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Top Sales Prospecting Tips That Will Get You Hot Leads

A successful sale is but the last piece of the puzzle that is the sales process. To achieve this crucial goal, you need to ensure that the various steps leading up to it are completed in an efficient and effective manner. Sales prospecting is key among these steps and this article will tell you how you can nail it.

Sales prospecting is, quite simply, the process of searching for potential customers in order to grow your business. It has been found that more than 40% of sales professionals feel that it’s the most challenging part of the sales process. However, when done in a systematic manner, it can lead to high-quality leads. According to a study conducted by Ascend2, 58% of marketing influencers prioritize improving the quality of leads over quantity.

Let’s now dive into the tips for effective sales prospecting!

Share High-Value Content

People tend to trust entities they are familiar with. This is the cornerstone of all content marketing. And it holds true for sales prospecting as well. And how do you get found? By offering content that solves customer pain points. The more value you are able to deliver through your content, the higher the chances that readers will get converted to customers. Blogs, e-books, white papers, and case studies are just a few of the options to get you started on the path of successful content marketing.

Having a prospecting tool like Lead Liaison’s Sales Enablement, which supports inserting trackable content, can be a game-changer. Not only can you include any relevant resources, you can also track engagement with that resource (clickthroughs). This information can be critical in timing your next touchpoint.

Host a Webinar

Webinars are a great tool to put to work the knowledge base your company has built up through experience. A webinar, too, uses the power of content to build trust with and signal authority to prospects. Social media platforms, such as Quora and LinkedIn, can be excellent resources to find out what information your prospects are looking for. Match their queries on social platforms to your capabilities as a knowledge hub, and, voila! You have found the theme for your next webinar! You can use webinars to engage new prospects and existing clients as well. Use a video conferencing platform like GoToMeeting or ClickMeeting to host your webinar.

Prioritize Your Prospects

Segregate your pool of prospects into different buckets by their likelihood of purchasing your product or service. This can ensure that you maximize your returns by dedicating more time to prospects who are more likely to become customers. You could do this manually or use lead management software which can automate the task for you.

Enable Live Chat on Your Website

The age of demanding millennials with access to AI and chatbots is upon us and respond to these market conditions, you must! Also, with businesses across the board offering the live chat option to customers, it only makes good business sense to respond to such a market scenario with a live chat option all your own. What’s more, the leads and queries that come in through this channel will both prove to be invaluable as you set out on your sales prospecting journey.

Here’s essentially how live chat works. When a visitor lands on your website, a prompt – which is customizable – will appear, inviting them to chat. If the user uses the chat box to then convey any information, your team member will be notified and can begin chatting with the visitor. Such inbound prospecting knocks not one, but quite a few steps, off of your sales process!

Build Your Social Brand

Brand building isn’t just for companies. Neither is content marketing. Activities such as the following can make for great sales prospecting tools.

  • Build your personal brand
  • Showcase your subject matter expertise on social platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter, or other social media platforms that attract your prospects
  • Join industry-specific social media groups and post relevant content

Such focused social media activity will help you connect and even start conversations – in other words, network – with your prospects. Moreover, the human touch you’ll achieve for your company will go a long way where trust building is concerned.

Track Your Website Visitors

Your website could be drawing in regular visitors who then leave without a trace. That is to say, unless you set up website visitor tracking, visitor information gets captured only upon the completion of conversion activity, such as downloading gated content, or through the chat messages they leave, etc. To ensure you don’t lose out on this critical information, set up visitor tracking and alerts for key pages, like your pricing page. Once you have this information, you can easily dive into that data to find the companies and people who would be a good fit for your product or service.

To begin visitor tracking, explore Lead Liaison’s ProspectVision™. The tool will help you automate your lead search by telling you:

  • Who is visiting your site,
  • How they found you, and
  • What they’re interested in

What’s more, Lead Liaison’s ProspectVision™ will append Prospect Profiles with any available social data. You could use this information to send them a message via social media. When you do, it’s important to warm them up a bit by introducing yourself, describing what you do and why connecting with you would be mutually beneficial.

Focus on Solutions

Focus on providing solutions for your potential customers over trying to make a sale directly. The latter is a trope that has been overused to no end over the years. Your customers are, quite simply, tired of it. So, how does one go about this business of being a problem-solver for your prospects, you ask?

First things first, do your homework. Understand the prospect’s pain points and address them early in your communication with them. A thorough understanding of both your industry as well as your prospects can also prove to be invaluable. Finally, focus on ensuring that your prospect has a positive communication experience at every touchpoint with you.

Request for Referrals

Last but far from the least, don’t be shy to ask for referrals from existing customers. Now, how can you improve your chances of getting a referral? Customer delight is the surest route to a referral. And how is one to go about that, you ask? Simple – keep in touch.

The importance of maintaining relationships with your customers cannot be overemphasized. The value of your existing customers far exceeds the total value of their purchases. How you make them feel through the usage lifecycle of your product or service holds the power to impact your bottom line significantly.

Now, leverage this goodwill you have generated by going ahead and asking for those referrals.

Wrapping Up

The right prospecting techniques and processes can go a long way in ensuring you find your holy grail i.e., achieve your sales targets, and then some.

With these tried and tested techniques in hand, rest assured that you’re good to begin your sales prospecting journey.

While you go about implementing these sales prospecting tips, ensure that you customize the mix and frequency to suit the unique needs of your business.

Happy prospecting!

AUTHOR BIO
Koushik Marka is the founder and CEO of Studiotale, an explainer video production company. He is passionate about helping brands grow with video and has expertise in video marketing, 2D animation, and vector illustration. When he is not working, he loves playing video games and traveling.

Sales Prospecting Manual

Sales Prospecting Manual: The Secret to B2B Sales

To download the Sales Prospecting Manual: The Secret to B2B Sales white paper .pdf, click here.

Overview

This manual is a step-by-step guide to sales prospecting. The manual was curated through real-life experience with the sales team at Lead Liaison. By following this manual your B2B sales team should expect to have a smooth-running, well-oiled B2B prospecting engine that you can use to fill the top of the funnel for $.78 per lead!

Get Prepared

Step 1: Identify your Target Market

Look at your past successes and determine which markets/industries you’re getting the most traction in. For example, is it the finance industry, health industry, high-tech, etc. Keep your focus on a specific marketing or vertical and base it off of past wins.

Step 2: Build your Team

Your team will consist of a Business Development Representative (also known as an Inside Sales Representative, or “BDR”) and a Sales Representative. Your BDR can be an internal resource or external resource, such as a contractor or part-time hire. With the B2B prospecting methodology covered in this manual, we’ve used an external resource. Here’s how we did it:

  1. Visit upwork.com. Upwork is a marketplace to hire contractors.
  2. Post a new job (it’s free).
  3. Here’s our post:
    • Title: Looking for an admin to help with data entry.
    • Description: Help with prospecting by following a guide to finding contacts using tools provided by our company. Enter the contacts into our sales automation system. Rinse and repeat.
  4. Hire your BDR for $3 per hour! Yep, we’re not joking. Here’s proof:

Hiring a BDR

5. Next, find your Sales Representatives. We suggest having Sales Representatives that work for your company. The Sales Reps will take leads from this process that engage (express interest or interact in some way) and follow up on them. They will also execute manual tasks that are combined with automated tasks as part of a sales plan that systematically, and intelligently, reaches out to your prospects.

Step 3: Build a Semi-Automated, Systematic Sales Plan

This step is a must if you want to build a prospecting machine. These systems are sometimes referred to as Sales Engagement, Sales Enablement, or Sales Automation. Regardless of the name, they all serve a similar purpose. That is, to make a salesperson’s job easier by making them more efficient with their day-to-day sales efforts. Enterprise systems will include a few key components:

  1. Sales plan
  2. Task manager
  3. Integration with CRMs and marketing automation platforms

The Sales plan is a combination of various actions such as emails (automatic and manual), offline communication (handwritten letters, postcards, etc.), tasks, and digital communication (text messaging) that can be added into your plan. With the right system, there are two ways to manage your plan:

  1. Create one plan that all of your Sales Reps can share.
  2. Create individual plans for each of your Sales Reps.

In the process below, we’re using method #1. Your VP of Sales or someone leading your sales team could create the plan and your entire sales team can benefit from it. This results in consistent communication for your brand and overall messaging. Our system of choice in this example is a Sales Enablement system from Lead Liaison. Other providers call their Sales Plan “Sequences” or “Cadences”, while Lead Liaison calls them “Rhythms”.

Here’s how to create your Sales Plan using Rhythms: http://youtu.be/6bKzl9LZcX8?hd=1

Start Prospecting

Step 4: Find the Right Person

In this part of the manual, these are the instructions you can provide to your BDR (the $3 resource).

  • Do not select more than two (2) people at the same company. It’s suggested you use only a single contact to avoid any issues with domain reputation.
  • Use these methods, in this order, to find the right person to target:
  • Look for these people (you fill in the X, Y, and … in the section below to give your BDR specific instructions). Remember, you should create a Saved Search in LinkedIn Navigator to simplify this process for your BDR.
    • First, anyone with “X” in their title.
    • Next, anyone with “Y” in their title.
    • Finally, if there’s no match on the above look for these titles:
    • Ideally, you’re looking for these key job titles:

Step 5: Find their Email Address

Have your ISR install these tools as their ISR Prospecting Stack. Using these three tools will guarantee your ISR can find a valid email address f86% of the time. See a more detailed analysis on this fact in this blog post.

  • Install the top three (3) ranked tools below. Each tool has a video demonstrating how to install it and how to use it.
  • Since there is an average of 21 business days in a month, use two separate email addresses (personal email such as @gmail.com addresses are fine) and install Clearbit Connect with those email accounts. You can use the free version of Clearbit Connect to generate 10 new email addresses per day for each business day in the month. If you need more, open more Clearbit Connect accounts.
  • Use your company’s Norbert account.
  • Use your company’s Hunter account.
Rank Tool Installation Usage Free Credits Minimum Paid Plan (Annually) Price per Email (Based on Annual Paid Plan) Notes
1 Clearbit Connect How to use Clearbit Connect 100 emails per month $6,000 $.50 (12K emails) Paid Plan can be divided into 5 seats. Only pay for verified matches.
2 Norbert Norbert installation How to use Norbert 50 emails $468 $.039 (12K emails) Credits rollover. Charges on successful verification.
3 Hunter Hunter.io installation How to use Hunter.io 100 per month $408 $.034 (12K emails) Share across users for paid plan. Also crawls web. Use web for single credit instead of browser plugin.

Step 6: Enter Data Into your Sales Automation System

In this step, your ISR will enter data into a Sales Automation system, in this case Lead Liaison’s Rhythms. After the BDR finds the contact, create the Prospect in Lead Liaison and add them into a Rhythm.

Start Selling

Step 7: Use a Task Manager

Now that your BDR engine is running full steam, and people are added to your Sales Plan, that’s where the hand-off from the BDR to the Sales Rep occurs. The Sales Rep simply has to execute all of the tasks created by your Sales Plan. Since we’re using Lead Liaison’s Rhythms for our Sales Plan, it also comes with a nice, built-in task manager. Every manual email or task used in your Rhythm will get populated in your task manager. Here’s how to manage your tasks with the task manager: http://youtu.be/0heTYixWjZ4?hd=1.

As you work through your tasks, make sure to do your research. If you’re selling to major accounts, in what’s referred to as Account-Based Sales or Account-Based Marketing, research is really important at this stage. In the section below, we cover our favorite tools for research and provide some videos on how to use each tool.

Task Manager

Step 8: Research

Identify Technographics (Datanyze)

If it’s important for you to know what technology (lead gen, marketing automation, content management system, email marketing program, etc.) your prospect is using use a system like Datanyze (now owned by ZoomInfo) or BuiltWith to search technographics.

  1. Install Datanyze Insider for free: https://www.datanyze.com/insider
  2. Here’s a video on how to use it to find Technographics: http://youtu.be/0fF23vXfVoo?hd=1

Check out Funding Events (Crunchbase)

Funding events, competitors, financials, and more can be found with Crunchbase.

  1. Access Crunchbase.
  2. Review key company information: http://youtu.be/EfeGIK6pBhw?hd=1

Read the News (Owler)

Owler does the best job in the marketplace for finding competitors. If this information is useful to you, access Owler.

  1. Head to owler.com and sign up for free.
  2. Search the company for News, Competitors, and Press Releases. Here’s an example: http://youtu.be/fJsno3l_zLg?hd=1

Summarizing the Prospecting Stack

Here’s a summary of what your company would need to invest in subscription services for the total prospecting stack. We broke up the stack into a BDR Stack and Sales Rep stack. We computed a Cost-Per-Lead, or CPL, for this prospecting effort based on 10,441 leads per year. Not bad for $.78 per lead!!!

BDR Prospecting Technology Stack

TOOL ANNUAL COST
Clearbit Connect Free
Voila Norbert $468
Hunter $408
LinkedIn Sales Navigator Professional $779.88
Lead Liaison Sales Enablement User License $900
TOTAL INVESTMENT $2,555.58

Sales Representative Sales Technology Stack

TOOL ANNUAL COST
Datanyze Insider Free
Owler Free
Crunchbase $348
TOTAL INVESTMENT $348

Total Investment and CPL

TOOL ANNUAL COST
Clearbit Connect Free
Voila Norbert $468
Hunter $408
Datanyze Insider Free
Owler Free
Crunchbase $348
LinkedIn Sales Navigator Professional $779.88
Lead Liaison Sales Enablement User License $900
Research Labor ($3 per hour).

Based on 40 leads per day. 10 minutes per lead.

261 working days in a year.

$5,220
TOTAL TOOLS $2,903.88
TOTAL LABOR $5,220
TOTAL INVESTMENT $8,123.88
COST PER QUALIFIED LEAD (CPQL). 10,440 per year. $.78
How to Find Email Addresses

How to Find Email Addresses

Research Study on How to Find Email Addresses

If you’re in B2B sales then it’s important to know how to find email addresses. Lead Liaison did a study on 100 people to see if we could find their email address. We already had their correct email addresses (in other words, we knew the answer); but, wanted to tackle the project as if we were a sales person trying to find an email address.

We set out to figure out the best ways to do this. We scoured the web for the best tools, looked at using methods like Twitter, general web searches, guessing email patterns, etc. There’s really no easy and reliable way to find someone’s email by doing it on your own. Fortunately, there are some great software tools out there that took away all the hard work. Our study identified seven main software tools that can be used for free or for little to no charge ($.07 per lead). For our study, we took 100 people along with their domain names and manually entered them into each of the seven tools. It was a lot of work, but some really good results and learnings came from it.

The email addresses were sourced from prospects, address book contacts, and customers. Some of the tools allow bulk uploading, but we did it all by hand, one by one to save you the time! We ranked each of the seven tools based on price, quality, and user experience. The top three tools to find email addresses were Clearbit Connect, Norbert, and Hunter – in that order. In the analysis below, you’ll find a table that ranks each of the seven solutions. We created videos demonstrating how to install each tool and videos demonstrating how to find email addresses using each tool.

In the analysis of 100 email addresses, the top three tools were were Clearbit Connect, Norbert, and Hunter. The graph below shows a summary of the analysis. Here’s how to read it:

  1. Blue (Success Match Rate): Percentage of attempts the provider was able to successfully find the correct email address for the person we were looking for.
  2. Red (Wrong-Email Match Rate): Percentage of attempts the provider returned an incorrect email address for the person we were looking for.
  3. Yellow (Not Available Rate): Percentage of attempts the provider returned an incorrect email address for the person we were looking for.

See the section on the Top 3 Ways to Find Email Addresses below for a deeper analysis on the top 3 tools.

Email Finder Results

Find Email Addresses 86% of the Time

When we began this analysis we were skeptical that there were accurate ways to find email addresses. However, after this study we found that were were able to successfully find someone’s email address 86% of the time! You can do the same! That’s really an incredible result, and very accurate. The method we describe below is a full-proof plan for any sales and marketing organization who wants to develop a consistent prospecting process.

To find email addresses 86% of the time, install the top three ranked tools below. In the “Ranking Ways to Find Email Addresses” section below, each tool we analyzed comes with a video demonstrating how to install it and how to use it.

Since Clearbit Connect had the lowest amount of incorrect email addresses returned and didn’t use a credit unless it found an email, start your searching by using Clearbit Connect first. If you can’t find the email address in Clearbit Connect, then use Norbert next. Norbert had the highest accuracy (same as Hunter) but also the 2nd lowest error-rate. If you can’t find your email in Norbert, then use Hunter. After trying each of these solutions we’re confident that across all three one of them will show you the correct email address.

The methods above are a sure way to find an email address 86% of the time. We’re sharing the details of our study with you. Download the complete analysis below:

Find an email address for someone 86% of the time! Download our analysis of 100 people and domains to see the complete results for Clearbit Connect, Norbert, and Hunter.

Ranking Ways to Find Email Addresses

Below is our analysis and rank of seven tools to find an email address. Each column is explained below:

  1. Rank: Overall rank based on quality, price, and user experience.
  2. Tool: Name of the tool to find someone’s email.
  3. Installation: Video showing how to install the tool.
  4. Usage: Video showing how to use the tool to find an email address.
  5. Free Credits: Number of free credits the tool provides (noted one-time or per month).
  6. Minimum Paid Plan: Cost per year if you subscribed to the tool.
  7. Price per Email: Takes the total number of email addresses the tool provides in a 12 month period and divides that by the total paid plan amount in 12 months.
  8. Notes: Any tips or special notes for the tool.
Rank Tool Installation Usage Free Credits Minimum Paid Plan (Annually) Annual Price Notes
1 Clearbit Connect How to use Clearbit Connect 100 emails per month $6,000 $.50 (12K emails) Paid Plan can be divided into 5 seats. Only pay for verified matches.
2 Norbert Norbert installation How to use Norbert 50 emails $468 $.039 (12K emails) Credits rollover. Charges on successful verification.
3 Hunter Hunter.io installation How to use Hunter.io 100 per month $408 $.034 (12K emails) Share across users for paid plan. Also crawls web. Use web for single credit instead of browser plugin.
4 Sellhack Sellhack installation How to use Sellhack 10 emails per month $36 $.03 (1K emails) No credit rollover
5 Toofr Toofr / EmailFinder installation How to use Toofr / EmailFinder 15 emails $228 $.038 (6K emails) Cancel anytime. $.0196 at $588 annual
6 Find That Email Find That Email installation How to use Find That Email 50 per month $348 $.058 (6K emails) Cancel anytime
7 Anymail Finder Anymail Finder installation How to use Anymail Finder 20 emails $588 $.588 (1K emails) Credit system

Top 3 Ways to Find Email Addresses

In our analysis there were three clear winners, Clearbit Connect, Norbert, and Hunter. We discuss the reasons for the ranking and our experience below in more detail.

1st Place: Clearbit Connect

  • Price: A+ (Free), C (Paid)
  • Quality: A+
  • User Experience: B+

Out of 100 names and domains in our test, Clearbit Connect had the least amount of incorrect email addresses returned (4%). In general, it’s fair to say that Clearbit Connect was either accurate or could not find an email. We loved Clearbit Connect for a few reasons:

  • Clearbit Connect also doesn’t charge a credit unless it successfully finds an email address for you.
  • They had the least amount of incorrect emails.
  • It’s free with 100 credits (100 correct emails) per month. You can install it on any email account.

Use their Chrome Browser plugin for your research. It starts by clicking their icon, then entering in the domain name for the person you’re searching for. To find the domain name, head to the website where the person works. The domain name will be the value before the “.com”. For example, in “https://www.google.com” the domain name is “google.com”. If Clearbit Connect returns a company match, select it, if not hit enter.

Reasons we didn’t like Clearbit Connect:

  • Price: For a solid prospecting stack, you can stick with the free version of Clearbit Connect. However, if you’re looking to pay for it then heads up – it was the 3rd most expensive price per contact out of the seven tools we analyzed.
  • User Experience: The Chrome Browser plugin loaded inside our email inbox. As a heads up, it also starts to collect all of your email addresses from your account. This is a bit invasive, but could be a good trade depending on your goals.

Finding a Company Using Clearbit

In the next screen, enter the person’s name.

Finding a Person in Clearbit

2nd Place: Norbert

  • Price: C+ (Free), A (Paid)
  • Quality: A
  • User Experience: B-

Norbert was very accurate, and did not make a lot of mistakes. We found the Chrome Browser plugin was a nice (1st screenshot), but a little clunky at times. It seemed to have a few bugs in the User Interface. As a result, we switched over to their web application (2nd screenshot) which seemed a bit easier to use. The only tradeoff with Norber is that it took more time to find an email address. When compared with Clearbit Connect and Hunter, which were pretty much instant, it took up to several minutes at times to return a result. We didn’t mind this that much though, as we were playing the role of a B2B sales person. Queuing up searches in another top didn’t disrupt our workflow.

The other thing we didn’t like with Norbert is that it charged a credit for each request we made. Since Norbert either returned an incorrect result or no result at all 31% of the time, that means that 31% of the time you’ll get charged a credit and get no value in return. If you’re using the free version, it only gives you 50 email credits for one-time usage. Unlike Clearbit Connect and Hunter, the credits don’t reset every month. Once you’ve used your credits – you’re done, and you need to go for the paid plan. Fortunately, the paid plan is very affordable.

All things considered, the experience, the accuracy, low error rate, and cost per credit put Norbert in second place. Going for a paid plan here is worth considering as part of your prospecting stack.

Using the Norbert Chrome Plugin

Using the Norbert Web App

3rd Place: Hunter

  • Price: A+ (Free), A+ (Paid)
  • Quality: B+
  • User Experience: B+

Hunter was also a nice tool for finding an email address. We didn’t like using the Chrome Browser plugin as we found ourselves using double credits most of the time. It would search for the company details when we put in the domain, charging a credit, then when we put in the person’s name it charged a second credit. Instead, we switched over to the web version. In the screenshots below we show how you put in the domain name and name of the person you’re looking for. Here’s why we liked Hunter:

  1. It returned results almost instantly. Unlike Norbert, there was no waiting.
  2. Cost was very competitive. They were the 2nd least expensive solution out of all seven providers we analyzed.
  3. It returned the most number of accurate emails (tied at 69% with Norbert).
  4. It also scrapes the web, and shows exactly where the email address was found. That gave us added confidence in the results.
  5. It also showed a verification symbol, see the green icon below. This also gave us a confidence boost.

Based on quality, user experience, and price, Hunter was a close 2nd. The only reason why it came in third is because of the higher number of inaccurate emails that it returned.  It was 6% more inaccurate than Norbert, and 12% more inaccurate than Clearbit. You can’t beat the price per email though!

Using Hunter

My $876 B2B Email Finder Stack

Since our study was based on a B2B sales person researching email addresses, we wanted to make sure we have the right tools in our prospecting stack for finding an email address. We also have a budget to use as part of our sales enablement plan. Each of the top three tools offer free credits. However, if that’s not sustainable and you need a good set of tools to use for B2B marketing do the following:

  1. Use the free version of Clearbit Connect to generate 100 new email addresses in a month. The paid version will set you back $6K in a year. That’s a bit rich for our blood, so the free version did the trick.
  2. Buy a Norbert account. It’s gives you 50 free credits. However, a subscription is very affordable and worth the investment. At the time of this analysis, and annual subscription was $468.
  3. Buy a Hunter account. You could use the free version and get 100 emails per month; however, similar to Norbert, it’s very affordable and worth the investment. At the time of this analysis, and annual subscription was $408.

For $876 a year, I’d feel comfortable going to my boss and asking him/her for the money. Assuming you used each of the three tools above for your stack, you’ll be able to find about 12,000 email addresses in a year. That’s 1,000 correct emails in a month. That’s more than enough for a single person. Depending on your individual capacity and your approach to B2B sales; this solution could cover one to 20 B2B sales reps. The bottom line is that your cost per lead (CPL) is $.073. That’s less than a dime for a prospect! Compare that CPL to the CPL of other sources, such as paid search, trade shows, etc. Sure – you can argue that other channels are more qualified prospects, but you can’t beat the cost as long as you work your leads.

Pro tip: Use Lead Liaison’s Rhythms to feed your new prospects into a step by step sales plan so you can stay ultra-organized and be efficient with your prospecting.

In conclusion, whether you’re looking for a free stack or a B2B sales stack to find email addresses, you can’t go wrong with the aforementioned tools. We hope this study is helpful and gives you the answer to how to find email addresses.

How to Prospect Using Handwritten Letters

How to Prospect Using Handwritten Letters

Get Ready to Prospect Using Handwritten Letters – Be Different

With technology, people are always looking forward. They constantly think of new ways to tackle problems or attract customers. Sometimes, though, you need to take an old school approach to get the job done. That’s the case when it comes to prospecting. Instead of letting technology get in the way of your prospecting success, use handwritten letters. Once you know how to prospect using handwritten letters, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been using this method all along.

Write Letters That Are Easy to Scan

People are used to reading on the web, where articles include headlines and are easy to scan. You can provide the same experience with your handwritten letters. Make the paragraphs short and to the point and include bullet points, if needed. People should be able to glance at your letter and pick out the main points without any problems. 

Use a Handwritten Envelope

Your letter will only be effective if the recipient opens it. People are more likely to open mail that has a handwritten envelope, so take the time to write the names and addresses out. If you don’t have the time, a service can do it for you.

Don’t Include Teaser Copy

Some people like to put what is often referred to as “teaser copy” on the envelope. They use words like “FREE” and “URGENT” on the envelope, thinking it will increase the open rates. Instead, it makes people think they have received junk mail. 

Use the Letter as Part of an Automated Sequence

Handwritten letters are an excellent way to prospect, but you can’t expect people to respond to them. People aren’t going to sit down and write a letter back to you, and many people won’t pick up the phone and call. That’s why you need to make them a part of a sequence. Follow your handwritten prospecting letters up with phone calls or emails so people can respond. Putting the letters inside of a sequence also makes it easier to nurture your leads.

Now that you know how to prospect using handwritten letters, it’s time to get started. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to write a great sales letter or if you don’t have the time to put into the process. You can use a service to handle the letters for you. Services can even include the handwritten letter as part of an automated prospecting plan.

Why Small to Mid-Sized Businesses Should Use Marketing Automation for Prospecting

I Love Prospecting with Lead LiaisonProspecting is a headache for most sales reps. Sales people get pressure from leadership to sell faster and meet the demands of the current quarter. As the day-to-day pressure mounts salespeople get distracted and lose focus on prospecting as they concentrate more on closing existing deals in late pipeline stages. What salespeople wind up with is more business at the bottom of the funnel but a very non-existent top and middle of the funnel. For small to mid-sized businesses these issues compound as smaller companies have less resources to work with.

It’s vital salespeople close deals and prospect at the same time. However, it’s unrealistic to think most salespeople will be consistent with their prospecting efforts. Using sales automation, salespeople can be ultra-efficient, almost like an assembly line, with a systematic and scalable way to prospect. Marketing automation software for small to mid-sized businesses helps salespeople use automated workflows to “chase” prospects once they’ve identified their targets. Prospect communication happens in the background using multiple touch points, something that’s imperative when prospecting, to connect with your prospect. Executing such a process looks like this:

  1. Add the contact to your CRM
  2. Add the contact to a Lead Liaison Workflow
  3. Boom! A series of 2-week communication automagically chases your prospect by sending them personalized communication
  4. When prospects engage, you’ll know about it in real-time and remove them from the Workflow

The flow chart below depicts a sample Chase Workflow that a small to mid-sized company might build to automate sales prospecting. I promise, we can make you love sales prospecting!

Let us know if we can help you build this awesome process into your sales organization.

Marketing Automation for Prospecting

2 Week Chase Workflow

Top 5 Socially Driven Sales Prospecting Sites

Top 5 Socially Driven Sales Prospecting SitesTop 5 socially driven sales prospecting sites. With social media interaction in full force, businesses are afforded the opportunity to harness leads targeted specifically to their needs.  Properly prospecting to collect potential sales, however, takes more than sleight of hand and quick email responses: it requires understanding what the socialites actually ‘like’ while matching their ‘likes’ with your product offerings.  While it would appear Facebook is predominantly the go-to source for sales prospecting, you’d be surprised where more specific leads can be found.  We disseminate socially driven internet sales prospecting using communities which are more specific for businesses that need something more intuitive or in-depth which Facebook may not have the proper facilities to offer them.  Upon completion of this article, find out the leading platform to handle everything your sales team needs to close the deals – no matter where they’re found online.

Last.fm

With over 30 million audiophiles tuning in, downloading skins and enjoying occasional streaming advertisements, utilizing this social music channel would allow your business to reach millions of targeted business prospects interested in music, guitars, rock memorabilia and other products related to music.  Since this is a specific niche, the prospecting possibilities are endless.

Hi5

Those who wish to incorporate advertisement into gaming could benefit from the third largest monthly volume of visitors in social media today by putting your message in front of millions of gamers.  Inside every gamer is somebody that still runs a business or works; prospecting leads from this niche should be easily accomplished with an aggressive marketing angle.

Biznik

Another social media gem which could help create lucrative business connections and potential sales leads is Biznik, one of few that moderates individual profiles made so reputation management companies and excessive spammers cannot create automated profiles.  This beefs the potential for legitimate prospecting opportunities for all businesses while keeping things fair for all.

Manta

Business to business merchants can find loads of useful information using Manta, the authority in finding businesses to cold call or contact via email.  You can find local or national businesses using keyword searches and skim the results for suitable prospects.  Although you shouldn’t directly shill your products or services on Manta itself, you can definitely prospect potential customers quite easily.

LinkedIn

The epitome of sales prospecting is LinkedIn, perhaps the only site where finding contact cards to download has been perfected.  By joining specific groups related to your business, you can begin interaction with individual business entrepreneurs or large companies which can then be contacted to pitch your idea or sale to.  It would definitely be worth your while to pay the monthly premium cost as this allows deeper insights and contact information to be revealed.  Of all social networking platforms, LinkedIn takes the cake in terms of providing industry-specific individuals to cater to.

Before You Start

While jumping in head first seems viable, sales prospecting takes prior planning and some form of centralized lead software to handle nurturing, prospect contacting and sales campaign delivery.  Since Lead Liaison specializes in all-in-one lead solvency from finding the lead to closing the sale, let the professionals handle your social media lead prospecting quest.  The web-based software platform unveiled by Lead Liaison offers unparalleled support for your lead capture and segmentation needs.  This, of course, includes your quest to hunt down sales prospects within the social media world.

Sales Automation Software

There’s a lot of talk on the web about marketing automation; consequently, sales automation gets left behind. Although, it’s arguably the most important thing! Are you looking to provide automation for your sales team? If yes, you’ve found the right corner of the web. Sales automation software helps organizations improve productivity, relationships and employee satisfaction – all key contributors to revenue generation. Three core technologies make up a sales automation software package. We’ll discuss these three technologies and to help you understand how software simplifies a sales person’s life and can get your company on the fast track to higher revenue.

The Ideal Way

Sales Automation Software

Ideally, every business would fully automate their sales processes if they could. However, that’s not possible especially given the need for most B2B companies to personalize the sale. The “human touch” is often times a requirement, especially for B2B companies with transactional-based businesses. Regardless of your sales process almost every lead goes through the following lead management life-cycle:

Many of the pieces in the lead management life-cycle can be automated using sales automation software. Three key areas that must be automated to achieve an effective sales process are sales prospecting, lead qualification and lead nurturing.

Core Sales Automation Software Technologies

Automating Sales Prospecting

Sales automation software makes prospecting easy by integrating company, people, news, job, competitor, social media profiles and financials together in a single platform. Additionally, sales automation software natively integrates a professional contact database of millions of people making it easy for sales to find prospective buyers who match their target profile in a single click. With a second click, sales can import the contact along with their full contact information into their CRM.

Automating Lead Qualification

Sales automation software automatically qualifies leads by listening to a prospect as they interact with your marketing material. For example, monitoring a lead’s online behavior as they traverse your company’s website. When key buying signals are met and/or the prospect meets your qualification criteria they become a marketing qualified lead (MQL). At that point, the lead is ready for sales. Sales automation software quickly delivers leads to sales by sending a text message and/or email alert. Advanced sales automation software also pushes hot leads into a CRM such as Salesforce.com and automatically schedules a task for sales to follow up.

Automating Lead Nurturing

Sales automation software automatically nurtures leads to advance them through the sales pipeline. The majority of all sales people don’t have time to follow up with all their leads especially if the lead is not quite ready to buy just yet. Let’s say a marketing qualified lead is presented to sales via sales automation software, sales has a call with the prospect, but the prospect is in research-mode only. Nine times out of ten the sales person will take some notes, update their CRM and move on to the next hottest lead – the “archived” lead is forgotten. Lead nurturing automates the sales process by sending personalized (looking like it comes from sales and sent from one individual to another) emails over time to help sales build a relationship and connection with the prospect. More importantly, the prospect won’t forget about the sales person (and their solutions) either. When the prospect is ready to buy, sales will know.

Finding a great sales automation software package to deliver sales prospecting, lead qualification and lead nurturing is not easy. Fortunately, Lead Liaison has one. If you’re interested in sales automation software and much more let us know!

What part of the sales process not mentioned above would you like to automate?

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