Efficient prospecting yields quicker sales results. It is one of the early stages of business development activities. Sales and marketing teams agree that it is one of the most painstaking and time-consuming tasks. However, prospecting is an unavoidable part of the sales process. Having a robust strategy with a multipronged approach provides fruitful results rapidly.

Follow these seven must-do steps for effective prospecting. It will keep your sales funnel filled with qualified leads.

1. Strategize your marketing campaigns

Before launching any business development activity like appointment setting programs, set an objective for the project. Some examples could be, calling up clients to set an appointment for a Sales Representative with the decision-maker or influencer to talk to about a new solution or an upgrade of the existing product. Once an objective is set, plan the campaign to achieve it. The entire team of the project, including the project manager, team lead, and appointment setters, will be on the same platform. They will all be focused on achieving the same goal. The necessary tools like script, FAQs, calling list, etc., has to be customized to suit the campaign’s purpose.

2. Identifying & diving deep into your prospects.

After you have finalized the marketing campaign strategy, shortlist the set of prospects that fit the program. Figure out who your best customers are and find out what challenges you helped overcome. From your Customer Relationship Management software, map similar businesses. Identify their specific pain points. Ensure that you have the contact details of the decision-makers or influencers and not the gatekeepers. In case your sales and marketing database is outdated, conduct a campaign to cold call, qualify the leads, and clean up the sales pipeline. This campaign ensures that the CRM database is updated with the contact details of the decision-makers or influencers.

3. Optimal use of multiple touchpoints

Staying in touch with prospects is key to converting them into customers. Keep the potential customers warm by contacting them regularly. However, care should be taken to ensure that the prospective clients do not feel harassed. Use different channels to be in touch with them. Internet and cloud communication technology has enabled sales and marketing teams to reach out to their prospects through multiple channels. Mix the various touchpoints like calling, text messages, voice messages, emails, online discussion forums, and social media websites to update the prospects.

4. Digital marketing

The growth of the internet and social media has changed the way marketing is being practiced. A sound digital presence has become unavoidable for organizations to earn the trust of their potential buyers. An easily searchable website, engaging social media handles, positive customer reviews, emailers, digital newsletters & case studies, blogs, vlogs, active presence on relevant online platforms, good digital customer experience, etc., is essential to gain the trust and confidence of prospective clients. A robust digital marketing campaign to increase brand awareness on the internet is necessary as most future customers lookup on the internet about the company and the product.

5. Offline networking

Though the latest technologies like the internet and cloud communication applications have revolutionized business development, traditional methods are still relevant. Networking events like conferences, expos, trade shows, exhibitions are still in vogue. Technology has enabled these kinds of programs to reach more audiences and territories. With the growth and expansion of such events and increased participation, the chances of meeting prospects in person are higher. These kinds of programs are also attended by decision-makers and influencers looking for the latest and modern solutions. The prospect would already be warm by meeting at such events, and the necessity for a cold call and qualifying leads is eliminated.

Before participating in these events or organizing a conference, organize an appointment setting campaign to ensure prospects’ participation in your CRM database. It is an opportunity for you to connect with your prospects.

6. Requesting your customer’s help

Your happy customer is your most excellent ambassador. A reference from them will bolster your chances of converting your prospects into customers. Also, your clients will be aware of similar businesses that may need your solutions. Requesting them to share the contact details or put across a word to the prospects would help you immensely in closing the deal. It would be best if you also convinced them to provide testimonials that can be used on your marketing collaterals.

7. Follow up

Follow-up is the stage of marketing where most of the Business Development Reps falter. Also, it is a very tricky and thankless process. Follow-up has to be handled very delicately; else, it may amount to intrusion. Keep your potential buyers warm by making contact with them through various touchpoints. Use multichannel like phone calls, voice messages, text messages, emails, social media, etc.