Contrary to popular belief, lead generation and prospecting are not the same things. Their objectives and approaches diverge greatly. One can be more useful than the other in some circumstances. In a sales process, prospecting is the first step, whereas lead generation is related to marketing. Prospecting is a tool used by sales teams to identify potential customers who are a good fit, while lead generation specialists focus on piquing customer interest and turning it into a sale.
Here are a few of the differences.
|Prospecting is a one-on-one task typically performed by sales representatives. The goal is to capture the interest of potential targets who may not be familiar with you.||Lead generation is frequently a one-to-many marketing strategy that is data-driven. It takes longer than prospecting to increase awareness and engagement from a larger target market.|
|Usually a short-term strategy, it’s a quick way to find and qualify new clients before guiding them down the sales funnel.||Because they have already interacted with your marketing materials and brand, leads generated this way are warmer and pre-qualified than those obtained through prospecting.|
|Various B2B prospecting activities are carried out by sales representatives, such as
||B2B lead generation strategies might include:
Salespeople frequently don’t have a dedicated marketing team working on lead generation campaigns for them. They, therefore, conduct their own sales prospecting. For salespeople working for small businesses, this is especially true. With little marketing assistance, they must create their own sales leads in order to meet their revenue and target goals.
Cold calling, prospecting, or business development, all of this implies that you must invest time to open doors for them. After that, the focus must return to selling rather than prospecting. The marketing division’s role in lead generation is to create leads that correspond to the buyer’s readiness to buy and the seller’s expectations of selling. Learning how to generate leads for yourself on top of everything else you do can be overwhelming. But you can make it work without dividing yourself or your attention into two parts.
Proven strategies to generate leads
- Create and keep up with your database
Even the most accurate target account lists are not perfect. Therefore, you should check that your list matches the characteristics of your ideal customers during the planning stage. Make an effort to create the most pertinent database you can, one that is filled with the best accounts and contacts that can affect a purchase.
- Create a lead nurturing strategy
Even though your initial campaign may have brought in some leads, adding more touches will bring in even more. Make sure it has to mean for your audience and is pertinent to them. The goal of lead nurturing should be to establish a trust-based dialogue over time.
- Maintain consistency in your outreach
Once you’ve developed and improved your lead generation calendar, it becomes much simpler to work toward consistency. Make every effort to schedule time for your own lead-generation activities, especially if you don’t have a marketing team to help you out.
- Rigid lead qualification
Before you create a proposal or accept a job, qualify every sales opportunity to make sure they fit your ideal client/customer profile. To qualify leads, one must concentrate on selecting from a smaller group those who exhibit sincere interest and are amenable to discussion.
You must start the conversation in order to find out if they are amenable to it. You cannot genuinely qualify leads by simply gazing longingly at prospects from a distance or adding them to email campaigns and hoping they will approach you.
- Establish your lead generation objectives
Lead generation goals should always be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. Be specific with your goals. Follow your progress to see how your prospecting is developing.
- Have a strong lead generation portfolio
A portfolio of lead generation strategies that you’ll use consistently over time should be a part of your lead generation and prospecting efforts. Find and maintain strategies that more effectively connect you to prospects by using tactics as a guide. To concentrate on creating conversations, financial managers must gain and keep their clients’ trust by getting to know their hopes, objectives, constraints, issues, and expectations.
- Create a calendar for lead generation
In your lead generation calendar, schedule your tasks for each month and adhere to them. Too little contact with potential customers won’t harm your results, but excessively poor communication will. Make a strategy for adding value each time you interact with potential customers by sharing pertinent thoughts, resources, and content. Be honest with yourself about your abilities, and don’t be afraid to revise and update your plan as you learn what works best for you, your customers, and your prospects.
- Create your own prospecting engine
Maintain consistent contact with your alliance partners, networks, and potential customers. Utilizing conventional direct marketing techniques, such as phone calls, email campaigns, and direct mail. The best prospecting strategy resembles a friendly invitation to chat. Maintaining connections and reassuring existing and prospective customers, clients, networks, and alliance partners of your continued support will go a long way.
- Speak with the best clients
How much actual knowledge do you have about your current clients? You can get a lot of valuable information from a quick phone call that you can use moving forward. People make decisions in their personal and professional lives in the same manner.
- Your clients chose to work with you for what reasons?
- Do they continue doing business with you for the same reasons?
- If it has changed, why do they still work with you?
- Would they recommend you to others, and if so, why?
- Do they want to be your advocates?
You can identify more leads who are like your best customers by using this information to sharpen your message. When you know why customers choose you, you can adjust your messages to meet their needs.
- Create your ideal client profile and use it
Put your attention on leads that most closely match your ideal customer profile. The organizations and people you hope to have as clients.
- What distinguishes your top and bottom customers?
- What are their characteristics and makeup?
- What associations or organizations do they participate in?
Your insight is very helpful in defining the ideal customer because you have first-hand experience working directly with customers to assist them through the purchasing process.
Contemporary Trends in sales prospecting
- Sending customized emails
80% of buyers say they prefer to be contacted by sellers via email, demonstrating the continued viability of email as a sales tool. Now, personalized emails are in charge. Ensure that the content is tailored to the requirements of each prospect. For your sales email to be effective, you need to know what to write and how to write it. Make sure your email displays well on mobile devices.
- Request for referrals
Word of mouth is spread by satisfied customers. 91% of B2B buyers are swayed by recommendations when making a purchase decision, and referral-based sales close at a rate of 50% to 70%. Given that, 73% of executives prefer to work with salespeople they know, referrals have an incredibly powerful influence.
- Work on your call lists diligently
Set a time aside each day to call the people on your lists the lost lead list, the warm lead list, the cold call list, etc after giving each list a priority. According to research, 27% of sellers acknowledge that calling new contacts is very/extremely effective, and 69% of buyers admitted to accepting a call from a new salesperson.
Questions to consider are:
- What are they seeking, exactly?
- Do they have a particular solution in mind for their issue?
- “Do they have sufficient knowledge?
- Can you send them any information at all?
- Determine how to connect with your ideal prospects
Where you initially met your “best” clients your most lucrative customers are your “best” customers. You can identify your most “profitable” hangout spots using this. What activities or gatherings are your ideal clients most likely to attend? Which digital publications—newsfeeds, social media platforms, etc.—are they most likely to access or use?
- Make the perfect prospect profile
Spend some time identifying the characteristics of your ideal customer profile and conducting some database research.
For each of the following groups, create profiles:
- Who are the top five clients you serve?
- Who are your five worst clients?
- Who are your most lucrative clients?
- Which are the least lucrative?
- Become an authority on the topic
You must be a dependable expert and solution provider because 79% of prospects want their sales representatives to be trusted advisors. You must have extensive knowledge of your potential customers as well as the industry you are targeting. Also your own product/service.
- Boost your digital visibility
Social media will continue to exist. Your prospective customers may visit Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube to gather information.
Some of the crucial statistics you may want to know are listed below
- The use of social media by B2B buyers has increased to 91%.
- The use of social media by senior executives to support purchasing decisions is 84%.
- Social selling helps 65% of salespeople fill their pipeline.
- When using social media, 78% of salespeople outperform their competitors.
- Utilizing social selling tools can boost the deal size by 35% and win rates by 5%.
- Send potential customers pertinent content
We can all agree that sending content to prospects can help them move through the sales process more quickly. However, knowing what kind of content to send and when to send it are two important skills. Demonstrate your understanding of where they are in the purchasing process, their difficulties, and how you can help them by sharing information, suggestions, and insights that will advance them.
- Show off your sales abilities in a video format
The most recent trends indicate that videos will become more popular as tools for marketing and sales outreach. Simple, amateur videos that allow you to introduce yourself, show your face, share information, provide numbers, and deliver your best sales pitch are ideal. Everything is customary but carried out in a unique way.
- 8 out of 10 customers have bought software or an app after watching a brand’s promotional video.
- 96% of consumers use videos to find out more information about a specific good or service.
- After watching branded social videos, 64% of consumers make a purchase.
- YouTube is used by 50.9% of B2B decision-makers to research purchases.
- Follow up
Sending follow-up emails, making numerous phone calls, forwarding additional information, and other follow-up activities all take time to see results. 42% of customers admit that if the salesperson called back at the prearranged time, they would be more likely to buy.
The combination of sales tactics and lead generation procedures keeps your pipeline full. You must understand which to invest in and at what time. Which is best for you will depend on your product, target audience, business size and stage, length, and complexity of your sales cycle, and the deals you’re trying to close.
Give your sales teams a competitive edge by investing in a comprehensive sales enablement platform that integrates with other well-known tools to boost your prospecting.