A lack of qualified prospects in the pipeline can be devastating to a salesperson’s overall sales effectiveness. A rep may be expertly skilled in building rapport, asking strategically important questions, and presenting customized solutions—but all of that is irrelevant if they are unable to meet with the right people at the right time.
So, we’ve developed a brief audit to help you determine whether or not your team is engaging in the right activities that will lead them to exceed their target. Whether you follow this list verbatim or use it as inspiration to build your own set of questions, use this exercise to determine if your team meets the criteria for successful prospecting.
Go through this list and be real with yourself. After taking your inventory, check out the legend below the questions to see how your team scored.
1. Our salespeople spend time doing disciplined research on their prospect before every single appointment. Yes | No | Don’t Know N/A
2. When possible, our salespeople work to gain an understanding of the formal and informal decision-making process inside the prospect’s organization before making sales calls. Yes | No | Don’t Know | N/A
3. Our salespeople invest time in and place value on improving their position in the marketplace through speaking, sharing research, and improving their overall business acumen. Yes | No | Don’t Know | N/A
4. Our salespeople actively use LinkedIn to research and target their ideal prospects. Yes | No | Don’t Know | N/A
5. Our salespeople place importance on continuous prospecting. Yes | No | Don’t Know | N/A
6. Our salespeople independently seek new and innovative ways of reaching target prospects. Yes | No | Don’t Know | N/A
7. Our salespeople interact with marketing to develop ways for them to work together to develop new business. Yes | No | Don’t Know | N/A
8. Our salespeople consistently mine for new business inside their key accounts. Yes | No | Don’t Know | N/A
9. Our salespeople work to have a well-diversified mix of both large and small prospects (instead of large accounts only). Yes | No | Don’t Know | N/A
10. Our salespeople engage in meaningful outbound prospecting activities (proactive) vs. waiting for inbound phone calls (reactive). Yes | No | Don’t Know | N/A
11. As a general rule, our salespeople think and act strategically as it relates to effective prospecting inside their territory or assigned account base. Yes | No | Don’t Know | N/A
12. Our salespeople employ effective, articulate and respectful communication when setting appointments. Yes | No | Don’t Know | N/A
13. Our salespeople rely on a well-diversified mix of prospecting methods to lower the risk of relying on one method only. Yes | No | Don’t Know | N/A
14. Our salespeople spend sufficient time staying on top of industry trends so as to be seen as experts by prospective buyers. Yes | No | Don’t Know | N/A 15. Our salespeople know exactly the characteristics of a qualified prospect. Yes | No | Don’t Know | N/A
16. Our salespeople spend time only with qualified prospects. Yes | No | Don’t Know | N/A
17. Our salespeople actively seek referrals and warm introductions into new accounts. Yes | No | Don’t Know | N/A
- If you are able to confidently answer “yes” to 12 or more of the preceding questions, your team is well-equipped at finding new business. Congratulations! There is always room for improvement, so focus your attention on any areas that didn’t receive a “yes” response.
- If you find that you can only answer “yes” to 6-11 of the preceding questions, your team lacks some of the skills or initiative that are necessary for successful prospecting. Determine gap areas and set specific goals to improve their performance.
- If you are unable to answer “yes” to at least 6 of the preceding questions, your team is missing out on valuable business opportunities. Having a pool of qualified prospects is critical to the health of your sales organization, so improving prospecting skills should be at the top of your list of priorities.
Access your printable checklist here.