Your goal as a business owner is to increase sales and grow revenue and if you are in the service business prospect till you drop, fill your sales funnel with the right kind of leads.
Prospecting done right will increase sales
If your business isn’t the buying and selling type, where you have a shop or stall, located in a mall or local market and the norm for you is that customers will by themselves walk through your doors, but rather you need to research, dig out and proactively search for and seek out your potential customers then the first point of call before the active sales is something called prospecting.
Prospecting is the process of researching and digging intelligently to discover the right kind of target market that needs your service or product, the right person to talk to.
Weighing if they are the right fit could take a lot of work, next you will need to figure out how to reach them, get their contact details like phone number, email, website address, arrange a meeting, and then move ahead to sell to them.
The process of prospecting can take a long time, it could be a pain in itself. If the quality of the people you’re researching are not the decision makers in the right organization then you will be wasting your time.
If your prospecting stage is filled with quality leads then you have the opportunity to convert a percentage of that to paying customers.
To help you speedy the process and at the same time get targeted results, I’ve put together the top 3 tools I use daily in my business.
I recommend them because they’ve helped me save time in my work and as simple of common as it may sound, you won’t believe the number of people out there who are still doing the work manually.
It’s time to stop and get serious.
So here goes:
Tool 3: SalesLoft Prospector
The first time I got to know this tool, it was like heaven on earth. Research that would typically took over 6 hours began to take 10 minutes. I was awe struck. And I was in love too.
This is the way it works: when seeking a direct contact in a company, all you need is type in the person role/position and company name, like Marketing manager, Skye Bank. SalesLoft will dig from public information on the interwebs and deliver to you names, likely emails and phone numbers of the searched term.
Want to watch a walk through video tutorial of how I prospect using these tools? Sign up for Buzz Academy
You have to do your due diligence to vet the emails and phone numbers, but it’s cut your search by over 80%
Although this is not a free tool. It’s worth every penny, you have access to get up to 10 leads for a month on the free version.
Tool 2: Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Now you have a bunch of contacts. How do you manage communication with them all? How do you track all your conversations, follow up tasks, etc? It can get really messy if you’re still using the good old pen and paper or a spreadsheet.
This is where a Customer Relationship Management tool comes handy.
Customer Relationship Management, CRM for short is the power engine that helps you manage the contacts and communication flow between yourself and your leads.
Now choosing a CRM can be tricky. I find that no one tool out there has all the answers. Some have features others don’t have and in my business I’ve tried and tested lots of them, I settle with the one I know will give me the best benefits. Your option for choosing any CRM is should be based on the needs of the business and if the CRM can help deliver that.
Tool 1: LinkedIn
If you do B2B, which means your business sells services or products to other businesses not consumers, then one of your important ally should be LinkedIn the social network for professionals.
LinkedIn boasts of the highest number of business executives who use the site to network for business reasons unlike other social media sites.
I won’t reiterate here the number and size of the social network but the key takeaway here is if you have a set it and forget kind of LinkedIn profile it’s time to revisit and seek expert help on how to utilize the platform to positively build your business. This isn’t a call to spam… Respect the users on the site and respect the connections you have. If you give enough value and show forth that you genuinely know your business and help others, sooner than you think, your connections will turn to customers.
I mentioned earlier that you need to do your due diligence to validate the results Salesloft gives you, well this is what LinkedIn is for, among others.
I typically use LinkedIn to validate who am supposed to be talking to in an organization, their name and position. Let’s take for example, you supply office equipment to other businesses. You should have determined who the right contact should be in a given company, that makes the decision on who buys what and how much is spent to buy what. Now LinkedIn which is a great search engine, will help you determine who exactly that fellow is. So you’re not calling up a company out of the blue and saying to the other person “please could I speak with someone in charge of purchasing and supply or marketing or managing director” Doing your homework helps you get in the front door faster and better than you think.
with these prospecting tools, your task to increase sales is definitely made easier. I wouldn’t think of a day without these prospecting tools in my sales toolbox.
Now what tools are you using in your business to increase sales. Share them in the comments below.