B2B prospecting is a sales process where prospects (potential buyers) are recognized, contacted, and converted into customers. Outreach is performed through various B2B sales prospecting techniques and activities, including PPC, content marketing, outbound email, and cold calling.
B2B sales prospecting is critical to the success of any business because it helps keep your sales pipeline full of targeted opportunities, offers a more effective outreach, and allows for quicker qualification. Additionally, outbound prospecting accelerates the sales process leading to improved productivity.
On the marketing side, the sales prospecting process helps improve lead quality and creates more relevant and engaging content. B2B prospecting also facilitates better marketing campaigns, all of which attract more customers resulting in higher profits.
What are the benefits of sales enablement software? Read this blog.
What is Considered B2B Prospects?
B2B prospects are individuals or organizations that fit your ideal customer profile (ICP) but haven’t expressed interest in your products or services. Therefore, marketing and sales are responsible to make prospects aware of your products, services, and brands, so they can be converted into a customer. B2B prospects fall into two categories:
Sales Prospects - Sales prospects are those who match your ICP and are considered worthwhile to continue pursuing.
Marketing Prospects - Marketing prospects are those who already have expressed interest in your brand, products, or services by engaging with the content published by your B2B marketing group.
Which Groups Participate in B2B Prospecting?
This process can be conducted using various sales and marketing actions, B2B prospecting ideas include:
These outbound prospecting methods are cataloged into two groups, both of which are part of the overall sales strategy, including:
- Business Development Managers - this group closes deals, performs sales demonstrations, and generates revenue for the company.
- Sales Development Representatives - this group closes deals, performs sales demonstrations, and generates revenue for the company.
These outbound prospecting methods create a repeatable and robust B2B prospecting pipeline whereby sales development representatives create opportunities for business development managers to action. This approach also empowers every employee to focus on a single responsibility, which means they quickly become experts within their functions. Additionally, these sales prospecting techniques create a roadmap for progression and career development when sales development representatives consistently hit their targets, which gives the company justification to promote them to business development managers.
The marketing B2B prospecting method features three categories:
- Campaign marketers - this group creates and executes multichannel marketing actions while implementing new campaigns that generate new customers across a variety of channels.
- Content marketers - this group is responsible for the planning and creation of actionable and authoritative content. Their goal is to produce content that delivers ROI and leads to increased conversion rates.
- Performance marketers - this group acquires channels utilizing paid social and search. They must optimize and test new channels to foster growth.
What are the Best B2B Prospecting Methods?
B2B prospecting best practices must be followed through sales and marketing actions. The most popular for each group include:
- Cold calling - SDRs reach out to B2B prospects to explain the benefits of their services and products while qualifying the prospect for potential future contacts. While cold calling can be done manually, it’s more efficient and successful when aided by technology which helps increase dialing speeds and adds other features.
- Outbound emailing - SDRs contact prospects utilizing email to start a conversation. Like cold calling, outbound email is often managed through automated software platforms that link to databases of contacts.
- Social selling - SDRs engaged with prospects through social media, which becomes a relationship over time. LinkedIn is the most utilized social media platform within the B2B sector.
- Sales cadences - the combination of all techniques is considered a sales cadence. SDRs implement cadences
- Sales demos - the goal of the last four activities is to entice the prospect to agree to attend a sales demonstration, which is a live display of a service or product that is performed by the BDM.
Marketers follow B2B prospecting best practices through inbound marketing activities, which iinclude:
- Content marketing - this is a strategy for producing and publishing valuable, relevant content that’s promoted to target specific prospects. Content marketing can take many forms including eBooks, podcasts, webinars, videos, and blogs. Marketers whose sole role is to focus on these types of activities are called content marketers.
- Email marketing - this marketing activity is typically managed through campaign marketers and involves the planning and execution of marketing campaigns that are delivered through email to prospects. The goal of email marketing is to nurture prospects who are not ready to buy and convert those who are.
- PPC (Pay-Per-Click) - this is a paid marketing activity that is part of any online advertising strategy and is conducted by performance marketers. Companies pay when one of their online advertisements is clicked by a prospect. The goal of action is to drive traffic to content or websites and increase conversions.
The goal of these activities is to create new opportunities and send targeted prospects to the sales department. At the point of receipt, the sales team will manage the final stages of the B2B prospecting process, including conducting sales demonstrations and closing on contracts.
What Technology Supports B2B Prospecting?
B2B sales prospecting tools help sales activities like sales cadences, social selling, outbound emails, and cold calling by automating the more administrative tasks. B2B sales prospecting templates help create a more structured and efficient prospect contact method. Marketing activities like email marketing, content marketing, and PPC, are depending on data collection and lead systems. Additionally, B2B sales prospecting tools are used to report, measure, and optimize prospecting activities. These insights provide sales and marketing departments with invaluable information.
Recently, sales and marketing technology have grown significantly. Several single-point tools and solutions exist to assist with most B2B prospecting tasks under the SaaS (software as a service) model. The key is to select an All-in-one suite of sales tools that covers most of these sales prospecting techniques in a single platform.
Why is B2B Prospecting Important?
Data is critical to B2B prospecting success because it’s the bedrock on which every marketing and sales prospecting activity is constructed. SDRs require accurate lists to contact leads on social media, submit outbound emails, and make cold calls. BDMs require updated B2B data to perform successful demonstrations, gain insights into prospects, and close deals.
Data is also crucial for campaign, content, and performance marketers who use this information to research, analyze, and optimize their work. A pinpoint data focus across the team generates a data-driven marketing mentality, which leads to better results.