Sometimes I think we all forget that the easily accessible information of the internet has made practical, real-world changes. To pick a random example, if you’re looking for sales prospecting tips you just hone in on a blog post, spend five minutes reading, and go away with a host of new techniques to boost your sales. 

Spare a thought for the children of the 1990s. If they were struggling with a particularly difficult video game, the most readily available way of becoming unstuck was to ask your parents to drive you to London, somehow get onto Channel 4’s GamesMaster, and then speak to Patrick Moore’s floating head to ask for cheats, tricks, and tips.

Patrick Moore as Gamesmaster, who gave video game tips in the 90s

So really, not only can these techniques help to optimise your sales funnel, but you’ve barely had to work for it. Lucky you. Without further ado, here are nine prospecting tips to help boost your B2B email outreach.

Prospecting campaign setup tips

Before you hit send, take some time to lay the groundwork for success.

Maximise email deliverability

Incredibly, 14.5 billion spam emails are sent every single day. That deluge has led to a fightback from email clients, who help to protect users from unsolicited attacks of phishing scams and poor spelling.

While that is largely a good thing, it can lead to reduced ROI for sales and marketing. Hubspot reports that 16% of marketing emails never make it to the inbox.

Luckily, a few simple steps can really up your deliverability rates. A few simple tweaks can get your prospecting message in front of 16% more eyeballs.

We’ve covered how to improve deliverability rates in detail previously.

Optimise your website

Assuming you make it to a prospect’s inbox and manage to arouse a little bit of interest, the first thing they will do is check out your website.

If their experience is a bad one, you can be sure they’ll hit delete rather than reply.

Optimise your website to funnel visitors into the campaign you are currently running. Consider picking a particular landing page as your email link rather than the homepage.

That’s a simple way of improving the experience, but you can go further by personalising your website for anyone that clicks on the email link. 93% of companies see increase conversion rates when providing a coherent personalised journey.

Optimise your LinkedIn pages

It’s not just your website that will form part of the consideration process. Salesforce report that it takes six to eight touchpoints to generate sales leads.

Prospects are likely to check out both your company page and your personal one. You might think that a profile is unlikely to make a sale, but in these quick moments of research, a sparse or out of date LinkedIn profile is likely to end the investigation there and then.

Polish your sales collateral

Take the time to do this and it will provide value all along the sales journey.

An upgraded sales process will include polished collateral that is punchy, professional, and clear.

Your pitch deck or live demo skills need to blow the prospect away with how refined and slick they are. You need to have a killer proposal, and you need a service order that can be signed electronically.

In support, never forget the value of content marketing. A few case studies, reviews, forecast or previous campaign results adds a different type of collateral, but one that can help answer any remaining doubts.

Prospecting tips for maximising the campaign

Don’t just lay the groundwork and sit back expecting success, follow these tips to maximise campaign outreach.

Craft the perfect message

Obviously, the actual copy in your email is one of the main factors when it comes to success or failure.

Optimising everything else around the campaign while using standard sales copy is like tweaking the aerodynamics, gearbox and tyres on a Formula 1 car while installing the engine from a knackered Robin Reliant. 

There are several steps to writing the perfect email, but in short, your message should be concise, easy to read and offer an attractive value exchange.

Reply immediately

The importance of this prospecting tip can be summed up with three statistics:

  1. Calling a lead within five minutes is 21 times more effective than calling after 30 minutes.
  2. 50% of leads chose the vendor that responds to them first.
  3. Only 37% of businesses respond to their leads within an hour.

Your prospect isn’t a recent date, and you are not a lovestruck teen trying to play it cool. Respond quickly, strike while the iron is hot, watch the leads rain.

Engage people who reject you

In prospecting it’s worth going back when someone rejects you. (In dating it is not. Seriously, John, mate: move on).

In addition to all the people who don’t open or delete your emails, a different category of prospects will reply to tell you they haven’t got the budget, the responsibility, or already have a provider. 

This might seem like a different form of rejection. But these people have taken the time to engage with you. And as every salesperson will be well versed in objection handling, it’s the same story here.

By templating a range of responses to the various declines, and firing them off straight away, we’ve historically been able to convert 13% of these declines to positive leads.

Post-contact tips

Finally, once you’ve had the call or meeting, don’t sit back and think your job is done. You can keep optimising even at this stage.

Update your deals in your CRM

Make sure all of the sales team have access to the CRM. Make sure they all update records to reflect conversations, even small details.

First, it will stop two sales agents from talking to the same prospect. Second, means that a team member can pick up the conversation should someone not be available. Third, it adds greater visibility to prospecting activity across the business.

Engage with post-proposal soft touches

Our final sales prospecting tip is to add some post-proposal soft touches to your sales process.

You’ll need to work out what exactly these touchpoints are, depending on your brand and business. 

You also need to work out where the line is between adding value to help a lead towards a sale, and just annoying people like a needy toddler.

 

While each one of these steps can be explored and further refined than outlined here, the key takeaway is to recognise that you can optimise so many steps of your journey, and each planted seed can add up to a lush forest of sales won.

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