Select Page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Multiple studies and our experience with clients confirm that prospecting is the most important and hardest step in the sales process.

Salespeople have more tools, methods, and resources to engage with prospects than ever. Yet, prospecting appears more challenging than ever. Why?

Prospecting is harder today than in the past due to the following:

  • Lack of clear prospecting direction from sales leaders leaves salespeople to their devices. Consequently, there’s a lack of focus and consistency in prospecting activities.
  • There are many more sources of customer and prospect data (internal and external), which usually aren’t in a central location nor easy to review, combine, or digest.
  • Strong virtual selling skills and the ability to orchestrate multi-threaded forms of outreach are essential, yet many salespeople remain comfortable with traditional in-person prospecting.
  • “Results-driven” sales culture often overlooks the value of prospecting consistency. Instead, it’s easier to focus on the size of the pipeline.
  • Prospecting requires more effort and often takes longer to produce results than in the past.
  • Sales leader’s span of control has increased, so there’s less time for sales leaders to focus on coaching.
Prospecting effectiveness is crucial to achieving consistent sales results. But the question is, how can we ensure that sales reps are prospecting effectively?
Three Words For Better Prospecting Results
Identify, Prioritize, Mobilize. 
“Identify, prioritize, then mobilize” is a robust framework for improving prospecting and sales results.
This framework emphasizes a structured method for attacking customer and prospect segments. Why does it matter? Simple. It allows sales teams to work smarter. By smarter, we mean getting the optimal results for the time and effort invested.
Here’s how each word (step) contributes to achieving desired prospecting outcomes:
1. Identify
  • Outline the ideal customer or prospect profile based on a clear understanding of what needs to be achieved, what resources are available, and what potential obstacles or constraints might exist. The ideal profiles should be documented and embedded in the sales team’s go-to-market effort.
  • Select the ideal prospects within each territory or market segment. The perfect number of prospects will be a function of attributes such as average deal size, sales cycle, type of sale, etc.
  • Salespeople, sales leaders, marketing, and other stakeholders should collaborate in the selection process. There’s a fountain of internal marketplace knowledge to leverage!
  • The list of ideal prospects is called the “Target List.”
2. Prioritize
  • Data shows that salespeople spend most of their time on less desirable prospects. If sales teams shift most of their prospecting efforts to the most desirable prospects, that change alone can positively impact prospecting results.
  • The next step is prioritizing them based on their importance and urgency. Rule of thumb: less is more. For an individual salesperson, 1,000 prioritized target prospects might be challenging in most industries.
  • A “peanut butter spread approach” doesn’t work for prospecting. Prioritization involves evaluating and ranking prospects, activities, or objectives to determine which should get resources and attention now versus later. Think about the 80/20 rule and that 20% of prospects will generate 80% of the results.
  • This prioritized group of target accounts is often called the “Top 20 or Top XX list.” Regular reviews of outreach progress within the Top XX list ensure accountability from the salesperson and sales support resources.
3.Mobilize
  • Once priorities are in place, the final step is to mobilize resources and execute.
  • This step involves allocating time, coordinating efforts, and managing the process to create a flywheel effect. 
  • One straightforward element of mobilization is blocking time on the calendar for prospecting activities and reviews with sales support resources.
  • In the past, prospecting was viewed as a salesperson’s solo activity. That’s no longer the situation. Marketing and inside sales teams play a vital role in prospecting efforts. Orchestrating outreach efforts is the best way to optimize results.

The power of this framework lies in its simplicity in bringing structure and focus to prospecting activities. 

There’s much more than the three words – Identify, Prioritize, and Mobilize – for prospecting effectiveness and success. However, these three words are the foundation for everything that comes after.

For more B2B Sales Prospecting Tips, Click Here to Subscribe to Two-Bullet-Tuesday

X

California

CONTACT US

X

Mexico

CONTACT US

X

Texas

CONTACT US

X

Florida

CONTACT US

X

Washington

CONTACT US

X

New York

CONTACT US

X

Brazil

CONTACT US

X

Spain

CONTACT US

X

United Kingdom

CONTACT US

X

Germany

CONTACT US

X

Singapore

CONTACT US

X

Japan

CONTACT US

X

New Zealand

CONTACT US