial. Having applied the right processes before and during your meeting, your goal is to continue the collaboration by keeping the channels of communication open, even when your meeting is over. So, If you want to increase your potential to close the deal with your prospect, keep in mind that you should:

🎯 Stay “In Control” 

🎯 Follow an Action Plan 

You can watch the full webinar with Terry van den Bemt and Davy Guijt below. 

Business meetings are an integral part of the sales process and are therefore of great business interest. Salespeople usually make a great effort to make business meetings meaningful and productive, provide a constant flow, and eventually close the deal. But what happens next? 

If you want to increase your potential to close a deal with your prospect, it is essential to understand that each step in the sales funnel is important. Having applied the right processes before and during your meeting, your goal is to continue the collaboration by keeping the channels of communication open, also when the meeting is over.

Two of the most powerful tactics that can help you achieve this goal are to stay “In-control” and have a concise Action Plan with the following steps.

Stay “In Control” 

The most successful salespeople take control of the whole sales process and constantly try to be precise and adaptive . But what can you do to apply this tactic? 

The “in control” definition basically boils down to some traits of human psychology; your attitude and your ability to lead and simplify the process. 

Attitude

In fact, If you are willing to stay in control after your meeting, your attitude plays a key role in the way you approach and communicate with your prospects. Naturally, this falls under three categories, passive, assertive, and aggressive. Below are some key phrases that represent each of the categories. Nevertheless, in most cases being assertive is the most beneficial for both you and your prospect.

Lead & Simplify 

Another key tactic that will help you to stay “in control” after your business meeting is to take the lead in the process. This is the moment, you should be confident to guide your prospects through the next steps. At the same time, don’t forget to simplify the process. In other words, make each step accessible, easy and short. 

Useful Tips 

  • Add value in the process (Make sure that you add value in every step of the process).
  • No commitment, no party (equality in the relationship between you and your prospect)
  • Make them participate (although you are the one who leads, make them also contribute)
  • “This is how it always works”

 

Action Plan: “Control after your new business meeting”

The second key step after your business meeting is to follow an action plan. This method is similar to the playbook and each step will help you come closer to your ultimate goal which is to close the deal. Initially, you must create a storyline, use a variety of media, and adapt the steps below to your needs. 

 

Why do you need an action plan?

-Collect more actionable information 

-Possible higher conversion rate

-Prospects are moving faster through or out the funnel 

-Pipeline is more predictable/accurate

-Greater influence in the decision-making process

 

To learn more, you can watch the full webinar with Terry van den Bemt and Davy Guijt here.

Good luck!

Do you want to grow your sales? A powerful way to stand out from the crowd is to build a modern sales development machine that helps you to create a predictable way of scaling your sales. Regardless of your industry, modern sales development has been genuinely altering and redefining sales growth. But you can’t be efficient without a specific skillset. This skillset is based on three fundamental pillars: the right people, the right strategy, and the right technology. Combine the three, and you get results. 

Outbound prospecting – How can you grow your sales?

Even though organic growth is critical for getting your business to the next level, usually companies at some point confront a fluctuation in their sales pipelines because their organic growth reaches a saturation point. This is why you should be aware that, in order to continue enhancing your sales, you need proactive growth. This requires the establishment of an organization and a system that provide you with a constant flow of business meetings with the people of your choosing. In this way, you will be able to control and predict your growth and revenue.  [Read more…] about How to build a modern outbound sales machine

When you start building a modern sales development machine, you have a goal in mind. Often, this goal is predictable growth in your pipeline. In other words, you want to build a machine that can generate a predictable number of new opportunities every month. 

An important element here is monthly predictable growth. So not a boost once a year, but always, every month. The strategy and structure required for this is often not well thought out and is substantially different than filling your pipeline for a short period.

Another reason you want to spread your outreach, besides predictability throughout the year, is the learnings you get from the campaigns. You want to be able to incorporate these findings so that the campaign is continuously optimized. Think about the content you use, like different CTAs, tone of voice, and the different channels.

Before you start with your outbound campaigns, you need to map out several things, including your ICP (ideal customer profile) and the size of the addressable market. We use our Playbook for this. 

If your target group consists of 1500 profiles that match the ICP and you can add about 100 per week in a qualitative way to an outbound prospecting campaign, then after 15 weeks, you’re through your lead list. And then what?

In this example, I am still spreading it out over 15 weeks, but I have also seen campaigns where 1500 relevant leads are burned in 1 month with poor outreach. You cannot approach these people again the following month. We usually use a break of at least 6 months with the same kind of outreach from the same person. 

Here are 5 tips for staying in touch with those 1500 ideal prospects. 

Tip 1. Vertical specific content

Besides Account based or Persona based campaigns you can also do outreach by industry when you develop content for it. This is more focused on brand awareness where you generate an extra reason to contact your prospects with very targeted content. What works to your advantage is when you generate recurring vertical content. That way, you always have a logical reason to come back on the radar at set times. Think about industrie specific market trends, top 100 lists, top 5 quarterly trending topics etc. 

Tip 2. Approach from a different person

In advance, you devise two campaigns for the same target group, but from a different person’s perspective. In the first six months, you do a campaign that comes from yourself. You will get results from this, come into contact with people, but you will also reach many people with whom you have not come into contact. These people can be followed up after 6 months by someone else (for example Jamie, sales director at Saleslift) with a different approach. 6 months later vice versa.

Tip 3. New results in your Sales Navigator search

When you use Sales navigator in Linkedin and you make searches of your target group, you can save them. When you look at the search again after three months, you will see how many new people match the criteria you set earlier.  The list refreshes itself automatically when you save it. Please note that there are also people who only received a promotion. 

Tip 4. Always on campaign

Think of an always on campaign. Everyone you have approached intending to schedule an appointment can be kept in the loop by adding them to a campaign with far fewer contact moments, but with brand awareness content throughout the year. So it’s not about making an appointment, but about sharing knowledge, inspiration, etc. You are still on their radar for when it becomes relevant.

Tip 5. Different market

Perhaps out of the box and perhaps not within everyone’s reach, you can conquer another market. Think of another country, a new vertical, or an extra buyer persona. 

The tips I wrote above are all seen from a new business perspective. For more variety, you can also combine following up on less cold accounts or prospects such as old customers, lost deals, contacts that switched employers or you can follow up on old inbound leads.

These are a few pointers we’d like to give you to keep your outreach alive and continuously generate that flow of business meetings. Think this through in advance and not a week before your lead list is completed. 

If you’re still looking for leads and contact details, check out leadstudio.salesliftstudio.nl

 

Good Luck. 

davy@salesliftstudio.com

 

The Sales Development Playbook designed by Saleslift Studio is a framework created to enable you to design a successful Sales Development strategy. Firstly it is important to clarify the definition of Sales Development. 

Sales development is an organisation that sits between the marketing and sales function of a business and is charged with the front end of the sales cycle: identifying, connecting with and qualifying leads. Simply put this organisation is tasked with setting up qualified meeting between a salesperson and potential buyer with a probability of purchase aka conversion. A lead that meets this criteria is called a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). Once a lead is successfully deemed to be qualified, it is then passed to a salesperson, typically an Account Executive, who takes ownership of the lead and continues on with the sales process. 

The ultimate goal is to create a machine that predictably generates new business. What that process looks like is unique to each business. You can use the Sales Development Playbook for new business campaigns, brand awareness, customer success, lead nurturing, etc. We aim to get and stay on the radar with the right strategy with exactly the person you want to talk to. You don’t have to have just one Playbook, you can design a new one for every product, niche or persona. 

The playbook as you can see consists of 5 columns. Idea customer profile, key indicators for success, engagement, storyline and campaign. When you start designing the Playbook yourself it’s important that you specify your focus. For example on a product, region, case study or solution / challenge. In order to achieve a good result, it is important that you take the time to work on the Playbook with the team of stakeholder who will be involved in the project. Think of; Marketing, Business Developer, Account Executive, Manager etc.

In this article we explain the different parts step by step.

Ideal Customer Profile

We start with the target market. Formulated on the basis of which criteria you can describe or define. For example one of our customers is OneFit, they offer a flexible company fitness subscription. The locations where you can exercise are situated mainly in large urban areas. A criteria for the market in this case is therefore a radius of X miles around the city. You also are able to narrow your target by looking at industries, company size, B2B or B2C, region, turnover and other criteria such as the company has recently received funding or has gone through certain growth. As you can see the criteria is not just focussed on a person alone. 

In the next section we will dive deeper and look at who you want to meet with. Focusing on job title. The difference between the ideal picture and reality is important. When I ask customers who they want to talk to, you often get the usual suspects such as CEO, Marketing Director, Head of Sales. But take a look at the job title of the last 10 new clients you brought in. Then you probably see that there is a lot of variation in their titles. In addition, several stakeholders are involved in the DMU (decision making unit) during the process with which you want them to come to your table. Based on the job title and the market, we cluster them into personas. You only do this if you also want to approach these personas in a different way.

Now the market and your ICP (ideal customer profile) have been identified. You will map out how big your market actually is with the help of research. 9 times out of 10 you can map the potential sales market based on the results and criteria that you can utilise in Sales Navigator (Sales version of Linkedin).

What is the suitable strategy to get in touch with your ICP? Can we develop an account based strategy, persona based, personal 1 on 1 approach or do we focus more on brand awareness? This depends on your market and ICP.

Key Indicators for Success

The next column is about key indicators for success. A kind of checklist that you can put next to your sales development campaign. The more strongly represented, the better the campaign will perform. Reason to reach is a reason to contact your ICP. Only “I came across your profile on Linkedin” is not a valid reason. A logical statement that focuses on the person and not you needs to be made. 

We are dealing with people, you are not talking to accounts. What’s in it for me as a person should be obvious early in the campaign phase. You want to add value for that individual, bring something. Don’t talk about your product or how their organization can benefit from it when x, y, z. No, why does this person have to make the time for you? What good is it for them to create time in their busy schedule just to listen to you? Do you take away their frustrations, do you make their life easier, do you help them shine with their manager?

Only after you have discovered and discussed personal benefits can you proceed to discuss company benefits. THe majority of the time these are focussed on long term objectives.

In order to demonstrate why now you have reached out can be aided with the creation and link to current events. Is it important to take action now or can it wait until next year? The statement ‘because you want to achieve your targets this quarter’ does not count as a good interpretation of why now.

Engagement

We’re on the radar, now what? How do you present yourself, or what is the introduction of your organization? You agree this in advance with the team. When we do workshops using the Playbook, commonly we notice that there is a disconnect here. It is also important to think about the goals you set for a campaign. Do you want to build new relationships, create direct opportunities or invite people to an (online) event? You determine the CTA per step in a sales campaign, also think about a second best indicator.

You often hear content is king. Content is in any case key in this process. We orchestrate contact moments across different channels within a certain period. Via Linkedin, mail, telephone, landing pages or chat. In these contact moments you try to add value in every step through good relevant information.

We often reverse the inbound marketing method. We share the right content based on 3 phases: awareness, consideration and decision. Different content suits each phase. Start easily with content that is already available, but in the end you adjust the details to your campaign. This way you stay relevant with every contact moment without having to fall back on reminders.

Storyline

You will distil all the information that you have collected while filling in the Playbook into your unique circumstance. Choose the most applicable starting points and write your story in full. Think of a method such as Spin, Aida or another theory to put a story on paper. Don’t skimp on copywriting. We work for KesselsKramer (advertising agency), they are of course lord and master in copywriting. We used these skills in the campaigns which clearly had a significant impact on the result. Now we are not all KesselsKramer, but in any case, do not place the heavy responsibility of message creation with your intern.

Once you are satisfied with the storyline, you will cut it up into logical pieces that you want to share with your ICP in a flow of contact moments. Our campaigns consist of at least 7 contact moments across different channels. There are many tools available that can help you in this process. Remember that it is about the strategy and not the tools, if the input is not good, you will not get good results.

This manual alone is not the way to success, unfortunately it cannot be put into a manual. However it does give you a helping hand to think seriously about implementing a good strategy. For more insights and tools, take a look at further articles.

If, after reading this manual, you still have questions about Sales Development, this Playbook or the rollout of the software, please contact us: davy@salesliftstudio.com

//