How to Prospect

Before we can go in to detail, it’s probably a good idea to define what prospecting is. 

Prospects are potential customers and prospecting is the process of finding them. Our Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) use their prospecting skills to grow the size of their potential customer base by reaching out to prospects and building a relationship to warm up that lead. It’s important to note that prospecting and lead generation are not the same thing. Here’s a quick look at the differences.

Prospecting is an activity usually carried out by SDRs on a one-to-one basis. The idea is to generate interest from targets who may not know who you are. Unlike lead generation, it’s typically a short-term approach, a quick way to identify and qualify new clients, before moving them through the sales funnel. Common techniques for prospecting would include cold calling, cold emailing and direct messaging on platforms like LinkedIn.

On the other hand, lead generation is commonly a data-driven marketing activity and a one-to-many approach. It’s a long-term, slower method of building awareness and engagement from a wider target market than prospecting. Leads generated through inbound marketing are warmer than prospects are because they have already engaged with your marketing content and brand in some way. Common tactics include, content, landing pages and whitepapers.    

So, now that we’re clear on what prospecting is, how can Aexus leverage its business model to give itself and edge in prospecting? Well, Working with scale-ups gives you a massive advantage in the prospecting game. That’s because you’re never starting from scratch. The company you’re working with will have had some success in their home country and that tells you which sort of people are interested in the product or service. They will also be able to tell you what outreach methods they have tried along with what worked and equally importantly, what didn’t.  You could have of course probably worked it out anyway based on the problem the technology solves. The company may also have buyer personas, which can help enormously. You do have to bear in mind though that the person who would most benefit from your product may not be the final decision maker. Purchasing decisions are often made by procurement officers and, well, whoever holds the purse strings really. They will take advice though from those on the shop floor – the ones who will ultimately be the end users of the product or service. This means that you will need two pitches to put to these prospects. For example, if your software can solve the pain points of a designer that’s great but you also need to be able to convince the people who’ll have to pay for it by mentioning things like how it is an investment that will pay for itself through saved time, increased efficiency and increased productivity.  

Another area where Aexus has an advantage is that we constantly have new partners and new technologies coming in so there’s a good chance that one of your colleagues has worked on something similar and has contacts that you could reach out to. Even if the prospect wasn’t interested before, they may be now as we are introducing something new. 

If you don’t have these advantages though, all is not lost as there are some things you can do even if your are starting from scratch. Some of the really big things for prospecting include:

Market Information

You should be across the market anyway but if your partner has a software that is a serious improvement on an industry standard that is becoming outdated, you should be able to find prospects who would be interested in getting up-to-date. 

Find the person who needs you most

If you can identify the person in the organisation who is suffering the most from their tech not being up to the desired specifications, you have found the perfect person to reach out to.

Competitor info

Research your competitors to find the differences between yours and theirs. Perhaps theirs is prohibitively expensive or lacks some functionalities that yours doesn’t. use these differences to prospect people who are using a more expensive or inferior product or service.

Success Stories

It may seem to be a bit cheeky but if you see a testimonial where a company are saying that they managed to automate 75% of the client’s processes, call that client and ask if they’d be interested in a solution that can automate up to 100%.

This is of course just a snapshot of some of the methods you can use for prospecting but if you’d like to find out more, get in touch. We’re always happy to jump on a call.

Topics: Sales Strategy