There are several stages that one has to go through before arriving to some conclusion or a destination and it doesn’t matter whether one is walking, running or flying; even a recipe won’t concoct into its expected form if the necessary steps are not paid attention to. A business too has several processes and they won’t run efficiently until and unless some really definitive measures are executed at every level. Prospecting is one of them- it’s crucial, it’s implemented before selling and this is what takes you to creation of better quality leads if done in the right way.
What does prospecting mean?
Prospecting is a buyer-based approach and the B2B strategies of prospecting are tactile and the more systematic they are the better will be the outcome. A business tries to find new prospects and puts in every effort to turn them into qualified leads that have the probability to turn into a customer base and this is where the need to adopt a targeted prospecting strategy comes in handy. Why? Because when a method is targeted it means you have something that is unique and concentrated to think or work upon.
Targeted prospecting strategy makes more sense when you’re targeting the decision makers because a mass approach is not going to yield any worthwhile results;
- You have to bring in an element of personalization.
- You need to keep your ultimate aim of selling at bay for some time and focus more on winning their trust first.
Obviously, even you wouldn’t want someone to randomly land up on to your door and thrust you with their products and services. This applies to both the B2B and B2C market- the basic necessity will always revolve around relevance and establishing trust.
Therefore, we can now go on to see as to how a business can devise a targeted prospecting strategy to reach top decision makers for not just closing deals but win them too-
Know the profile you’re approaching
- When you are searching for the potential customer base you ought to know them; well if not accurately you can at least form a genuine buyer persona. And, a proper research before making the proposal is more viable when your target audience are the decision makers.
How do you form a sensible persona for the decision makers?
- Figure out the c-level who will have the final say on the products and services you are pitching.
- Procure a targeted database based on the c-level you are targeting. ( for e.g. CEO Email List )
- Delve into their social media interactions. ( TIP- try to find them on LinkedIn )
After having a firm idea about who you’re going to interact with, the next step would be to frame worthwhile pitches- essentially, have something meaningful to tell them. Let’s see how in the upcoming point.
Convey them the right things
When you’re done with concocting the appropriate buyer personas of the decision makers it is a mandate for you to settle down your inner and outer chaos and list out every little thing that will make the c-levels/decision makers to listen to what you have to say. A targeted prospecting strategy is incomplete without a curated content (emails, blogs, whitepaper, infographics, webinars etc.) This is applicable even when you’re trying to call them for business.
80 % of the c-levels appreciate customized/curated content. (ITMSA 2017 survey)
Framing relevant content would take:
- A proper insight on the nature of your buyer’s business. Look out for their Annual Reports or any other published articles.
- Scrutinize the details they’ve put up on their social media profiles as these information can give a personal touch to your pitching.
- Research on their pain points including both their current and future concerns.
- Talk about the solutions, time factor, cost efficiency etc. as these elements make up the context of their strategies.
- Present an achievable vision to these hard to convince decision makers.
59% of decision makers engage with reps who have substantial knowledge about their business.
74% of the decision makers are nearer to closing deals with this measure.
Being firm about the context about your conversations with the c levels will definitely add to the confidence that is required to convince them of your credibility. They are those buyers who know what they want, so, it would be better if you lay your foundation based on their expectations while keeping your essence intact.
Connect through the right platform
A targeted prospecting strategy also emphasizes on the criteria that a business should be able to analyze the various platforms/mediums for communication and pick out the most viable options for campaigns. You have email, social media sites (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest etc.), content on your company’s niche website, mail, and telephonic communications and so on.
Weighing all the available mediums, email, social media and the content (blogs, whitepapers, infographics, eBooks etc.) on your website have carved themselves a special place in the sales and marketing field for being the solid bridge between them and their prospects and customers.
- 63% marketers agree that emails give the higher ROI compared to other platform.
- You should know that your emails are screened by the gatekeepers before they reach the inbox of the senior executives. So, pay heed to being precise.
- Email marketing is still a little ahead compared to social media marketing.
- LinkedIn has 500 million users where a notable percentage comprises of the key decision makers.
This professional networking platform facilitates you with options like the LinkedIn Sales Navigator, InMails, Sponsored Content, LinkedIn Sponsored Content etc. to accelerate your targeted prospecting strategies.
Other good thing about connecting through social media is that you don’t need to face the gatekeepers (the personal assistants and secretaries of the c-levels).
- 91 % of the decision makers spend their time online to search for solutions or any relevant information on issues that concern them. Hence, having a navigable website and a great lists of updated content with appropriate keywords would prove useful.
50% of the emails are most likely to be opened if they contain questions.
The virtue of following up
The decision makers or the c-levels are too busy to follow up and it would be a responsible gesture from your side if you follow up with them while carrying out a targeted prospecting strategy. You might think it can bug them but if it is done at the appropriate time, it won’t. You got to understand that a follow up does not mean sending back to back emails shouting out the similar subject matter, it’s just a light way of asking the conversation could be taken further or not.
Make your content mobile friendly
Smartphones have become the easiest way to consume immediate information, check emails, engage on social media platforms etc. And, don’t be surprised to know that about 73 % of the c levels think that engaging through the mobile phone is convenient compared to desktops or laptops.
No matter what but until and unless you are calm enough to look at the risks and profits of a decision with the same eye, you wouldn’t be able to get the exact calculation of how things are and how it might turn up to be in the near future. Hence, even when you are devising a targeted prospecting strategy to reach out to the decision makers you got to be capable enough to gauge the pros and cons of the measures that you take up and be calm enough to wait for the outcome.