Sales Prospecting: The Key to Sales Success
Regardless of whether a salesperson has been selling for 2 years or 20, having a minimum number of qualified prospects is a determining factor of sales success. While the tendency is to focus on closing a deal, it’s likely that opening opportunities is where your team is really struggling.
The bottom line is, a lack in qualified opportunities equates to a lack in sales.
Turn your team’s attention to activities that continually add to the top of the funnel. Keep these 6 Principles of Sales Prospecting in mind while you coach your reps to find qualified buyers:
1. Replace ABC with ABO
Always Be Closing (ABC) is an outdated sales cliché. Replace this old-school approach with Always Be Opening (ABO). Not only should your salespeople be focused on opening more sales opportunities, the “opportunity radar” should never shut down—or slow down, for that matter.
2. Don’t Spend Time Chasing Poorly Qualified Prospects
Chasing unqualified leads is not an efficient strategy for sales prospecting. It might "feel" good to talk with anyone who will listen, but it wastes time, energy, and money. Your team should focus on the quality of the prospects they have, not just the quantity.
3. Less Small Talk, More Depth
Too many salespeople are still using meaningless small talk as a way to build rapport and trust. The best salespeople focus on building relationships by positioning themselves as experts in providing solutions. A salesperson who is regarded as trustworthy will always outperform a smooth talker.
4. Prospects Are Busy
Everyone’s busy, including prospective customers. Your salespeople need to understand there’s a fine line between being persistent and being aggravating, so have them focus on being flexible, polite, and concise in their follow-ups. They should make their interactions convenient, and do as much of the work for the prospect as they can. Be brief, be bright, and be gone.
5. Be Prepared for the Premature Price Request
Everyone wants to know “how much?” How much time, how much money, how much effort… But once that number has been revealed to the prospect, it is probably the only thing he or she will remember. And if the salesperson hasn’t already created value, it might be too late. Before revealing price, the sales rep must prove that your product is a valuable solution.
6. Establish Value or It’s All About Price
Understand the importance of leading with a value proposition. In a crowded marketplace, the value that's delivered needs to overshadow any lower priced competition that may be on the horizon. Make sure that your team is providing solutions that are invaluable to the buyer.
Closing deals is important, but your team should be more focused on opening them. Sales success will be in direct proportion to the number of qualified prospects your reps have access to regularly.