Account-Based and Intent-Driven Sales Prospecting
Sales prospecting is hard. SDRs or AEs who prospect can’t easily win without cutting-edge technology, diligent research, accurate data, and especially Account-Based Targeting with Intent-driven buying signals.
A constant flow of clients may turn any business into a profitable company. The question is, how do you bring in the right customers—consistently?
First and foremost, you have to focus on the Accounts that are a fit and worth pursuing and determine their quality. Once you qualify them into your best-fit prospects, move gradually towards the ultimate goal of sales prospecting: turning high-quality prospects into revenue-generating customers.
➤ An outbound perspective, where you are initiating the conversation. By putting together a well-thought-out cold outreach plan, you can establish a direct connection with your audience through a thoughtful email, a relevant phone call, or a timely social media message.
➤ An inbound perspective. In this situation, your prospective customers are making the first move. In one way or another, several leads have signaled their interest. Maybe they subscribed to your newsletter or scrolled through your website for more information on a certain product/service. Properly using that information is key to developing a customized outreach strategy for your in-market audience.
Once you strike the right balance between outbound and inbound selling to set tangible goals, you will go from prospecting to qualifying and closing a lot faster.
When it comes to prospecting your ideal customer, the fewer assumptions you have to make, the better. So avoid cutting corners—at all costs! At this point, you have to build the foundation of an effective sales process.
1. Define Your Customer Profile
What industry should you target? Should you focus on the business-to-business or business-to-consumer market? What are the job titles of your ideal clients? What’s the size of their organization? Where are they located geographically? Who is the decision-maker in your target company? What’s the annual revenue generated by this organization?
Answer these questions to build an accurate prospect list that rules out unqualified leads and improves seller efficiency. After you zoom in on your high-value targets, keep a close eye on them to collect relevant data and dive deeper into their business mission, potential bottlenecks, and interests.
When the time is right, use this data to foster deeper connections with a key decision-maker. Know your target, then make yourself known.
2. Create a List of Top Priority Accounts for Account-Based Targeting
While plenty of accounts in your total TAM, you could still stumble across a few ifs, buts, and maybes. That’s why it’s crucial to rank the readiness of the prospect and prioritize your outreach accordingly.
Determine which accounts are best aligned with your current offering and prepare to engage them first. Not only will you make better use of your resources, but you’ll also improve lead routing for better sales.
Ten seconds—that’s how long it takes to make a good first impression on your prospective clients. Increasingly, they’re craving authentic interactions; so forget about scripted speeches and perfect your pitch while showing genuine interest in every prospect through:
Is your prospect attending industry events? Add them to your agenda!
Did your prospect show any interest in a certain print publication? Keep that in mind!
Has your target engaged in social media discussions? Get involved!
Is your prospect drawn to a specific type of content, such as video, podcasts, or blog posts? Give them what they’re looking for!
Be patient, decide how you want your audience to perceive you, and figure out a way to add concrete customer value.
3. Hyper-Personalize Based on Intent
For today’s customer, hyper-personalization is key but especially based on Intent buying signals.
You already know that not all accounts and prospects are created equal. Adjust your outreach and tailor your message to each target. But first start with accounts that show Intent.
Talk about an industry-relevant topic, address a particular pain point, or bring the prospect’s future business plans into the discussion. This could be the beginning of a strategic partnership that benefits everyone, so don’t be afraid to ask—and answer—some questions. Just don’t be too pushy or try to sell before being helpful. Keep it personal, be an active listener, and focus on building a strong relationship.
Prospecting doesn’t end with an introductory outreach. Each day, take a few moments to:
- Analyze your prospecting performance.
- Determine your next step.
Don’t wait until you hear back from your prospects; keep in touch. Prospecting is a continuous process—perfect it to build trust and drive more meaningful interactions with your potential customers.
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