Jeb Blount, the author of Fanatical Prospecting, famously said the number one reason for empty pipelines is “failure to prospect.” While prospecting has always been important, in today's challenging market, prospecting is more important than ever.
When it comes to prospecting, most sales leaders focus on activity, insisting that their sales reps make more calls. While activity is critical, there are three important things to consider when building out a prospecting program that drives revenue growth: priorities, process, and practice.
If you do not tell your sales team who to pursue, they will typically go after the easiest targets. Most of the time, these are not your ideal clients.
Ideal clients are companies that are a perfect fit for your organization. They value what you do. They have the potential to buy all of the products and services you offer, not just one. You enjoy working with them. They are loyal.
One touch simply doesn’t cut it in today’s world. Salesforce.com research found that it takes 6-8 touches with a prospect to get an appointment. Sirius Decisions found that it takes 8 to 12 attempts to reach a decision maker by phone, even when they’re interested in your products or solutions. Whatever the number, the point is simple: you must reach out to prospects multiple times if you expect to get results.
Salespeople need both trust and attention. These are earned by consistently reaching out with ideas that prospects see as helpful to achieving their outcomes. As sales reps are seen consistently offering up helpful ideas, trust is earned, appointments happen.
Unfortunately, many sales reps are “one-and-done” when it comes to prospecting. They make a call or send an email hoping to find a hot opportunity. When they don’t get through, then put a note to reach out again in another 90 days.
Today’s sales rep is blessed with many ways to...
Every day grocery stores throw out good produce that has spoiled. It really is a shame. Farmers worked hard to grow the plants and harvest the fruit. Truckers worked to deliver the produce to market. But once a bunch of bananas gets delivered to the grocery store, it has a limited shelf life. If the bananas are not bought and consumed within a short window, they will go bad. All of the work will have been for nothing.
Most companies have invested in search engine placement. Many are active on social media. Some have built calls-to-action. The vast majority are missing the piece we’re about to explore. They fail to respond quickly to leads. By the time sales reps get the leads, they are rotten. At that point, the reps complain that the leads are no good.
Like produce at a grocery store, leads have a short shelf life. Every hour you delay follow up, the lower the quality of the lead.
The Harvard Business Review published research where 2,241 companies...