Guest post submitted by Jesse Davis of RingDNA
Successfully prospecting for outbound leads can be one of the most challenging tasks in B2B sales. Anyone who has tried their hand at outbound prospecting will tell you how difficult it can be to not only generate lists of high-quality leads, but also transform those leads into customers. But I’ve seen firsthand that with the right tactics and tools, you can add loads of net new leads and opportunities to your sales pipeline.
One of my favorite things about working at RingDNA is that I constantly get to collaborate with and learn from some of the world’s most experienced, successful and innovative entrepreneurs. We recently hosted a webinar featuring an all-star team of sales leaders including Sales Engine CEO Craig Wortmann, Datanyze co-founder Ben Sardella and our company’s CEO, Howard Brown. The webinar’s goal was ambitious: cracking the B2B prospecting code. I knew that Craig, Ben and Howard were all phenomenal salespeople and speakers. But even after years of working in sales and marketing myself, I was absolutely blown away by how many amazing and actionable prospecting tips came out of this webinar.
We recorded the webinar and I highly recommend watching it on demand. In the meantime, here are seven actionable tips that stand out.
Here are seven actionable prospecting tips that I will be using:
Use LinkedIn to Identify New Leadership
During Ben’s presentation, he revealed how to use LinkedIn to identify changes in leadership. So why is it so important to identify new hires at a company? Because new leaders are often given a mandate for change and a budget to make those changes happen. Often, they’ve replaced old leaders because they’ve offered fresh new perspectives. So if you contact new executives shortly after they’re hired they’ll be far more inclined to invest in new services and technology in order to make good on their mandate for change.
Ask and Answer Questions on Quora
Ben also made an awesome case for using social Q&A site Quora as a lead generation channel. I admit that I’ve mostly focused my own efforts on Twitter and LinkedIn. However, Ben revealed that you can use Feedly to follow Quora topics that are relevant to your business. After a few months of answering questions on Quora, Datanyze was able to source 41 leads in a month from Quora (5 of which turned into opportunities). I know I’m excited to ramp up my own Quora efforts.
Use Sales Tools to Automatically Detect Product Renewal Windows
We’ve all lost deals to competitors before, but yesterday’s closed/lost opportunities can turn into tomorrow’s wins. In the webinar, Ben showed that with Datanyze, reps can automatically identify when prospects are getting ready to renew various technology solutions. This can help reps laser-target new accounts that might be interested in switching vendors. Regardless of the tool that you’re using, setting up a calendar reminder to revisit Client X about considering your product or service at the time when they are making their decision is simple and worth your time.
Don’t Rely Too Heavily On Your Personal Network
Sure, having a tight network can be valuable. But it’s also important to not rely too heavily on your personal network. Can you really trust your close personal colleagues to give you honest feedback about your business/pitch? Your peers are likely to sugarcoat their opinions. That’s why it’s so important to reach out beyond the confines of your personal network into what Craig calls the “cold blue ocean.” The feedback you get might be harsher (expect some hang-ups!), but the feedback is going to be honest and will help you refine your elevator pitch. Craig recommended spending one hour in the “cold blue ocean” for each hour you spend prospecting into your own network.
Be Clear with Your “Asks”
When networking with friends and colleagues, many people aren’t clear enough about what they’re asking for. It’s really important that, when networking, you make it abundantly clear what you want. If you want to be introduced to the CMO at your friend’s company, make sure your friend knows that’s exactly what you want. Your colleagues will usually be happy to help, but they need to know exactly how to help.
Dial Leads from Local Phone Numbers
When my phone rings, and it’s a toll-free or out-of-state number, do you usually answer the phone? I know I don’t! In Howard’s presentation, he revealed research showing that when you call leads from numbers with local area codes, they’re up to 400% more likely to pick up the phone. Several attendees asked how to dial leads from local numbers. With RingDNA, sales reps can automatically dial from numbers with local area codes, with no additional effort.
Capture Prospecting Data in Your CRM Automatically
In order to coach reps to success, managers need to know who reps are reaching out to, how often, as well as the outcome of every email and call. For managers to achieve that visibility, it would seem as if reps need to log a lot of data in their CRM. But most reps enjoy logging data in their CRM about as much as they like doing their laundry. Reps want to spend their time selling and simply can’t be relied upon to enter all relevant data manually. However, by using a sales acceleration solution, you can empower reps to automatically log their activities in their CRM. The result is this: instead of playing the role of babysitter, managers can coach reps to success based on real-time data.
For more awesome prospecting tips, be sure to check out The B2B Prospecting Code: Secrets for Aggressive Pipeline Growth featuring Craig Wortmann, Ben Sardella and Howard Brown.
- Sales Prospecting: The 3 Digital Tools You’re Not Using But Should Be
- 12 Ways to Prospect Like a Sales Pro
- 6 Effective Time Management Techniques for Success in Sales
- Email Prospecting: Write Emails That Actually Capture Their Attention!
Jesse Davis is a sales and marketing strategist and Sr. Content Marketing Manager at RingDNA, which automates and optimizes sales activities for inside sales teams. Over the past decade, Davis has honed his business communications skills working as an inside sales manager, business writer and agency marketer. He is a proponent of utilizing platform technology and evidence-based methodologies to optimize creative campaigns, marketing ROI and sales performance.