Five Prospecting Hacks to Fill Your Pipeline with High-Quality Leads

One of our best webinars last year was about hacks for sales leaders to improve prospecting performance even during the switch to work-from-home for many companies. 

You can watch the full webinar, but below you’ll find a summary of the five prospecting hacks presented for consistently winning high-quality leads.

According to Gartner, 80% of sales interactions are expected to be in digital channels by 2025. Having salespeople who can show a personal understanding of buyers and their needs without being in person is the key to winning new business.

Let’s learn how you can make sure your team is prepared.

Hack #1: Your Buyer is More Than Just a Title

You likely have tried using buyer personas in the past or created a few that you’re using. But, for your personas to be most effective, they must be highly detailed. List pain points, key metrics, purchasing considerations, buying authority, and company details. Make the person come alive. Add a stock photo and guesses at general personal information like hobbies and interests.

Detailed buyer personas force you to think through buyer details and centralize the information to be accessible. Instead of sales reps only having job titles and basic information, they can predict the likely interests of each buyer before the conversation. In-depth personas can also be used for other teams like marketing and product to help create content and product features.

SalesIntel customers can plug their new personas into our database and find new companies for targeting. Target companies based on these personas have up to 10X improvements in response rates compared to previously-targeted companies.

Hack #2: Research Beyond the Website

Doing quick research on a prospect and their company before calling is a classic trick for personalizing your outreach. However, websites are usually out-of-date and don’t show the company’s initiatives or priorities. Websites are focused on the product, not the company.

Instead, look for a company’s press releases, social media posts, annual reports, and the prospect’s LinkedIn posts. If you are using a contact data provider, you can also quickly refer to company firmographic, technographic, and buyer intent data. 

You want to see what is top of mind for the company this quarter and top of mind for the prospect this week. Then you can ask a related question in your messaging such as, “I liked the article you shared about team metrics. Are there particular trends you’re noticing as an issue more than others?”

Ideally, you would take the time to research every prospect. But, if you’re making hundreds of automated calls or touchpoints every day, it’s not feasible to research everyone. Focus on your top 10-20% of best-fit prospects. 

Hack #3: Teach That Every Conversation is a Golden Opportunity

When teaching your reps the ins and outs of SaaS lead generation, the value of any conversation is often overlooked. Reps can rush to pitch and get a quick “yes” or “no.” But since it takes around 35-45 outbound dials for someone to pick up, you want to make the absolute most of the moment.

Prospects are busy and want to get off the phone as fast as possible. Teach your reps how to brush off the initial prospect hesitancy. Since each conversation is valuable, your team should be practicing and learning in roleplays, call recording reviews, and weekly coaching meetings. If someone finds a successful tactic, make sure it gets shared with everyone.

A football team would never only play football in official games. They practice every day. When a prospect picks up the phone, you’re playing a big game. Practice should have already happened.

The first 10 seconds are the most important part of the cold call. You need to instantly establish who you are and why they should care. What’s one of the worst habits reps can fall into? Instead of being prepared, they’re surprised someone picked up and are caught off guard.

Track call results. If your reps continue to struggle, be open to testing if you need to adjust your script, target audience, or personas

Hack #4: Cold Calling is Not Dead. Just More Difficult.

People are switching jobs faster than ever, and more people are working from home. Accurate contact information is harder to find and even more essential, especially mobile phone numbers.

When it takes over 35 dials to get someone on the line, cold calling might not seem worth the effort. But prospects will still pick up the phone, and major companies will have 50K to 70K prospect phone conversations in a year. They wouldn’t be doing it if it didn’t work. 

You can reduce the necessary dials per conversation by having the right tools and data. Specialty dialer software, such as those provided with multi-channel sales tools like Koncert, can help your reps go from having 60 dials in one day to having hundreds. If you’re using clean and accurate contact data with a dialer, you can expect 6-10 conversations in one hour of cold call.

Connect with prospects faster with the most number of direct dials and mobile numbers in the industry with SalesIntel 

 

Hack #5: Lost a Deal? Build the Relationship

You did well on the phone and booked a meeting. But after going through the sales process ended up losing the deal to a competitor. Or, maybe they passed on buying a solution entirely. You’ll want to work through the process below to keep the relationship and build out your pipeline for next year. 

This process is tailored to losing a deal to a competitor, but you can make tweaks if you lost the deal for other reasons.

  1. After 1 month, check in and see if they signed with the competitor. Just because they planned to sign doesn’t mean they did. Deals can have last-minute hiccups.
  2. After 3 months, ask how their onboarding is going and share general tips related to your industry. If there is already an issue, you’ll have a chance to hear about it, and you’re continuing to be helpful instead of pushy.
  3. After 4-7 months, share a little relevant news or thought leadership. You could mention an award for your company, congratulations for the prospect’s company on big news, share a new product feature, or even G2Crowd reviews.
  4. After 9 months, you’ll want to directly ask if they would like to switch vendors. You’ve kept the relationship going and reminded them of your value over the last 9 months. Now is your chance to see if there is an opening.

By following this easy process, you could win a previously lost deal within 12 months.

With the plan of following up with lost deals, upgrading your cold calling tools, making every conversation count, and doing additional research on prospects and personas, you will see your team make remarkable progress toward filling your pipeline.

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