What separates the best from the rest? In a nationwide study of salespeople in various industries, it was revealed that the average salesperson spends 55% of their time managing accounts and 10% of their time prospecting. The top 5% of reps, on the other hand, spent an average of 25% of their time managing accounts and 50% of their time on prospecting. The most successful salespeople spend nearly five times as much time prospecting for new business as the average salesperson does.
So What Are Some Effective Sales Prospecting Methods?
How do we keep sales prospecting fresh? What is the best way to gain new business? How do we create multiple paths to get in front of new business? Every day, companies are looking for strategies and tactics to execute. Here are 5 proven prospecting methods that are sure to be effective for you.
Cross-selling to current clients: The main struggle here is that the average rep doesn’t want to appear pushy or greedy. They are content with the business already coming in from the client, and don’t want to rock the boat. Your current clients already love you, though, and you can always find additional ways you can help them. Have the conversation. The more you help your clients, the harder it is for them to leave.
Referrals: New business is good, but every salesperson needs new clients in order to stay viable. Are your people actively asking for referrals from current clients? Most reps say they receive referrals and they believe they are doing well. 60% of your clients will give you a referral, but usually not unless you ask. Also, if you are only getting a name to call on, this is nothing more than a cold call in disguise. Politely ask the client to set it up for you to help ensure it is a qualified lead.
Strategic partnerships: Does your team have relationships with other sales professionals who call on similar clients? Today it is more difficult than ever to reach someone on the phone. How are you bypassing this? By establishing credibility with other reps you can push and pull each other into accounts. This doesn’t happen overnight, but with patience and proper execution, it can prove to be very profitable.
Networking: If not executed properly, this method can be a huge time waster that appears to be very productive. But if done right, traditional networking can be a useful sales prospecting tool. Are your people in the right groups? Do they know how to describe the characteristics of an ideal client and the questions to ask? If not, they may be wasting their time, and yours.
Cold calls: A lot of self-proclaimed sales experts say cold calling is dead. If you don't have a referral into a company, don't know anyone who knows your sales prospect, and that prospect never attends events, how else are you going to get in front of them? When done right, cold calling can be just as valuable as any other strategy.
Explore Multiple Prospecting Methods
Too often companies find themselves relying on a single source to gain new business. If you find yourself implementing multiple ways to gain new business, it is easier to find yourself investing more time in sales prospects since the results will follow.
Looking for ways to help your sales team get out of their comfort zone and explore new methods of sales prospecting? Check out the video below for tips on how to stretch their comfort zones and continue making progress towards your company goals.