Sales Prospecting: The Ultimate Guide to Close More Deals Using CRM
Well, you would agree that the sales process has changed quite dramatically. Earlier, a sales rep used to do cold-calling every day using the same static pitch regardless of who you were talking to.
It was more of a seller-centric rather than customer-centric. However, consumer buying habits are changing. In fact, buyers have already made 55% of their purchasing decision even before they talk to a sales representative.
That’s why it has become more than necessary to adjust your sales process to the ever-changing buying process. This is known as the inbound sales approach. Inbound sales approach depends on the basic principle that consumers don’t want to be sold to, they want to be informed and educated.
So, What Is Sales Prospecting?
Sales prospecting is the process of finding, nurturing, and contacting potential customers for the purpose of converting them into paying customers.
The main aim is to move your prospect buyer through the sales funnel to help expand your business. There are different stages of a sales funnel. It involves —
i. Identifying Leads
It’s important to know that leads are different than sales prospects. Leads are potential customers that have shown interest in your business. Say, they have signed up a form in return for a content offer like a white paper, ebook, etc. or subscribed to your blog.
ii. Nurturing Leads Into Qualified Leads
Leads become qualified to be prospects if they align with your target audience and buyer personas. Those who have identified themselves as more deeply engaged leads are the ones that need to be nurtured into sales qualified leads.
Sales qualified leads have the highest likelihood of converting into a paying customer. They are determined worthy of a direct follow-up after thorough vetting. These are the potential customers who have attended webinars, requested a demo or a buying guide, or inquired about other high-interest level offers.
iii. Making Calls to Close Leads Into Prospects
This is where sales reps have identified qualified leads as opportunities that are ready to be closed.
Sales reps must act as a sales educator and provide value to help them move through the sales pipeline. To educate their prospects, they need to listen and first understand the prospect’s pain points.
In today’s time, if a salesperson tries to interrupt prospects and pitched their product to close hard, it will not work anymore.
How Can CRM Help in Sales Prospecting?
Now that we know the different stages of sales prospecting, let’s talk about how we can have more success rate using a CRM software.
Well, this goes without saying — personalization is the key to making sales. This is where CRM comes into the picture. You need to personalize every aspect of your marketing strategy based on different demographics and other factors — from outreach to interactions to the final offer itself.
Let’s discuss the various sales prospecting techniques that will help close a customer.
1. Transform the Way You Target Accounts
Let’s say, the content you are publishing is bringing in the traffic. But it comes down to staying focused on your buyer’s persona.
The way you plan to target your audience needs to ensure that the only people entering your sales process are the ones who are most qualified.
It’s crucial to remember that not all leads are a good fit for your business. Besides, not all of these leads are ready to buy from you. This is where you will need to do lead scoring.
Lead scoring is the methodology used to rank leads in order of their sales-readiness. CRM can help with lead scoring by analyzing leads based on demographics, behavioral scoring such as keywords search, clicks, number of times web visits, and more.
In short, you need to filter leads before they get passed on to sales. Understand your prospect’s lifecycle, and where they fall in the buyer’s journey.
2. Create Personalized Outreach Plans
The next step is to transform the way you prospect account. You need to first determine whether your lead or prospect is cold or warm for that matter. It will help develop your outreach plans.
Calling your leads or sending them emails without understanding them is just a waste of time. You need to thoroughly research your leads — starting with company information, reading about their industry, tracking their social media activities, and more. Studying these key elements will help you give a personalized experience to your prospects/leads.
So before you send out emails or make a phone call, you will have enough information to tailor each conversation for your different leads.
One pro tip is to determine the goal of the email or the call before you make your move.
Within your CRM, you can start tracking how these outreach emails and calls are performing. You can then use the insights to improve upon your own outreach strategies.
3. Reach Out and Schedule A Call/Meeting
Now that you are ready to pick up the phone and connect with your leads, there are a few practices that can increase the chances of closing the leads.
The first is to build a rapport with them. When you first get on the phone with them, you want to straight away establish trust by using the research you have done.
Speak the prospect’s language. The way you articulate information, try to resonate with your prospects’ personality. Get on the same page with your opportunity and make it all about them.
After you get their attention, make sure to follow up after finishing the call.
CRM is a great way to gather, store, and analyze data to provide great insights into your audience’s activities. Besides, this software seamlessly integrates with other applications to streamline all operations. For instance, when you close a deal, you can integrate it with billing software to create an invoice and earn revenue.
To conclude, the ultimate key to closing a lead is by being helpful.
Once you know your audience, you will want to deliver custom content and personalized offers to your leads. Put together some information to add value to their understanding. It will help develop some trust and credibility.