Here’s a sobering statistic—unproductive prospecting accounts for up 50 percent of wasted sales time.

The end goal of lead prospecting is to nurture and convert leads into paying customers. This means that your lead prospecting strategies need to do more than find a bunch of businesses to sell your business solutions to.

You need practices that identify the right business whose needs you can meet so you can sell to them.

To that end, let’s explore some of the best B2B prospecting practices to help boost your lead generation efforts.

Market Segmentation

Assume you want to sell your solutions to two food manufacturing companies in the same location and both employing 500 employees.

On the surface, these companies look similar but may have different priorities and utilize different buyer decision processes.

Company A, for example, may be looking for cost-cutting measures with key decisions driven by finance and focused on technical details. Company B, on the other hand, could be trying to break into new markets, have an IT-led buying committee, and prefer relationship-driven partnerships with vendors.

Using the same approach for both companies will make for lost opportunities and wasted budgets. Through marketing segmentation, you’ll be able to:

  • Target prospects efficiently. You’ll build profiles of good-fit customers or those that are more lucrative to help your team match real-life organizations with their respective profiles.
  • Prioritize specific customers. Some customers are harder to sell to; others want extra care, and others are expensive to manage overall. Through segmentation, you can personalize experiences to improve uptake, manage resources, and solidify customer loyalty.
  • Refine marketing messages. With better profiles, you’ll have better insights into your prospects’ motivations, needs, and pain points, allowing you to craft more resonant messages. You can engage with the different segments as a peer, speaking their language and increasing credibility.

Cold Calling

Outbound sales calls are a fantastic way to have one-on-one unfiltered interactions with your prospects.

Through your tone, you communicate your brand’s values and the expert solutions you provide to help prospects reach their goals.

The lead, on the other hand, expresses their interests and concerns or the lack of them.

There is no guesswork here. By the time you hang up, you have a pretty good idea what the next step is, aka moving forward or shelving the prospect until a more suitable time.

Best practices include:

  • Building a custom prospecting list. Succeeding in this strategy requires a custom list of your total addressable market, aka every business that may potentially find value in your business solutions. And targeting them.
  • Lead with empathy. Remember, you’re a professional who is equipped to help your customers reach their business goals. Show genuine interest in their business, learn the lingo, ask intelligent questions and share helpful suggestions.
  • Keep going. It’s tempting to stop making calls altogether when you encounter difficult or nasty leads. Take a few minutes to break when you encounter unpleasant calls but get back on and keep dialing until you meet your day’s goals.
  • Keep relevant information on hand. Prospects will probably need supporting material to verify what you’re saying to them. Keep it handy along with other “leave behind” information that you send them.

Prospecting Videos

Video messages work for vast audiences, right from cold leads to warm ones, dead leads, and former customers.

They allow you to showcase your personality, so you capture prospective clients’ attention and create human connections.

Consider the following:

  • Research your prospect. Knowing your audience’s responsibilities, challenges and drivers allows you to personalize the video around what matters to them and tie this knowledge to your solutions’ usefulness.
  • Choose a suitable format. Webcams make great introductions; screen shares help you explain complex information, while FAQs tackle the questions you encounter from customers over and over.
  • Put together supporting message copy. While videos are powerful, avoid sending them without a brief message copy. This message provides context to your video, so your audience knows what to expect.

Email Marketing

We have all believed the notion that modern-day buyers prefer self-research over having stuff pushed on them. A RAIN Group research shows that more than 60 percent are open to hearing from vendors whilst looking for possibilities to drive stronger results or actively seeking to solve problems.

The opportunity to prospect via email is there.

Top tips include:

  • Prove value. However tempting, don’t use this as an opportunity to discuss the awesomeness of your solutions. Focus instead on how your offerings can be the differentiating factor in your prospect’s business. You can link a case study in support.
  • Personalize your approach. Generic phrases and templates take away from your personality and replace it with the robotic corporate image that repels prospects. Refer to the prospect by their name. Seek outposts, comments, or things they publicly champion and weave them in the email.
  • Brevity is key. Your prospects’ inboxes are possibly inundated with all kinds of pitches and offers. They will probably skim over lengthy emails or not read them at all. Articulating your value in short but clear sentences doesn’t just respect their time but also helps ensure the recipient reads your email.

LinkedIn Prospecting

The professionals’ chill-out space is useful for prospecting.

When these professionals and business owners come to LinkedIn, they are less stressed and open to insights and other valuable information.

Leverage this platform by:

  • Join industry-relevant groups. You’ll be interacting and building relationships with people who may find your business solutions useful. Through group discussions, you can pick up on pain points that your expertise can solve and share quality answers. It may encourage further private discussions.
  • Identify competitor networks. Isolate your main competitors to see the content they post and their list of followers. Where the list is inaccessible (protected), look at their salespeople’s profiles. You’re likely to see the prospects they connect with as well as customers.
  • Identify people in new roles that you can approach. Many people who take on new roles often want to prove themselves, which means they are more open to ideas. Take this opportunity to engage them in a conversation that showcases the value you can add to their business.