I often hear from sales leaders that salespeople don’t dedicate enough effort to prospecting. It can be challenging to get into prospecting mode, and even the best salespeople find prospecting the least appealing part of their sales motions. It’s hard to know where to start, and results don’t come as fast as we’d like.
This blog post covers five essential best practices that enable taking prospecting efforts to the next level:
Sales Leader and Marketing Alignment:
The marketing team and sales leaders can shorten the line to prospecting success by assisting the sales team with the initial prospect lists. Don’t wait for the salesperson to build a prospect list from scratch. Give them something to work with, and they can refine their target prospect list faster and more effectively. With marketing’s involvement, they can target marketing campaigns to the salesperson’s prospect lists.
Ensure Prospect Lists Reside in the CRM:
Prospect lists must be created and maintained within the CRM. Sales Operations needs to make lists accessible and provide the sales team the ability to track and manage the end-to-end prospecting process.
Start with a small Target List:
Less is more. 50-100 prospects are more than enough to get a salesperson. Add or update the lists monthly or quarterly, but keep the lists manageable and prioritized. Attacking thousands of prospects ensures that the salesperson will be attacking nothing.
The ONLY way to establish prospecting discipline is to calendar the prospecting time. How much time is calendared depends on the type of sale, the sales role, and business type.
I recommend at least 30 minutes of prospecting daily. At a minimum, I recommend prospecting calendar time of three times per week, for an hour or more each session. New salespeople or low-performers may spend most of their time prospecting. They still need to calendar prospecting time.
Sales Leader Review:
Alas, salespeople don’t always do what’s good for them. Sales leaders should conduct regular 1-on-1 prospecting reviews. It’s common for salespeople to get stuck during prospecting activities. Sales leaders can jump-start prospecting efforts by listening in on prospecting calls and reviewing prospect planning efforts.
Activity does not equal success. If a salesperson is not finding prospecting success, the sales leader is in the best position to diagnose the current effort and recommend steps to get on track.