Smarter prospecting is multifaceted. Sales reps have to put on multiple hats: research, being on the phones, conducting demos and working on putting strategy into action. In fact, 42% of sales reps have reported that prospecting is the most challenging part of their job. So it really should be no surprise that 81.6% of top performing sales reps spend on average 4 hours a day on sales related activities.
We believe that to succeed in sales, you need to work hard at the things that make prospecting smarter. Half the battle is finding those ‘hard-to-find’ prospects that are the real gems. Prospects that fit the ideal customer profile are more likely to be better quality customers who become loyal.
What makes a sales prospect ‘hard to find’?
Hard-to-find prospects are those that have niche characteristics, or a combination of seemingly unrelated characteristics that make it hard to ordinarily identify them as a good market fit, or they’re beyond your ordinary reach.
Here’s an example:
Companies that sell 3D printing machines. Fairly niche industry. But it’s a 3D printing machine business in the North West of England. That means its narrowed down by industry and location, which will make it difficult to scout out.
Finding ‘hard-to-find’ prospects is in casting your net far and wide to ensure you’re drawing together what may be unrelated data points. But why?
We often don’t know what we don’t know. What we need is the right path to show us how we can reach these ‘hard-to-find’ prospects.
Be Smarter with your Prospecting – How you Can Open your Doors to More Niche Prospects
- Ask for referrals
Did you know that 78% of the B2B referrals go on to be qualified sales leads? There’s so much potential here – if you can see connections between a great but hard-to-retrieve prospect and an existing customer, there’s an opportunity. Referrals will not only improve your lead quantity, but customers made through referrals have a strong relationship from the start to make them stick for the long term.
- Build your personal brand and online presence
Having trouble scouting hard-to-find prospects? Boost your online presence to grow your personal brand. That way, they’re more likely to come to you. If you build your brand around helping the exact ideal customer profiles and buyer personas you’re after and you do it consistently, you’ll build a community around you of the right people. Linkedin Social Selling score can help you uncover the basics to get started – find out whether your connections base is concurrent with the type of things you’re posting about and discover what influence you have in your industry.
- Obsess over the ideal customer profile
Finding ‘hard-to-find’ prospects is more than living and breathing your ideal customer profile, it’s obsessing over it so every action has this profile in mind. Set points in your prospecting time to determine if all prospects on your list are exactly the type to approach. Hard to find prospects may take slightly longer (because of the aforementioned higher quality of them) so it’s important to not waste any time being inefficient and going after the bad fits.
- Keep up with buyer behaviour
Buyer behaviour changes all the time – from the introduction of catalogue selling to the rise of the internet, society’s advancements shape how people buy. Continually assess your prospecting process to see if it still holds relevance, and ensure that ideal customer profiles are always proactively changed.
Lead sourcing doesn’t have to be complex – even when you’re after ‘hard-to-find’ prospects. Adapting to your ideal customer profile gets you close to these prospects, but converting them into real customers is where the value of scouting these out lies. Working for quality over quantity should be your priority… a priority that can be actioned with sales intelligence.
To find out more about smarter prospecting, consult our lead sourcing use case or book a demo with us today.