5 Expert Sales Prospecting Techniques You Should Try in 2024

By: Jack Reamer |
 April 17, 2023 |
The other day I tried to cancel an insurance policy with a sales rep… Not because the company was bad or anything, but because I felt like I didn’t need that specific policy anymore…  15 minutes later, the same SDR convinced me to keep the policy AND I even considered signing up for another one of their policies.  What just happened? Did I just get “Jedi mind tricked” by an SDR?  Or were they so good at sales, that they made me second-guess myself?  This sales guru blew my mind… And if you’re hoping that your sales team produces the same results,  these prospecting techniques below might be worth exploring.  Try out these different techniques and see which works best for your company.  Whether it’s exploring a different outreach channel or using a different sales script, these expert sales prospecting methods are worth a try this year. 

Don’t just cold callWarm call instead

Cold calling is likely to get many “No thank you, I’m not interested.”  Stats show that cold calling, on average, is only 2% effective. Whereas warm calling stats show that you have a 20-30% chance of conversions.  But what is a warm call exactly? It’s basically reaching out to someone who has already shown interest in your product or service. They could have done this by subscribing to a monthly email newsletter, filling out a survey on your website, or even sending a contact form.   You might even want to engage with the prospect through social media first by either connecting with them on Linkedin or commenting and liking something that they have posted.  Because the potential customer has already shown some interest in your company, it makes sense that they would be more likely to engage with you over a call.  The trick with warm calling though is to be quick. Once you see that someone has shown interest, call them as soon as possible.  The chances are if they have been searching for a service like yours, they are probably reaching out to a few other companies to compare.  So strike while the iron is hot.  But before you hop onto a call, you should do some research first. Yes, this takes time, but it’s worth it.  You could Google the prospect perhaps, or even check out their Linkedin page; this will help you tailor a script specifically for the prospect’s needs. (You could even first reach out via Linkedin, and then book that quick call.)

Warm calling script

Think about what you would like to say before you hop on a call. If you can mention a prospect’s pain point in your presentation, that would be a good place to start.  Some of the top salespeople at telemarketing agencies suggest the following approach:
  1. Connect with prospects via Linkedin 
  2. Comment on a post or send them a personalized message
  3. Make the warm call
When starting the call use a pattern interrupt. Studies have shown that cold callers who ask “How are you” have a better response than those who don’t.  Another one that’s quite humorous is “This is a cold call, do you want to hang up?”  Next, you want to use the prospect’s name and mention your name and where you’re calling from. 

Below is an example of a referral script you could use:

Hi Jack. How are you? My name’s Michaela from (company name.) Our mutual colleague (colleague name) and I have seen great results from using (product solution). We were discussing others who might also benefit from (product) and he mentioned your company. I’m really impressed with your company and how it does XYZ. I’d love to show you a demo and how we helped (mutual colleague) generate greater ROI. Do you have a quick 10 min sometime?

Obsess about list building

When your lead list is generic, unfortunately, you aren’t going to get many booked sales calls that lead to conversions.  And this is the problem with quite a few lead generation companies out there. If you mention that your target audience is SEO agencies in America; then they will do just that. Go after ALL SEO agencies in America. We have dubbed this as the “spray and pray” method. Don’t do this.  Instead… Have a look at WHO has purchased your product or service within the last 6 months.  What do all these companies have in common? When you look for patterns between current buying customers, it’s easier to build look-like lists and go after companies who will be more likely to buy from you.  So you have to ask the following questions:
  • Which industry is buying from you?
  • Where are they located?
  • What is the size of the companies that are purchasing? (10-20 employees? 1000+ employees?)
  • Have they recently been funded?
  • Do they all use the same CRM tool?
  • Is there a specific department that’s purchasing from you? Like marketing or HR?
We use 34 filters to figure out what your ideal customer profile is. And this is based on data. When you analyze buying data, you can build a list that will in turn lead you to close deals

Use personalization in Linkedin and email outreach

Personalization isn’t just using a prospect’s first name. You actually have to research each prospect on your list.  This is why building an ultra-refined prospecting list is insanely important. You want to reach out to people who actually want to buy what you’re selling.  So when you make use of personalization, you won’t be reaching out to thousands of people at random. You might only have a couple of hundred super-targeted potential buyers on your list.  The example below is a bad example of how some companies use personalization in Linkedin outreach

What they did wrong

Firstly they obviously sent this message with automation to thousands of people.  Why do I say this?  Because I am an employee, I’m really happy with my role at SalesBread. So I never even opened the message until today for the purposes of writing this article.  This type of message might have been better suited to a founder of a company. So obviously they didn’t build a super refined list of their ideal target audience Meaning they sent this message to a ton of people who most probably never even responded, thus wasting time and money.  Next, they used no personalization whatsoever. 

This is how you personalize a message on Linkedin or via cold email.

At SalesBread we use the CCQ method to write our messages.  CCQ stands for:
  • Compliment
  • Commonalities
  • Questions
The first thing we will do is research a prospect on our list. You can do this by checking out their social media pages, like Linkedin or Twitter, or even Google them.  Then we look for something that we can either:
  • Compliment them on
  • Mention a shared commonality
  • Or ask them a question about something

Here are some examples:

First touch: “Michaela, loved your article about list building; especially the part on XYZ.. Do you mind if we connect here on Linkedin?” Second touch: “Thanks for connecting with me. By the way, I see you also enjoy hiking. What are some of your favorite spots these days?  I’m curious, I see that your company does XYZ. How do they deal with (pain points?)  (Your name) Ps: For background, my company (solves pain points by XYZ) 
Notice how we complemented the prospect in our connection request and then asked a question in the follow-up?
Also, notice that there is no sleazy sales pitch. At Salesbread we never sell in our messages, but rather book a call and then have an SDR chat with the prospect. 

The reason for all this is just to get your foot in the door to start a conversation that will lead to a sales call. 

Does this work? It does.  In the past 24 months, we have managed to generate close to 7000 qualified leads for our clients using this method.  When personalization is combined with ultra-refined expert list building and consistent follow-ups, positive results start to show.  You can use this technique in any sales process; whether you’re reaching out to decision makers via Linkedin, cold email, or even through a phone call

Become a thought leader in your industry   

Many business owners use freelancers to write content for their blogs.  The problem though is that some writers are basically just rehashing information that’s already found on the internet.  So if you are the owner of the company or the content marketing manager, have your writers interview the main expert in your field; When you do this they will get a fresh perspective on the industry and a deeper understanding of what your company does.  When you establish your company as a thought leader, prospects will be more likely to use your services/product.  You can do this by either creating “deep dive” articles for your website where you share specific and helpful content for your readers or even by making tutorial-style videos to share on social media depending on which industry you are in. Establishing thought leadership can also be achieved by sharing case studies and testimonials.  When viewers notice how your product is creating positive results for other businesses, they are going to want to reach out to you.  For example, we use this inbound method at SalesBread. 
Initially, when we started out with our seo strategy, our site had about 300 visitors per month. Fast forward 2 years later, we are getting between 11 000 and 17 000 new users each month to our site.  Oftentimes when clients book calls with us they mention how they enjoy reading our relevant content because it’s super in-depth. Our website has generated new leads each month. Just be prepared, content marketing takes time. It’s a long-haul prospecting process, and this is why we encourage readers to make use of both inbound and outbound methods (like hiring a Linkedin prospecting agency like SalesBread.)

Try out podcasting and trade shows

According to recent stats, the USA has the most podcast listeners in the world. The podcast industry market size is 23.56 billion this year alone.  So if you haven’t yet tried podcasting as a sales technique, you might want to give it a go.  At SalesBread we make use of podcasting (The Cold Outreach Podcast) and it has given us some incredible leads, as well as opportunities to interview sales professionals in various industries.  When listeners tune in, you can either direct them to your website, offer free resources, or show them that you are a thought leader in your field.  Because of this, it can be easier to convert listeners when they already have an understanding of your brand through podcasts. They might even refer your business to others who might be interested in what you’re offering. 
A sucky podcast won’t have listeners. So ensure that you’re publishing helpful information that will help and entertain your listeners. You need to give your listeners a reason to return to your podcast, or they will just listen to the next best thing.  If you’re looking for sales leads, the best thing you can do is have a podcast that helps your audience, and you do this by teaching them. For example, the Cold Outreach podcast is all about helping businesses generate qualified leads through cold email or Linkedin. In it, we share our prospecting strategies, expert interviews with top business leaders, and sales tips Podcasting moves new prospects down your sales funnel, and often, if you run a successful podcast, you will have leads that convert.  Read this article from Podcast. co because it’s an excellent resource if you would like to give podcasting a try. 

What about trade shows?

Depending on the industry that you’re in, trade shows are a great way to show off what your company does, and add some new leads to your sales pipeline. It’s like Linkedin networking but in person.  The great thing about trade shows is that they are very specific to your niche, so you know that people who are attending them will definitely be interested in what you have to offer.  “According to the CEIR, 67% of all expo attendees represent a new prospect and potential customer for exhibiting customers.” 
Stats show that these networking events help generate new business, and are profitable. 

Here are some trade show tips: 

  • Only use your best sales people at the show. 
  • Think about which questions prospects might ask, and ensure that your sales team knows how to answer these questions.
  • Have an enticing booth that arouses interest
  • You could even host competitions, where prospects fill out their contact information. (This will help you to follow up with prospects later on.)
  • Be prepared to give product demos.
  • Take lead notes so that you can follow up with them later on.
  • Give away free things.

Ready to ramp up your prospecting efforts?

Remember, you don’t have to use each prospecting technique on this list, but you could test out some and see which option works best to bring in more paying customers
But if you lack the time to turn cold leads into buying customers, why don’t you hop on a free 15-minute sales strategy call with us, (for pricing less than that of hiring a full-time SDR), and let us help you generate 1 qualified b2b sales lead per day. 

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