- PhoneHawks - Sep 1, 2020 - 5 min read
Working in Sales is Tough - Start Here
Working in sales can be tough and it comes with limited training. In college, you never study sales, though many take a position in sales shortly after graduating.
Selling basically is about getting someone to buy products and services, but just knowing that to structure your day, much less advance your sales career.
Where should you start? Start by focusing on how to find and develop your potential customers. This is called prospecting. Prospecting is an important part of the sales process, as it helps develop the pipeline of potential customers available.
Prospecting is about finding the right buyers and turning them into customers. And to succeed, salespeople must be relentless and efficient.
Benefits of Continuous Prospecting
More customers. Potential customers become customers. The average salesperson loses about 15 to 20 percent of their customer base each year due to gradual attrition. Without prospecting, there are no leads to fill these gaps. In the game of sales, it’s important to have more customers waiting in the case of a lost sale.
Increased revenue. More customers mean increased revenue. It’s crucial to consistently have a forward-thinking mindset and opportunities filling your pipeline.
Qualification. Prospecting also presents a salesperson with the opportunity to understand whether a customer is qualified for their service or product. Qualifying potential prospects will create a more efficient selling system and ultimately improve your sales process as a whole.
Data Gathering. But what if a prospecting doesn’t result in a sale? Prospecting can also be a source of data for market research. Prospecting can answer questions such as why people buy your product, what they think of your approach, what their goals are, and assist salespeople in determining the best way to sell their product.
Prospecting with the Right Goals
Efficient prospecting techniques enable sales professionals to accomplish three critical tasks:
Add new prospects
Replace lost customers, and
Sell new products to existing customers.
“Keep your sales prospecting pipeline full by prospecting continuously,” says Brian Tracy, author of Eat the Frog.
“Always have more people to see than you have time to see them.”
Brian Tracy’s advice is more than just a pithy saying.
It’s a never ending quest. The most successful salespeople continually find creative ways to uncover new prospects, find ways to help them, and attract customers.
Prospecting, even for the Hardened Sales Veteran
In his book, High-Profit prospecting, Mark Hunter shares one of the common myth salespeople with established accounts and that is the myth of “I’ll prospect when I’m done taking care of my existing customers”.
He shares that “...these salespeople know they should be prospecting, but to them prospecting is way down on the list of priorities. Their top objective is ensuring they properly take care of their existing customers but the truth is the accounts are their top priority because they don’t want to have to prospect. They likely view prospecting as something only the new salespeople need to do.”
To counteract this thought, Adam Springer from Startup Sales Podcast aptly said that “Everyone that’s in sales should be touching the phone, including VP of Sales and even the founders”
Adam couldn’t stop stressing that for your organization to succeed everyone should constantly keep prospecting because this will help you stay on top of new techniques to involve in your training. It will constantly keep bringing in new leads and more importantly it will motivate your reps, when they see you in the trenches with them it helps keep the morale high.
All About the Numbers
In many ways, sales are all about the numbers. Practicing strategic prospecting helps avoid solely relying on the number of calls made or emails sent. Realistically, there are only a limited number of calls you can make and emails you can send in a given day eventually limiting the options for increasing your prospect pool.
Prospecting is not an optional activity if you want to be successful. It’s an essential one.