Often when we talk about sales prospecting we talk about outbound sales prospecting. This is the process of finding new companies that match your Ideal Customer Profile, companies that you should reach out to and try to persuade into becoming your customers.
In this article, we'll instead focus on inbound sales prospecting. Inbound sales prospecting is, simply put, about scrolling through leads that marketing automation workflow provides.
In reality, doing inbound sales prospecting should be a slightly more complex task than that described above. It’s not enough for you as a successful inside sales reps to simply reach out to any company that the marketing team has labeled a sales qualified lead and handed over to you.
Make it a habit to qualify every lead that you receive from marketing to determine what companies are worth your time. Spending some time researching the leads you become from marketing will not only ensure you that you don't spend time on the wrong accounts. It will also give you valuable insights into every lead's organization, characteristics and pain-points. This knowledge will, in turn, help you process every lead with the right message, through the right medium, and at the right time.
This article makes up the seventh chapter of our 60-page ultimate guide to sales prospecting. If you wish to read any of the previous chapters in the ebook without converting or download the full eBook as an easy-to-read pdf you can do that here.
Make it a habit to qualify every lead that you receive from marketing to determine what companies are worth your time.
The Foundation of Inbound Sales Prospecting
Leads come in to sales reps every day through marketing efforts, downloadable content, demo requests and more. When inbound marketing rose to fame towards the end of the first decade of the 21st century, first in the U.S. and the in Europe, it more or less meant an exclusive focus on individuals’ behavioral data.
Today, most salespeople know that one individual within a company's interest in their offer doesn't tell much about how likely the company is to buy. This is especially true if the person isn't a decision maker or works in a position where she has the chance to impact the purchase decision.
Prompt your reps to see the value in researching companies before initiating contact with them.
Instead of just being reactive to that person who has expressed interest in your company, proactive sales reps should dig deeper into the lead’s motivation for doing so in order to make a real connection.
Many valuable insights can be found through your marketing automation tool, where you should be able to to find their visit history on your site. If they have paid repeated visits to your product page and also had a look at your pricing page, this reveals that the company is already in the buyer's journey and the rep can craft his or her message based on this insight.
Focus more on Company Data than on Individual's Behavioral Data
While one individual's behaviors doesn’t forecast how likely a company is to end up a happy and paying customer any time soon there’s plenty of company data that help salespeople qualify incoming leads.
Example on how company data can help you qualify a lead:
You’re selling translation services and the marketing director of Company A downloads your e-book. If you also know that this company recently announced that they will release two new product categories in the Middle East, this information helps you understand that this prospect is not only a good fit, but also has a window of opportunity open.
Invest in a subscription for a dynamic B2B company database like Vainu to enable your sales reps to easily access detailed company data on millions of companies.
The more information about a prospect a rep has, the better equipped she is to prioritize incoming leads and handle conversations with the most promising ones.
Better Understanding About Your Target Accounts Equals Better Content Marketing
Successful inbound prospecting requires sales and marketing alignment. Defining your company’s Ideal Customer Profile will not only help sales reps tell good and poor leads apart, it will also allow marketing to create targeted materials. They won’t just publish blog posts, videos, webinars and e-books and hope for the best.
With more data on the companies in your target audience, marketers can create different types of short-lists of companies they want to engage with and create content relevant for them.