5 Tools and Methods for B2B Sales Prospecting

With moving sales targets, long lead times and highly considered purchases - the B2B sales environment is often a tricky one to navigate. Just like any business, the future of a B2B business is only as good as its ability to not only bring in a continuous stream of high quality leads, but to turn these leads into customers - hopefully, long term ones. Sales prospecting is an integral part of any business’ sales process. Effective prospecting can sometimes be a case of trial, learning what works for your particular niche or customer base. With this in mind we’ve summarised 5 tools and methods to develop your business sales prospecting.

5 Tools and Methods for B2B Sales Prospecting

What Is B2B Sales Prospecting?

In order to master B2B sales prospecting, you first need to understand what it actually is. Put simply, B2B sales prospecting involves proactively ‘hunting down’ new potential buyers, customers or clients. It’s the process of taking these prospects or potential candidates through your sales funnel, leading them from an introduction to your brand, products and services to the point of a final sale. Sure, this may seem simple and straightforward, but outbound marketing is perhaps the most difficult area of B2B sales for some companies. Perhaps the following prospecting process looks familiar to you:

  • Researching companies that are potentially a good fit
  • Finding contact details of the decision-makers and connecting
  • Measuring their interest, assessing their potential, needs and whether they’re a good fit
B2B sales prospecting involves proactively ‘hunting down’ new potential buyers, customers or clients. It’s the process of taking these prospects or potential candidates through your sales funnel.”

Tools for B2B Sales

So how can reps get as many prospects through this process as possible? There are seemingly countless tools out there that claim to help make B2B sales prospecting as simple and straightforward for you as possible. Firstly, you’ll need to take advantage of both inbound and outbound prospecting tools. Inbound prospecting is following up on warm leads that may have signed up to your newsletter or downloaded a brochure recently. Outbound prospecting is where the hard miles are walked - making your offering know to those who have never heard of your brand or you’ve never had contact with before. Here are five of the most effective tools to maximise both types of activities. 

Email Prospecting

Email prospecting tends to be one of the most favoured platforms and tools used by sales specialists to nurture inbound leads. There are a number of reasons for this but the first is automation. There are many effective email prospecting tools that can help to automate the process, including finding prospect email addresses and providing templates that can boost engagement with the emails being sent out to them. 

Your emails should be engaging, visual and easily forwarded from the recipient to ultimate decision-makers within the businesses you’re targeting. Perhaps most importantly, the content of the email should be as targeted and specific to the recipient as possible. It’s not viable to handwrite every email, however, it’s possible to group your email contacts by product or service interest to ensure they’re seeing relevant content. 

 A small con of email prospecting is that emails can easily make their way into junk or spam boxes, or may simply be deleted. However, success rates do tend to stay high as opposed to other prospecting methods. 

There are many email prospecting tools as outlined by Yesware.com here

Cold Calling

We’ve all had those calls that, when answered, take a few seconds to connect and when it finally does, you’re greeted by an overly friendly prospector who wants a minute of your time. When we talk about cold calling, we don’t mean from a busy call centre. We mean taking the time to carefully build a call list and speaking genuinely about how your company can help theirs. Speaking on the phone provides a personal touch and allows the prospector to build rapport. 

While cold calling can experience a lot of rejection and setbacks, many people still deem it one of the best tools when it comes to B2B prospecting in particular. Sure, individual customers receiving cold calls at home may be annoyed by the time-wasting or interruption, those at work and more likely to listen to cold calls as the offer may generally interest them. 

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is perhaps an underrated tool and a powerful one - when used properly. It’s advisable to become a member of a related LinkedIn Group. There is no point in joining a group with just your competitors and similar business - everyone is there for the same reason. You’ll need to do a bit of research to find out where your potential customers are hanging out. 

Once you’re a member of the group, you can search and view the contacts of the group and assess whether they’re a potential match for your offering. Due to the business nature of the platform, users are going to be open to conversation and opportunities. 

You’ll need to be careful on LinkedIn - particularly when it comes to automation. The platform moderators are on the strict side when it comes to protecting users from spam and those who’re scraping data - keep your approach honest and mutually beneficial.

Webinars

Webinars do, generally, take a fair amount of time and effort to organise, create and bring to life. But once you’ve invested the effort, you can communicate your offering and may find yourself with a genuinely interested audience to whom you can pitch your ideas, products and services. Make sure that the topics covered align directly with the needs and interests of those invited. Repeat webinars can also build a bond between you and prospective B2B customers through regularity and familiarity. 

You’ll want to ensure that you record your webinar and host it on your website so that sales prospects can view it when they want to. 

Client Referrals

If you have a happy client, it only takes a short phone call or coffee to discuss whether they know of any other businesses that could do with your help. The power of referrals is undisputed as a glowing reputation from a trusted colleague is sometimes all that is needed to convince the prospect that you can do as you promised and deliver.

If you’re looking for any help with your B2B marketing, lead generation or prospecting, get in touch with Tiga Creative Marketing today. 

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