Understand the increasingly important role of active prospecting in Inbound Marketing, and learn how to adopt this strategy in your sales team.
The active prospecting in its concept and practice has undergone several changes over time and with increasing customer demand. Previously, it was much more tied to sellers and their knowledge of the market.
What did that mean?
If the professional leaves the company, it will lose all its power to attract customers. As a result, businesses can be compromised in a short amount of time.
Therefore, the concept of active prospecting has undergone changes over time.
That’s because, of course, the strategy has changed. After all, companies could not be left in the hands of those who could leave the business at any time.
There are changes that come for the good. And in the case of active prospecting, this is a difficult truth to dispute.
In this article, we’ll talk not only about its concept, but also about how and why it has been shaped over the years.
In addition, we’ll show you how this strategy supports and drives inbound marketing strategies.
Oh, to top it off, we’ll give you some tips for you to carry out active prospecting without a headache in your day-to-day business.
Stay with us.
What is active prospecting? The traditional concept
We will first introduce the more traditional concept of active prospecting.
It is currently not an official concept of what active prospecting is. As we said, it is a very volatile strategy. It relies on current practices to make sense of the market in which it operates.
But, let’s talk in the traditional way.
The role of this strategy rested solely with the sellers. And this happens regardless of their level within organizations.
They were responsible for attracting customers, as well as qualifying and, of course, closing with them.
Companies depended only on these professionals to attract potential customers. Furthermore, they did not have reliable indicators to measure the work done.
You see, it was the same professional to do the 3 functions. You can already imagine what happens when he focuses on a specific activity, right?
If not, we’ll clarify for you.
The prospecting of customers was carried out until reaching an acceptable number. Thus, the focus was turned to qualify the generated leads and the task of prospecting was left aside.
When it came to negotiating and closing, there was a problem. After all, not only the active prospecting mission, but also the qualification mission were on one side.
Keeping an eye on the metrics
When focusing on one task, 2 others did not occur. Opportunities were missed all the time. Leads cooled.
And this not only increased the sales cycle but also triggered the companies’ CAC.
Sellers with many assignments fail to do any job well. Prospecting, qualifying and/or selling were unfeasible.
When the time came to hit the target, the sale took place much more by pressure than by generated value.
After all, there was no time to qualify. The prospect wasn’t really ready to buy. But the pressure to sell vines and the offer ends up being pushed “down our throats”. And this was given even for a value below what the company needed.
This model makes little or no sense these days. And that’s why the practice of active prospecting needed to change.
Modern active prospecting: growth and support for inbound marketing
Learn how active prospecting works today.
The customer is less and less accessible due to modern life. Therefore, at first, active prospecting using methods such as cold calling 2.0 may seem unproductive.
Is outbound being treated with prejudice because of this?
What if instead of “what” to do, we think about “how” and “when” to apply each method?
That’s because no sales strategy solves every problem in 100% of cases. However, they may work better in some situations than others.
Active prospecting can be your best alternative to increase the amount of leads. Above all, when applied in conjunction with inbound. This tends to broaden the scope of your actions.
But how does this support occur?
Outbound supports inbound
Not all of your customers are looking for your product. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need it.
In this case, active prospecting can be much more effective. It can occur by stimulating the lead’s interest. Leading the process to the purchase action using the inbound marketing methodology.
Especially at times when the market is less buying, outbound support can even make the difference between staying in the market and needing to change activity.
However, a well-organized structure, which allows managing both activities, can influence the lead conversion process.
Especially if everyone involved can work in synergy. If everyone speaks the same language with the customer.
And who didn’t buy it?
For example, a lead who didn’t want your product can now receive content.
That’s where content marketing comes in. It is often left out in a company that works only with active prospecting.
In this case there, put it to receive the weekly newsletter. Keep showing that your brand is a reference. Always remind him what he is missing.
The importance of cold calling 2.0
In free translation, cold call means “cold call”. In our case, it identifies a contact made with a lead that does not yet have information about the company, so it is cold and indifferent to our approach.
For a long time, cold calling was the most adopted prospecting action, but with a different approach from the one defended today by the cold call 2.0 model. Let’s look at some characteristics of this form of contact:
- widely adopted in complex sales;
- supported by the use of technology, mainly CRM;
- targeted, as it is aimed at an audience with more purchasing potential;
- works with prior information about the lead, as it is a way to facilitate the approach, touching on key points as a way to gain the interlocutor’s attention — in addition to working with sales intelligence;
- it is a flexible scripted dialogue, as it does not follow a predetermined script as in a telemarketing action;
- it focuses on the client’s context and pain, as the professional knows and investigates the client’s problem and their reality in order to offer a persona-oriented solution ;
- It is applied by a qualified professional, that is, an expert on the client, in persuasion techniques and in the ability to develop a solution and shape your speech according to the lead.
The heart of the new approach is that the main purpose of the contact is to gather detailed information about the lead and prepare the next step.
In this article, we’ve told you everything you need to know about Cold Calling 2.0
Technology enhances outbound results
The support of technology is essential for modern sales, which need agility and practicality in providing information.
But it is mainly in the analysis of results and the sales process that technology plays a crucial role.
Without accurate and quality information, it became impossible to identify the impact of each influencing variable on the result. After all, there are many and they change all the time.
Storing each contact’s data in a CRM that provides this information in real time is increasingly a requirement to ensure competitiveness.
Consider the support outbound can give your business. To do this, start with information about the buying habits of your personas, trying to identify if they all take the attitude of looking for your product or service, when they do and if they can be stimulated with a cold call 2.0 type contact.
In this article, we talk about how the SPIN selling method can boost your business results.
3 tips to improve prospecting for new customers
Active prospecting is not an easy job to do and demands an organized team. By this point in the article, if you’ve made it this far, it’s certainly clear to you.
Your company wants to grow as healthy as possible, of course. So it’s something you need to pursue relentlessly.
Therefore, we set aside 3 days to improve the work of active prospecting in the sales routine of any business.
1 – Define a prospecting routine
Laziness does not fit with the assertive work of actively prospecting for customers. But it is necessary to separate well, within the workday, time to carry out this strategy.
In smaller companies, which do not have a specific team to carry out this activity, the seller works by prospecting and selling. It’s not the ideal scenario, but it works if planned well.
Thus, it is possible to divide the work routine to prospect in the morning and sell in the afternoon. In other words, in a journey of 8 hours a day at the company, half of them will be to attract customers.
That said, be careful not to make any mistakes. Out-of-order actions can hinder this work.
- Don’t pester prospects who aren’t ready to sell. Insist a few times. But if you don’t see progress, freeze that opportunity. And get back in touch in a few months when the schedule is looser;
- Don’t piss off prospects. Have everything recorded in a good sales system what he has already asked, the actions taken. Each new contact needs to generate value for that lead, not bother it;
2 – Be disciplined and consistent
As we said above, it is essential to be disciplined in this mission. The salesperson who prospects and also sells needs to optimize his time.
After all, there are two tasks that must be done: selling and prospecting.
Eliminate distractions at this time. Of course the work doesn’t need to and can’t be boring.
So, take advantage of your CRM Online and use email templates. Thus, it eliminates the “CTRL C + CTRL V” in email windows. As a result, you save time and prospect more.
Another crucial factor for sellers who work with a public agenda is to keep it blocked in the mornings.
After all, you will be prospecting. Therefore, the lead cannot use this period for a negotiation meeting. Only in the afternoon.
3 – Always keep track of your numbers
All this work will only make sense if both the salesperson and the sales leader are aware of the numbers that are generated on a daily basis.
Time management is essential. Define how many phone calls (those that generate value for the company) an inside sales need and manage to make.
This can be defined in feedback meetings. There is no exact number to look for, as it will depend a lot on the size of the company and also on the market in which it operates.
Prospecting for customers by phone
One of the most effective ways to carry out active prospecting is through the phone. Of course, attendance at events is crucial.
This cannot be left out. Even because the seller’s power of persuasion can be greater at these times.
But how many potential customers can you talk to in a morning, when your schedule should be focused on prospecting over the phone? 3, 4 prospects? Is this an acceptable number?
Is it worth it, then, to stop making calls to prospect in person?
Maybe not worth it. Maybe the company needs to focus a little more on the phone strategy. For this, be aware of some factors.
- Set a daily calling goal and stick to it;
- Make clear the reason for the phone call (you want to sell to him, right? Don’t mess around);
- Use a sales playbook to find out what and how needs to be said to those who listen to you;
- Create a sense of urgency or exclusivity (whichever works best, leave it recorded in the playbook to repeat);
- Track, measure, analyze and improve everything that has been done.
With that, and looking at some sales metrics, you solve the problem. Prospecting and improving business results in companies no longer need to be a headache for anyone.
So, how can we help you?
Enjoy and read two articles that help you not only prospect but sell better.
The first one talks about why good customer prospecting is half a sale.
The second one has some sales tips to ensure that the prospect will not go to the competition.