As a sales coach, I am often asked what are my best b2b sales prospecting tips. When it comes right down to it, regardless of how your prospect, the top three keys to sales prospecting are where you prospect, when you prospect and how you tell prospects what you sell.
Any way you look at it, they really are the keys you must keep in mind when creating an effective b2b lead generation program.
Best B2B Sales Prospect Tip #1: Where Should You Prospect?
It is dangerous to believe that every company can and will buy your product or service.
Have you ever been told, “Here’s your business cards, there’s a street. Now go and bang on some doors.”? Or how about, “Here is the phone book, start dialing!” Although these shotgun methods of prospecting may produce results, it really is sheer luck if they do. The chances that you happen to knock on the right door, or dial the right number, at the exact time when a prospect is ready to buy are actually quite slim.
Granted, sales is a numbers game, requiring you to make a certain number of calls to find one prospect, but what if you could improve the odds? If it used to take you 20 calls to find one prospect, how much more would you sell if it only took you 10 calls?
The fact of the matter is where you prospect is as important as how much you prospect. In other words, you should spend your time where you are lost likely to be successful.
For example, it is unlikely sell restaurant equipment to retail clothing stores. You could try, but chances are you would just be wasting your time. In the same way that sports fans see mostly beer commercials and Saturday morning cartoon viewers see mostly toy ads, you must target your prospecting efforts.
To maximize your prospecting time, you need to clearly define what types of companies will most likely buy your products. This definition is commonly referred to as your target market, and it is essentially a description of your current and future customers.
Take the time to review and track your past sales to clearly define your target types of companies. Once you know your targets, spend your time where you are most likely to find them!
Best B2B Sales Prospect Tip #2: When Should You Prospect?
It is dangerous to believe that every company in your target market can buy from you at any time.
Your target market definition should also include when a prospect can buy. Ask yourself how often a company re-orders your product or how often they re-negotiate the contract for its use. If a company is only 2 years into a 5 year buying cycle, they really are not a prospect at this time.
For example, it is unlikely that you would lease a new car today when your current lease still has two years left. Know how often your prospects buy your products. This is not the same as how often they use your products, but rather how often they renegotiate the contracts for their use. You use you car every day, but you only buy a new one every few years.
Knowing where your targets are in their buying cycle ensures not only you being in the right place, but being there at the right time!
Best B2B Sales Prospect Tip #3: What Do You Sell?
Can you describe what you do in 15 seconds or less? No, I don’t mean what products or services you sell. That’s how you do what you do. I mean what you do!
Why do your customers buy from you? For example, my elevator pitch is simply, I help people and organizations sell more. Sales coaching, training, books, webinars and free resources on our website are how I do it, but that really doesn’t matter at this point. Only what I do matters. And that’s what starts the conversation.
The best elevator sales pitches describe the ultimate benefit your customers gain from buying from you. If you can state the main reason why do your customers buy from you in 30 words or less, than you have your elevator pitch.
So whether you are at a party, a networking meeting or on LinkedIn, the next time you are asked “what do you do for a living?” try your elevator sales pitch. If you hear response like “That’s interesting, tell me more!” or “We have that problem. How can you help me?” then you know you have created a great elevator sales pitch.
To help you get started with creating your best elevator sales pitch, download, How to Create Your Unique Value Proposition from the B2B Sales Connections Free Download Centre.
The Bottom Line on Sales Prospecting
For more b2b sales prospecting tips, check out The Ultimate Guide to Sales Prospecting: Tips, Techniques, & Tools to Succeed from Hubspot.
The bottom line is, when it comes down to the best b2b sales prospecting tips, just remember what Arnold Glascow once said, “Success is simple. Do what’s right, the right way, at the right time.”
“… what I can tell anyone, is simply this – If you want to learn and understand sales, talk to Susan.”
Do you have a question about sales? You’re not alone. Most salespeople have questions like this on how they can sell more. For the right answers, check out my book, Ask the Sales Coach-Practical Answers to the Questions Sales People Ask Most.