Is your sales prospecting program failing to deliver on your goals? If so, it's probably not for lack of effort. We all invest time and resources in generating new business, but improving performance often starts with taking a fresh look at your process. What are your biggest prospecting challenges, and what tactics have you tried to overcome them? Ahead, we'll cover 4 big challenges – and solutions – to improve prospecting performance.
Prospecting Drains Too Much Time
Prospecting will always require an investment of time, but a few simple changes can dramatically improve your efficiency and results. With the right technology in place, it's easy to automate key processes. Use email automation for more effective outreach and – your reps will love you for this – automate data entry for your CRM. For cold (and warm) calls, use a telephony that provides auto-dialing and voicemail drop to give your reps an advantage.
There's a misconception that automation leads to less personalization, but the opposite is actually true. By eliminating the tedious, time-consuming elements of prospecting, you have more time to focus on each prospect. Email automation, for example, makes it easy to use email templates, which can then be personalized for each recipient. The result is better targeted content that speaks directly to the needs of the prospect you're working to convert.
Poor Response Rates
It's easy to get frustrated when you put in the necessary outreach work and still don't receive a response. The first step is to look within. Test your messaging, content, and even your email subject lines to learn what works, and why. Warm up your cold calls by conducting some advance research, and consulting your CRM.
The next step is to look at your targets. Are you targeting the right people and businesses? When you reach out to a business, are you targeting the right level of management? Feedback from your reps is critical to answering these questions, and focusing in on the right targets.
Incorrect Contact Information
It's one thing to make a call, connect, and get turned down. If closing deals was easy, everyone would be doing it. Incorrect contact information is another matter entirely. Bad for morale, and bad for business. If you purchase contact information from third-party companies, try mixing up your sources.
Use multiple sources to confirm data, and weed out any incorrect information. There's no way to ensure perfect contact information every time, but that's not the point. The key is to minimize wasted time, and cutting out as much incorrect information as possible gives your reps more time to contact prospects with legitimate interest in what you have to offer.
Difficulty Tracking and Measuring Performance
Between your CRM, your telephony, and your reps, you have plenty of resources for tracking performance. The key is to set realistic, thoughtful benchmarks, so you have a baseline for comparison over time. You want your reps to understand the level they need to reach, and the steps they need to take to get there.
Your benchmarks will vary based on what you sell, but activity metrics are a good start. In order to find success, your reps first need to put in the necessary effort. From there, the focus shifts to performance. If you see that a rep is putting in the effort but failing to deliver results, your benchmarks will help you lock in on the skills that rep needs to improve.
There's no getting around the fact that prospecting has evolved in recent years, but most of those changes have been for the better. If your team isn't performing, the first step is to look within. Just be sure to set aside some time to look at tech-based solutions, too. You might be surprised by what you find.