The world changed in 2020 in many regards, and this is certainly the case with traditional sales prospecting techniques. After all,making use of face-to-face meetings at trade fairs or collecting business cards at industry exhibitions was not possible in a socially distanced world. As a result, more and more companies need to make improved use of their digitaltools for outbound prospecting. All salespeople working in a B2B environment have had to adapt – even when they have been used to selling to pre-existing accounts.
That said, the problem for those in business development roles who rely on prospecting methods to break new ground has been even more acute. This is why a B2B prospecting and lead generation platform can prove to be so useful in an altered sales landscape. With so many obsolete databases and old-fashioned tools unsuited to the world as it is now, anyone working in B2B sales needs to understand why digital qualification processes are preferable not just today but for tomorrow, as well.
Lead Generation : Why?
With an up-to-date B2B lead generation platform, you will step into a virtual environment with qualified leads who are already interested in hearing about the products and services you offer. If you compare that proposition with standard B2B lead generation software, then the difference is quite remarkable. For one, older systems are often jam-packed with outdated information. Key decision-makers may no longer be in post or might be working in a different part of the business, for example.
Furthermore, contact information could easily be out of date as professionals have left to work at other companies or that firms have decided to no longer place the email addresses of individual employees on social media networks. What modern B2B lead generation should provide, on the other hand, is up-to-the-minute information with prospects who have been nurtured and qualified before their information is passed on to field salesreps.
The right strategy for lead generation
1. Use common sales prospecting techniques of the digital age
There are plenty of digital tools that offer automation in the sales prospecting arena. You might choose to employ a scraping tool, for example, that scours the internet for emails of professionals in your chosen field. These are often harvested from corporate websites or professional social media platforms, however, and so need further qualification.
Even with some of the best data enrichment tools around, researching leads for the right sort of people requires effort. Of course, cold calling a prospect is something that anyone who works in B2B sales will be familiar with. That said, email prospecting from digital tools is another option that many salespeople continue to make use of, whether from referrals or online tools.
2. Use prospecting methods effectively
If done correctly, B2B lead generation can solicit large numbers of responses, ideally favorable ones. Of course, it will come down to how well such leads are qualified. As mentioned, this will depend onhow up-to-date or otherwise the lead information is, but it will also relate to whether or not the person you are targeting is the true decision-maker within their organization. In other words, the use of a scraping tool to find emails not only has to collect addresses which are accurate, but they need to be relevant, too.
If you are selling architectural products, for example, then you will necessarily need the email addresses of specifiers and designers rather than administrative and support staff within a practice. Only by following a targeted approach which is laser-like in its focus will you be able to proceed with a presentation in favorable circumstances. After all,making a pitch to a lead who isn’t truly within your target audience is a waste of time for everyone involved.
3. Know the best practices of modern outbound prospecting
Entering into a digital conversation with prospects isnot easy. There again, B2B salespeople should already know that even in a face-to-face environment tailoring a pitch to an individual requires skill. Thisis why a pragmatic approach is more important today than ever before as so many more commercial functions are carried out online these days. Video tools are certainly among the best ways to get your points over to prospects and to stayon target with the sorts of things they are interested in without wandering off into blind alleys.
Of course, the better qualified your leads are, the less likely you are to do this anyway. Finally, in B2B sales, initial formality remains the best practice, but you can progress to greater informality while remaining professional as your client relationship develops. Ideally, this will mean you give your clients a tailored approach whether you are prospecting with them, at the nurturing phase or handling them at the conversion stage. Most new clients like to feel as though they are getting special treatment in some way,after all.