Good prospecting can be the difference between blowing past your numbers and not making a profit. It’s the foundation that sales and marketing teams use to build up the rest of their go-to-market motion. Unfortunately, many organizations are plagued by poor prospecting without even realizing the core issue they face.
By prospecting, sales and marketing organizations figure out who to target. When they prospect poorly, otherwise valid sales strategies can fall completely flat. Unfortunately, much of the prospecting process is often left to inexperienced and insufficiently-trained sales representatives who poison the well of a sales motion before it can even begin.
What Is Prospecting?
Prospecting is the process of identifying people with buying personas. It’s the foundation for most sales and marketing campaigns, used to determine who to target and how to categorize them.
Companies use prospecting to create lists of people for cold calling, advertising campaigns, and even event invitations. It’s at the root of any sales or marketing motion and can look different between these varied applications. But the core remains the same across all of these applications: sales and marketing professionals search for their ideal customers, people who they believe could want the product they’re selling and have the resources to buy it.
Common Prospecting Mistakes
Relying on Junior Employees
Many companies leave prospecting to their lowest-level sales representatives, like SDRs or BDRs. They cycle through these reps quickly, so that the salespeople don’t have the sales experience or product familiarity to effectively identify their target audience. An inexperienced rep might think that a company looks like a good fit or a certain prospect looks like a decision-maker, when in fact it’s the wrong person at the wrong company.
Few sales teams spend enough time training their employees on proper prospecting. Instead, they write elaborate call scripts, write battle cards for their matchups against every competitor, and prepare positioning briefs that only briefly mention their target audience. Without intentional, deliberate training in prospecting, even experienced reps can repeat bad habits and fail to prospect correctly.
Some executives think that they can automate their prospecting issues away, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Instead, automated prospecting through expensive enterprise tools introduces new issues into an established process. Even the best tools on the market have frequent errors that an experienced salesperson would never make, from old or incorrect job titles to poor industry segmentation.
How to Prospect Well
There are a few important tricks to avoiding these common mistakes when prospecting. By relying on manual prospecting instead of automated programs, holding sales reps accountable for proper prospecting, and supporting them with the training they need to succeed, companies can quickly overcome all of these common prospecting problems.
Another way to quickly and reliably prospect without these issues is with an outsourced prospecting team. At Salaria, we retain seasoned professionals to specialize in quality prospecting and connect you to your next customers’ key decision-makers. Check it out here and feel free to contact us for more information.