Social Media Fuels Paradigm Shift in B2B Prospecting

The recent times have witnessed a paradigm shift in prospecting methods. Gone are the days where business development professionals would make a few hundred calls in a week and end up in striking a conversation with just 3 or 4 prospects. Prospecting now is no longer "just" demographic based. It is now more of "activity or persona based".

With the growing influence of social media, it is imperative for business development professionals to realize that there are multiple data points available about your prospect. The catch here is to use these data points effectively and transform them into opportunities. This means you need to understand your prospects in totality even before you contact them. 

Where to Find Data Points?

LinkedIn – It is needless to say that LinkedIn is one of the most valuable resources to find your target prospects. You have access to information about their professional profile, their achievements, and what they are looking for – new vendors, solution to specific problems, feedback or reviews, partnership invitations and so on. You can also investigate the groups that your prospects are a part of and examine their activities – what kind of discussions are they usually part of, what questions/ comments get posted by them in these discussions, how active are they in these discussions. Such things give you a good starting point for a conversation with your prospects.

Blogs – You need to take time and see the kind of blogs your prospects author or be a part of. That should give you a fair idea of what they are probably in need of. For all that you know they are waiting for you to go to them and tell them you can solve their problem

Videos – YouTube is another platform where you can find information about your prospects. Look at their videos, try and analyze what their business is all about. Once you understand, send them a video or collateral that you think can help them achieve their business objectives.

Industry News – Subscribe yourself to the industry news. Keep abreast of the market happening, trends and forecasts. You may suddenly find news items those talks about a change in management or inclusion of a new offering in your prospect's company. Use this at a start point to kick start a dialogue with them.

Twitter- One of the biggest advantage of Twitter is you know when your prospect is available for a quick chat. If you see a tweet from your prospect, it is the time you should quickly tweet back. You are sure to remain on your prospect's fresh memory.

How to Prospect Better?

Let me also give you some quick points on how you can prospect better

  • Emphasize on quality. There is no point in making 100 calls and ending the day without a single success. Instead make fewer targeted and well researched calls and succeed. You need to spend the rest of time researching your prospect.
    To know more read my blog on prospect research
  • Don't stop at title based or location based searches. Go one step further and do an activity based prospecting.
  • Create multiple small clusters instead of one large cluster and tailor- make the message for each cluster
  • Leverage Social media effectively to start conversations. Continue the dialogue on their business emails.
    To know more about this, read my blog about prospecting on LinkedIn

How Account-Researcher helps you in B2B Prospecting?

Account Researcher gives you all the above talking points pertaining to your prospects. You can find information about your prospects' social / web presence, patents, awards, news items, press releases and many more. The flagship feature of this tool is it can get you the business email and phone number in a single click. In case you have a list of prospect companies that you want to target, our tool can get you the complete company profile and also the decision makers within these companies.

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Finally – B2B Prospecting today needs to be constantly supported with extensive research and customization. Equip yourself with more-than-enough information about your prospects before you kick start your dialogue with them.

Happy Selling!!

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3 reasons why you should build B2B contact lists and how

Whether you want to let your prospects know about the new product launch or a free webinar or about a cracker deal, it all starts with a B2B contact list.

How to get one? Rent, buy or build your own B2B contact list?

Renting or buying contact lists might seem to be a quick solution but it has its own shortcomings. You got to first find a reliable list vendor, you got to pay per contact and chances are more that you might use the same lists as your competitor.

Experts advise that building your own list is better anytime than buying lists. Here are 3 reasons why you should build B2B contact lists. You can:

  1. Target specific companies/people profiles from niche markets.
  2. Build an accurate contact list and achieve more ROI.
  3. Reach more number of targeted prospective buyers and improve your sales conversion rates.

Apart from the above, building your own B2B contact lists provides you a lot of other advantages as well, but it involves a lot of effort and time. You got to spend countless hours on the Internet to manually build a targeted & accurate B2B contact list. And, this is why many prefer to buy lists rather than having to build one manually.

Not anymore! With LeadGrabber, a B2B list building software, you can build fresh B2B contact lists from the Internet in no time. All you need to do is just enter the industry or job title of your prospect, select the search script and click Find.

LeadGrabber instantly searches the Internet and displays the results in a few seconds. With another click of a button, all the contacts along with their contact information – name, email address, phone number, etc. – are extracted to the grid and your B2B contact list is ready.

You don't have to pay per contact any more. You can build lists with unlimited number of contacts.

Click here to download the fully functional trial version of LeadGrabber and try it yourself.

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Prospect Research – For Better Sales Calls and Improved Conversions

In our last blog, we saw how you can leverage social networks to identify and contact C-Level decision makers in your prospective companies. You saw a few techniques on how you can leverage LinkedIn to establish an initial contact and thereon continue the dialogue over your prospect's business email.

Let us now try and understand what you need to do once your prospect is ready to hear your proposition. One of the most common mistakes that sales professionals commit is to try and make every sales call the same. We must realize that your prospects may be similar, but are not the same. Hence every sales call you make needs to be different and tailor-made to the individual needs of your prospect. The end objective of any sales call is to propose a solution that the prospect wants, but not the one that you have.

Follow these simple steps to make your sales call a worthy one.

Know Your Prospect

One of the key steps in sales prospecting is to gather as much information as possible about your prospect. You need to get a 360 degree view of your prospect, the industry they operate in, their target customers, their possible business challenges, their growth plans and so on. By being well informed of the prospect, you have better chances of having the prospect hear you better. A few places where you can find some information about your prospects are being presented below. This is not an exhaustive list, but a good starting point, for sure.

Research The Company

Company website – You need to understand your prospect's line of business, what is their business objective, what could be their biggest challenge and what is their value proposition to their customers, and how you will contribute in helping them achieve their business goals.

Examine who their customers are, what problem of their customers are your prospects trying to address, and how can you help them in solving those problems. By having all this handy, your sales call will turn out to be more of a requirements gathering meeting than a typical pitching.

Research the Professional Side of the Decision Maker

LinkedIn profiles – One of the key forums that sales professionals need to leverage in a B2B prospecting framework is LinkedIn. A LinkedIn profile will tell you what kind of a person your prospect is. Read through the profile. Observe the groups subscribed to; read the discussions where you see some participation, see if you have some common connections who can write a nice line about you even before the meeting. Examine if your prospect is asking questions pertaining to some challenge and if you can solve that challenge. All these small things make you more familiar to your prospect even before the call. You would have figured out your call opening statement.

Research the Personal Side of the Decision Maker

Blogs- Sales prospecting can be more meaningful when you also know what kind of a person your prospect is. If your prospect is a blogger, it is worth spending time reading through those blogs. The choice of words will give you an idea on how you should moderate the call with your prospect. If the content is extremely professional and brief to the point, you should adopt the same strategy during your call / meeting. If you find liberal dosages of humour, you can adopt a more friendly approach. A nice way to start the conversation would be to congratulate your prospect for a recent achievement.

The Smart Way

We have a fantastic prospect research tool – eGrabber Account-Researcher – that will get you the business information about any prospect from any nook and corner of the Internet. The best part about this is it can get you the business email and phone of the prospect in a jiffy. This means your time to research and search for information about your prospect is significantly cut down and you have more time to focus on preparing for every call.

Experience the tool

In a nutshell, research well, talk to your prospect in his language and make "prospect research" a part of your working style. Believe me, your prospects will enjoy talking to you and your sales become a cake walk.

Happy Selling!!

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About MeI am passionate about helping clients in building a workable prospect funnel. I can help people micro target and gain better results of the campaigns. I have experience across the entire breadth of sales and marketing functions. I use a combination of time tested and disruptive methods to increase the lead funnel of any organization.

 

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4 New Ideas for Pursuing Sales Prospects

Prospects Going Silent? – Re-Engage Them

Sales professionals spend over 40% of their productive time in following with their prospects. While the most popular media have been email and phone call, our experience shows that the hit rate is not as big as it should ideally be.

So are there any new ideas out there?

That’s when we bumped into Tim Wackel. Tim is an expert sales coach with a history of leading sales teams, big and small, to great success.  Tim’s approach to the follow-up problem was creative, practical and downright effective. Tim shared his tried-and-tested formula in a Webinar hosted by eGrabber. Here are a few takeaways:

1. Use Lumpy Mail

Tim suggests that you use innovative media to follow up with prospects. Apart from the traditional email and phone call, you should consider using media such as post cards, hand written letters, gifts, freebies etc that actually grab the prospects attention. And they are easy to do… online.

He delivered specific, first-hand examples of how these systems work on the webinar.

2. Plan a follow up calendar and execute well  

What if your prospect is going to buy in that next phone call? …How do you know?

You don’t. So, Tim recommends a follow up calendar to continuously engage with your prospects. He talks about the frequency, media and the message to be included. By following this calendar, sales professionals ensure that their prospects never go dormant. 

Tim took a dive into how this calendar was made and how it was best put to use, in the webinar.

3. Breaking up…  in a professional way

Tim tells you why it’s necessary to break up with your prospect… yes, you heard me, break up with your prospect. 

And he also tells you how to do it… without slamming the door shut… just in case they come back to you! 

The webinar also dwells on how you can rephrase their statements to reengage their prospects who normally do not respond to the traditional follow up content. Here’s just one example.


4. Start with targeted lists 

When you have so little time, why prospect people who will never buy? – Fix the problem before it even begins. Start with a very highly targeted list.

Clinton Rozario from eGrabber showed how it is easy to build a list of your Glen Garry leads using social networks and online profiles. He showed an automated tool which builds your list, once you identify your list of profiles.

To Watch the Webinar Recording – Click Here

To Know More about our targeted list building tool – Click Here

To Ask our Expert for a Demo – Click Here

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