Get More Qualified Sales Prospects And Stop Chasing Your Tail
Author: Lee Li Feng
Certain sales prospects are simply more worthwhile to chase than others. An efficient process that consistently gets qualified prospects can quickly hone in on the key differences between those leads. The problem, of course, is knowing how to quickly spot these subtle but important distinctions.
Salespeople, while often optimistic, are also prone to chasing sales prospects that simply aren’t worth their time. More time that’s wasted means more money down the drain. The most experienced sales pros not only develop new sales opportunities from cold or inactive accounts; they are highly efficient at creating and qualifying new sales opportunities based on prospects that they can pass over to account executives and other sales representatives.
It’s time that you start spending your time more efficiently by intelligently investing in worthwhile prospects. Let’s take a look at how you can put together the profile of an ideal, qualified prospect that can contribute to your great sales success.
Know how far prospects are in their purchase process
Before the internet, buyers interested in a product or service would solicit information on the thing they wanted to purchase. They’d often contact the seller or meet with them in person to learn more about what they were buying.
Sellers, in turn, would guide and influence their sales and withhold their most significant details until they were sure they could close a deal. Thanks to the internet, this case of information asymmetry now skews heavily toward the buyer.
A big issue that salespeople often run into is approaching prospects without understanding where a customer is in their purchase process. Buyers are on average contacting sellers much later than they once were.
It’s up to sales professionals to take advantage of information asymmetry in as many ways as possible to get more qualified sales prospects and stop chasing their tails. The most successful sellers don’t wait for buyers to reach out to learn more about their products — they just keep on prospecting to generate more leads and sales.
Salespeople spend long hours identifying prospects, writing emails, and hammering the phones. And yet sales prospecting is also the lifeline that keeps your business growing. It’s important that you invest in ways to develop pipelines for your sales reps that help them manage their prospects and contact leads at the right time in their purchase process.
You can develop your pipeline in a variety of ways, but the main areas that you should focus on are a company contact form on your website, phone-in leads from prospects who contact your company phone number, and inside sales efforts contacting your MQLs (marketing qualified leads).
Developing a pipeline requires that you also invest in the design of your website. If you’re focusing on your website’s contact form, you need to hire the right person to create what you’re looking for at the right price. Hiring a freelance web designer is often a cheap option to secure more sales and most freelance web designers charge in the vicinity of $75 an hour as a benchmark rate.
Compare prospects for the ideal profile
It’s no secret at this point that not all prospects are created equal. Different kinds of prospects have different close rates, sales cycles, and order sizes. It’s the responsibility of your salespeople to navigate these differences and build the ideal prospect profile they can target. You must identify the characteristics of an ideal prospect if you’re going to increase your rate of conversions.
Creating an ideal profile starts with your salespeople’s worst prospects. Your sales reps should think about the industries their worst prospects operate in, their job titles, and ultimately the reasons they don’t purchase from them.
Then think about your best customers; what industries do they operate in? What are their biggest challenges, pain points, and hot buttons they want to touch on for continued growth? Have your salespeople go through these questions to come up with a working draft of their ideal sales prospect.
It’s a good idea to look at your online store as your salespeople go through their prospects and deduce an ideal prospect profile they’d like to target. You can tailor your online store and build a brand that connects with a greater number of ideal prospect profiles your salespeople are contacting.
The online e-commerce sphere is especially competitive, though, so you’ll want your online store to be successful by picking a niche in which there’s room for your brand to grow. Additionally, there are two different types of online stores: product selling stores and dropshipping stores.
With the latter, you sell products that you either make yourself or that you brand to your store and outsource the work. With the latter, you purchase products made by a separate manufacturer or another company and then sell those products in your own store.
A focused approach to prospecting should include steps your salespeople can follow to delineate an ideal prospect profile. Once they’ve made progress they’ll likely begin to feel a new sense of motivation to start chasing prospects that are worth their time and energy.
Finally, encourage your salespeople to leverage the different pages and features of your online store to market to their prospects and generate more conversions. Fortunately, according to online marketer and web developer Nathaniel Finch from Best Web Hosting Australia, it’s easier than ever today to market your online stores to prospects thanks to the effective marketing tools that reputable platforms like Shopify come with.
“It’s easier than ever to market your online store using Shopify thanks to its built-in search engine optimization and social media integration tools,” Finch says. “These allow you to market across multiple channels simultaneously or even sell on platforms like Facebook and Amazon, all from your primary Shopify dashboard. SEO and analytics tools will help you test different products or layouts to see which perform best with your core customers.”
Getting qualified prospects requires that your salespeople meet their prospects at the right point in their purchasing process. A sales rep who can understand the current challenges and purchase goals a prospect has can more easily compellingly promote their products or services.
Make sure that your salespeople compare their best and worst prospects to create the ideal prospect profile they can target, too. Your salespeople should also encourage their prospects to check out your site’s contact form as well as its product pages to make the most of their time on the phone or over email.
Lee Li is a project manager and B2B copywriter from ShenZhen, China, and currently based out of Singapore. She has a decade of experience in the Chinese fintech startup space as a PM for TaoBao, MeitTuan, and DouYin (now TikTok)”
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