B2B prospecting, or business-to-business prospecting, is a difficult but crucial part of a businesses sales strategy. Prospecting, in simple terms, is the gathering of prospective customers who might be looking to buy a product or service that your business can provide them. Sales people need prospects, otherwise they have no one to pitch to!
B2B prospecting is a difficult and complicated task but, at the base level, there are a few guidelines you can follow to ensure that you are consistently keeping up with your prospecting efforts.
The first and most important step is to do your research. Would you buy a vacuum from somebody who has never even used it or had no idea how it worked? Probably not. But, if that person was well versed and knew everything possible about that vacuum, you might be more inclined to trust them.
B2B prospecting works the same way. You want to make sure that you are know everything there is to know about the products and/or services that your business is offering, so that when you are prospecting you come across professional and useful, rather than just another sales pitch.
Not only is it only important to understand your own product and business, but also the other businesses and markets that you may be selling to. You don’t want to try to sell somebody something that they have absolutely no use for. It is much better to know who you are selling to, what they need, and how you can help them achieve that need.
Knowing your competitors is also an important factor. You may be questioned as to why you are the better choice over another business, so you should be able to tell them why! Know your strengths and weaknesses, as well as your competitors’, and be able to bounce back with why you are the better choice.
Another important B2B strategy is to be in as many places as you can, being relevant, and offering information, while expecting nothing in return. One way to achieve this is to utilize all forms of social media to advertise and hand out useful and relevant content. You will come off as not only knowledgeable, but also willing to help and share that knowledge for nothing. Free webinars are another great way of doing this; they are quick and hands-on, which shows potential prospects your dedication and willingness to help.
So you’ve done your research and you’ve put yourself out there, what’s next?
You need to have a way of gathering some information about these prospects in order to reach out to them later to continue the relationship. There are many ways to go about doing this, such as gathering emails, to creating mailing lists, to networking events and even face to face prospecting. Gathering information such as emails provides a great opportunity for you to lightly reach out to them first before making the dreaded cold call. This may even provoke them to contact you first! Even if that doesn’t happen you will have still put yourself in front of them first, that way they won’t be taken by complete surprise when you reach out to them again through a phone call or even in person.
Prospecting is a difficult process, but it is an extremely important aspect of sales and, if done correctly, it can greatly increase your businesses sales success. Following simple strategies like these will set you on the right path to becoming a B2B prospecting pro!
– Brandon Girard