Given the precarious state of the economy, many sales gurus will tell you that right now, you need to do twice the amount of work to achieve half of your typical result, which can often lead to panic and a “spray and pray” approach. While you do need to up your prospecting game, you won’t see results unless you take a targeted approach. Now is the time to conduct thorough research to reach out to prospects who have a higher chance of converting, so that you’re optimizing your time.
Begin By Checking In
Prospecting research is about uncovering new opportunities, but don’t neglect to research your current and past customer base. Now is a great time to check-in with customers and previous customers to see how their own business is faring, to find out what they need that they aren’t getting in the market, and to brainstorm ideas.
An “industry survey” is a great way to gain intel into what your customers need and want. Make it very short and direct to encourage participation. You might even consider holding a raffle for a small prize to incentivize people to provide you with data. Work with your sales manager to develop something formal the entire team can use.
Clearly Define Target Criteria
Targeting is only possible when you have a set of guidelines in place. Create a report of your best customers – the ones who have not dropped spending during the pandemic – as well as new customers who signed on during the pandemic. What characteristics do they have in common? Develop a list of criteria and apply them to your team’s prospecting efforts. At a minimum, it should include:
- Company size
- Company revenue
- Immediate need for your products
Then, leverage social media or any prospecting tools you have to actively look up companies who fit this criteria and determine whether your products could meet a real need that they have. Only pursue companies that genuinely have a need for your solution. Continually update target criteria as you learn new things about your ideal customers. It will only help your future efforts.
Shift Resources To Research
If you and your colleagues aren’t cranking out a lot of proposals right now, your support staff probably has extra time on its hands. Leverage that time to have them conduct targeted market research. Work with your sales manager to develop a list of activities and tasks that will help identify potential prospects. This can include monitoring business journals and trade publications, attending webinars and taking note of trends, and even reading journals focused on startups so you can uncover new companies in your niche that are receiving funding.
Are You Ready To Make A Change In Your Sales Career?
Sometimes, it’s not the prospecting that’s the problem, it’s lack of support from management. If you aren’t getting the support you need, it’s time to consider making a move.