For absolutely everyone, perfection in prospecting is a moving target. There is always something new to learn, or some skill to improve on or something to stop doing immediately!
While there are always going to be areas for marginal gains, there are three things I’ve identified that tend to move the needle for those who live and breathe the world of prospect outreach
- Become an SME (subject matter expert) of your ICP – ICP stands for an ideal customer profile. When I look at the habits of the most effective prospectors I’ve worked with, they were EXPERTS when it came to know about their customers. They had in-depth knowledge of the industries that their products served. They could speak to the common challenges, industry trends, etc. A layer deeper than that, they had a deep understanding of the typical roles or personas that their organizations worked with and what made them tick. Talk about great discovery calls! Because they were subject matter experts of their ICP, they knew which questions to ask and how to build value quickly. The better you know your ICP, the better every conversation becomes.
- Master your cadence – So many reps and leaders talk about cadence. So what is it exactly? A cadence is a sequence of activities to increase contact and qualiﬁcation rates. It’s usually made up of things like timing, channel (phone, email, social, video, direct mail, etc.), and content. The stronger a rep gets at living and breathing by cadences, you higher the likelihood of their success because it simply yields more conversations. Development reps are great at identifying challenges, building credibility, and conveying value. They just need qualified prospects to talk to! Great reps understand the value of leveraging cadences that aligns with the buyer’s journey. The prospects who are deeper in their buyer journey should have different touches and be receiving different content than prospects who are very early on in their buyer journey. “Meeting prospects where they like to buy” goes beyond just communicating via the prospect’s preferred communication channel, it means aligning our messaging and outreach to help advance them in the journey.
- Understand how critical your messaging is – Messaging is the great equalizer in prospecting. All other things being equal, great messaging yields great opportunities. I guess this kind of ties in with ICP, but being able to communicate how your products and services impact customers in a meaningful way sets the tone for shorter sales cycles and higher win rates. Generally in the technology space, our products are robust. Being able to spout of killer features and functions tend to not move the needle in a deal as much as being able to understand what challenges our prospects are experiencing and then curating how we message our solution to solve those challenges. Prospects are people, and people love to know what’s in it for them. To be able to get to that point quickly helps drive qualified deals up or out of your pipeline.
Prospecting tends to be the best way to ensure that salespeople hit their number consistently. Hopefully, these tips take you above and beyond your goals and happy selling!!
“Mark Mangal has been helping build and scale sales and sales development teams for his entire career. He has a passion for helping reps build their skills and driving revenue for companies like MarketSource and Aptean. Mark hopes to add value to the sales community any way that he can, hopefully this article is a good start!”