The Ultimate Guide to B2B Sales Prospecting in 2021

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B2B sales prospecting aims to discover potential clients and convert them to customers. You have to qualify leads, initiate discussions, and nurture connections to move prospects through the sales pipeline and finally close deals.

B2B sales prospecting aided by sales technology can help you optimize prospecting activities quickly. It will allow you to channel your resources to other areas of your business that need them the most.

In this article, we’re focusing on prospecting strategies, recommendations for enhancing the efficacy of the lead generation process of your team. We’ve also compiled expert tips on how to identify ideal prospects and explore ways to interact with your prospective clients.

What is B2B Sales Prospecting?

"Prospect" and "lead" are sometimes used interchangeably, confusing. Many believe that B2B sales prospecting is simply another way to describe B2B lead generation.

But that’s not true.

Lead generation starts with prospecting. Customers or clients who demonstrate an interest in your brand and your provided service are called leads. On the other hand, prospects are the potential clients who have not shown interest in your brand.

Generally, prospects fit your target customer profile. They are just yet to know about the existence of your brand. Investing in prospecting will open doors to new business opportunities.

Lead Prospecting vs. Sales Prospecting

There are just two kinds of B2B prospecting. Sales prospecting and lead prospecting. These two terms are not synonymous; hence, using them interchangeably is incorrect.

Lead prospecting

Identifying potential customers who are not interested yet in your service is the first step of lead prospecting. Appealing to these customers may result in a sale.

First, conduct research, initiate contact, and start creating a relationship.

The pre-screening process of lead prospecting lets you assess the potentials of companies.

Sales Prospecting

Conversely, sales prospecting refers to mitigating the existing leads. It is all about identifying the highest potential prospects from the existing ones.

Even after passing the qualification process, a company might fall out from the high potential criterion.

Existing contracts of a company might restrict it from taking your service. Or the business can prioritize other financial activities rather than buying your products.

Why Sales Prospecting Is Important For Your B2B Business

Sales Prospecting undoubtedly, adds a significant amount of value to your B2B business. Here is why-

Consistently generates sales pipeline leads

With your company's growth, you will find clients that will help you reach your revenue goal. However, you can not rest on these laurels because newer organizations are always stepping into your geographic area.

The number of startups is increasing each day. Therefore, the thought some B2B marketers held that they had approached all the potential clients is nothing but a fallacy.

Clients who might have been indicated interested in your service might be looking out for your solutions. When prospecting, you're gathering new revenue streams and inserting them into your sales funnel.

Enhances Your Lead's Quality

Marketing to business-to-business enterprises is complicated because you have numerous businesses to choose from.

Better sales prospecting consists of only bringing in higher-potential clients. Some of these customers may turn out to be non-converting ones.

However, by giving your marketers and sales personnel quality prospects to work with, you'll bolster your pipeline with niche-appropriate and buyer persona-specific organizations.

Grows New Businesses

Every firm is seeking the next leap, client, or breakthrough. This fixation on "next" can be overwhelming. Sales prospecting is a low-stress, systematic strategy to track your company's future while remaining focused on current activities.

Regardless of whether your possibilities pan out or not, you're guaranteed to have fresh new opportunities to work with.

Getting Started with B2B Sales Prospecting

Jamming your sales funnel with pre-qualified leads is easy. The immense confusion arises when you need to apply strategies to your marketing activities. Moreover, taking theoretical practice and using it practically is harder.

You can consider a few high-performing B2B sales prospecting strategies to get started.

Consumer Referrals

After you develop a relationship of satisfaction with your clients, ask for recommendations from them. The way your clients perceive your organization is essential to drive leads.

The organizations you are collaborating with are working with thousands of other organizations each day. Their recommendation will help you to capture these prospects.

Occasionally, You might obtain a list of businesses to contact. Your client may reach out to a few different companies to link you directly. Either way, these recommendations are a great way to build your funnel.

Social Media Platforms

You can use social media platforms both as a tool and as a sales prospecting technique. Either way, they are a great source of benefits in many circumstances.

These platforms allow you to define new prospects, beget inbound leads, or make your company widely known to other organizations.

LinkedIn is an ideal social media platform for the B2B marketing arena. Your activity on LinkedIn will allow you to attract inbound prospects and leads towards. It helps gather information about lead qualification to pitch strategy.

Following your prospects will let you understand their needs and queries better. Besides, it will help you to gain an insight into them through observation.

Research

While starting in a new market, any B2B marketer should begin with researching their prospects.

Look for insights about your target market and industry. Research about the buyer persona. Relate these with your geographic radius.

Learning more will help you to weed out lower-potential prospects while allowing you to identify higher-potential ones. Consider demographics and firmographics when selecting a company that meets your expertise.

You might have prospects from different market areas. But we recommend you to be familiar with one market compared to the others. This market is easier to pitch and convert. Therefore you should concentrate on the prospects here.

Researching will help you to find tons of potential clients. Moreover, when you have information about them before you contact them, it will be helpful to make a first impression.

However, specific details about them can only be perceived after the first contact. These include organizational aim, budget, intent to purchase, pain points. Your sales team can apply these tidbits to qualify or eliminate prospects from your database.

Email Prospecting

Emails are one of the advantageous communication methods. Therefore, B2B marketers are heavily dependent on it.

It is possible to outline the necessary details via mail that phone calls cannot provide. Besides, email offers a record that prospects can check at any time according to their convenience.

Emails should be personalized and relevant for the audience as much as possible. It helps to capture the attention of your prospect, enhancing the chances of further communications.

For example, to personalize email communications, you can add the prospect's name in the subject line. Moreover, short paragraphs enhance the readability of email. The inclusion of CTAs is beneficial to encourage the prospects to make a purchase.

Lead generating software like OneMoreLead can efficiently automate this process. It also allows you to maintain international regulations when it comes to data protection.

OneMoreLead collects relevant data after conducting security and privacy assessments. Failing to comply with these regulations might lead to loss of client trust and financial penalty.

Cold Calling

Cold calling may be stressful, but is still an efficient way to capture a prospect. Where emails have the chance to remain unopened by your prospects, through phone calls, you can build a deeper connection with them.

Besides, this allows you to define the prospect and segment them to make your marketing efforts more efficient.

Additionally, phone calls are a great way to build the first impression to convince the prospect to enter the sales pipeline. Therefore, make sure your representatives are well trained and well qualified to tackle any situation and answer every question.

Webinars

Informational webinars are a great chance to drive engagement with your potential prospects. It allows you to present yourself as a savior to your client's problems.

For instance, demonstrating case studies in webinars can help you create a great impression by cultivating the trust that you have the solution to their problems.

Apart from details regarding prospects such as name, information, job titles, webinars also provide behavioral data to support the sales prospecting process. By analyzing the engagement a prospect had with you during the webinar, segmenting and prioritizing would be easier.

If done efficiently, webinars are a great help to let your prospects define their problems and generate interest in your service. But this requires time and effort. Following up with the attendees via calls or emails will pitch sales in the long run.

Automation Tools

Along with the outlined quintessential strategies, verified lead generation and B2B prospecting tools can be a great source of help to catch sales prospects.

For example, OneMoreLead provides authentic B2B prospects to fit your service irrespective of the industry you belong to. With the right strategies and an efficient tool like OneMoreLead, you are sure to hit the revenue goal every month.

Why It’s Important To Follow Up With Your B2B Sales Prospects

The efforts behind a good presentation, meeting customer queries, and nurturing a relationship will go in vain if you don't follow up with your clients.

The reason behind this is, they are trying to reach their aim by using your product. Plenty of other companies provide services like yours. Therefore, even after a good presentation, you will eventually lose them if you do not follow up promptly.

Follow-ups are the necessary occurrence of every stage of the sales process. Therefore, please do not wait to follow up till you get to encounter them. Instead, consider following up after initial prospecting also.

For instance, after sending prospecting emails, flyers, and letters, check up on them over email or phone calls.

How Often Should You Follow Up With Your Prospects?

You should send your prospect a thank you mail, where you give a brief introduction of your service within 24-hours of your meeting. This also allows you to answer questions that remained unanswered in the presentation.

The second follow-up should be a call that you should schedule during your first meeting with your prospect. Rather than asking for a time to call, set a time and let them know that you will call them. Send an email to remind them about the scheduled call.

The third and essential communication is a follow-up call to know their decision regarding your service.

Why is defining the ideal B2B sales prospect so important?

Before you begin prospecting, you must identify the target audience and target market.

The patterns of your ideal customer can be identified by figuring out the following:

Similarities between these will allow you to draw a picture of your target customer. Moreover, it will help you to understand their priorities, pain points, and buying habits. These details can be used to shape your prospecting strategies.

Bottom Line

B2B sales prospecting is one of the most challenging stages of the B2B sales process. So you need to experiment, analyze, and research to decipher which works best for your team.

If you’re looking for a unified space for your sales teams to prospect, build lists, and qualify leads, OneMoreLead is the ideal solution for you. It offers a database of more than 40 Million verified B2B prospects, allowing you to easily find the perfect prospect for your product or service.

Get started for free today and save time, effort, and money on B2B sales prospecting!

The Definitive Guide To Creating a B2B Database

Collecting data is one of the most crucial aspects of successful B2B marketing. A well-crafted B2B database will help you learn more about the companies and contacts you target, giving you a better chance of engaging them.

Engaging with targeted leads makes it easier to drive them to conversion, which helps you boost your revenue effectively.

Many businesses are letting opportunities slip due to the lack of a standard database. A state-of-the-art marketing tool would not be helpful without a systematic and updated database. An enriched and accurate B2B database can add substantial value to the day-to-day data an organization builds, stores and processes.

In this article, we’ll help you understand what a B2B database is, how to set up a B2B database, along with some bonus tips on effectively managing a B2B database.

What Is A B2B Database

A B2B database compiles all the data acquired by a marketing team of a company regarding the potential customers. This database should not only be accurate but also be specific about relevant details of the target segments within a company.

Along with the contact number and email addresses of potential leads, an efficient B2B database or B2B contact list may also include the geographic address, performance details, and company size of the targeted leads.

Although data is a key to drive sales of any company, many businesses often fail to maintain a consistent flow of it. Consequently, they lose their place in the market due to the lack of contacts and information. Studies show that 54% of companies are struggling due to the lack of data.

Why You Need An Accurate B2B Database

Having a B2B database is not enough. If the database is inaccurate, then it might cause additional problems resulting in ineffective B2B marketing efforts. Incorrect contact information or lack of sufficient information might result in losing potential clients.

In a highly competitive landscape, a database may not be an accurate image of a customer or lead. In situations like employee turnovers, the existing contact list becomes outdated.

Targeting specific customers becomes quite difficult if your database lacks important information in the first place.

Step-By-Step Guide To Setting up a B2B Database

If you are new to creating a B2B database, don’t worry. We have got you covered. Here is how to create a B2B database in 4 steps:

Step 1 - Determining Customer Base

Determining the ideal customer is a crucial first step to create a B2B contact list. This can be done by analyzing the customer, analyzing the behavioral patterns of the customer, and identifying distinct features of the target group.

Besides, a new prospect list sharing the same traits as the existing customer leads is more likely to generate more customers. To get new clientele, research and analysis on potential audiences can help a lot.

Step 2 - Getting an effective lead source

Building your own lead list or buying one - both can be viable options. You just have to pick the one that’ll suit your needs.

To build your own lead list, you can rely upon your marketing database or CRM. However, before buying a lead list, evaluate and analyze the efficacy of the list. More on this in later sections.

Step 3 - Segmenting Your Prospects

Segmenting your prospect list will allow you to target your ideal segments effectively. Identifying the potentially profitable group of prospects will also allow you to gain more prospects who are similar to the target group.

Segmenting them will help you make more targeted experiences, which are more effective in drawing attention to your product or service, thus leading to more conversion rates.

Step 4 - Organizing Data of Leads

Spreadsheets are a blessing when it comes to compiling large sets of data. Your spreadsheet template should contain information such as title, name, contact number, email address, location, lead source, and remarks.

Compiling the data in an organized way will be helpful to deal with a huge pile of lead lists. You can also import large spreadsheets into CRMs to make the process seamless.

B2B Data Management Best Practices

A detailed, updated database is undoubtedly what makes B2B marketing more efficient. It allows B2B marketers to concentrate on what they do best - crafting marketing strategies, establishing strong relationships, and driving sales.

To ensure the efficacy of your B2B database, you should keep a few things in mind.

Build a Standard

Every person in your marketing team should know what type of data is used in building a B2B database. As you might have realized already, names and email addresses will not be of much help.

A database should possess information like the information about buyer persona, relevant contact info, and active email IDs of your clientele. A quality standard for databases will help you to make the most of your marketing efforts.

Set up a Monitoring Process

The B2B database requires to be updated periodically. Without maintaining the data each month, the contact list’s effectiveness will fade away due to data decay. This makes it more important for your marketing team to build their own way to update and monitor the clientele information.

Disconnected phone numbers, inactive email addresses are some of the factors that contribute negatively to data health.

Grow your Contact List

Growing a data list does not only mean having new prospects; it also means updating the existing data of your data list when a major change takes place.

For example, in times of employee turnovers or when a decision-maker of a respective company leaves, you need to update your database accordingly to include the new potential leads.

Tips to Create A B2B Email List That Converts

For B2B businesses, email marketing is one of the most cost-effective tools. However, growing a B2B marketing list is not a cakewalk at all.

Here are some tips to take note of to create an effective B2B email list.

How to streamline your marketing efforts with a B2B Database

Provide Quality Customer Experience

Nowadays, the expectations of B2B clientele have reached a new peak. Receiving emails containing offers that are not relevant to their industry or interests might be quite annoying to them. This makes personalization an absolute must.

Use the data on your B2B database to tailor your marketing communications to individual customers. You can create your personalization strategy beforehand to make sure you are collecting the data required to achieve that goal.

Focus on Content

While reaching new customers as well as the existing ones, it is necessary that your content speaks for you. Most buyers nowadays focus on what value the service will add in the long run.

Strong and informative content is a must if you want to grab the attention of your existing and potential client.

Remember to Follow Up

A personal relationship with clientele always proves to be beneficial. The digital landscape has allowed us to reach a large number of people in a short time. But nothing emulates the impact of building personal relationships with customers.

While meeting and calling might not always be possible, a simple personalized text can add a lot of value to your marketing efforts.

Buying Data from 3rd Party Providers

As we mentioned previously, you can consider buying a data list from 3rd party providers instead of creating your own B2B database list.

However, not all the 3rd party providers are reliable in terms of buying a B2B database. Some of these providers provide data that only includes contact information along with detailed information about the decision-makers only. These types of data are known as “Scrubbed Data.”

Other services rely upon information gathered from their social media accounts. This can result in inaccurate and conflicting information or, worse, worthless leads.

Instead of buying data from dodgy providers, you can reach out to vendors who aim to provide you a standard and upgraded database.

Here are some of the things you should consider before buying data from 3rd party providers.

Research about the Vendor:

Doing your research is important when you are aiming to buy a database from a data supplier. You can search for positive mentions and reviews. Make sure you’ve considered the balance between price and offered services before you pick a vendor, don’t just go for the cheapest one.

Making a Conversation:

Before buying a list, ask the provider some questions, like the time of building the list, the last time of updating, included information, and more.

While checking the included information, make sure the completion percentage of each field is maximum, i.e., buyer persona, demographic information should have accurate information instead of white space.

This should be done to ensure that you are not buying random email addresses and contact numbers. The answer to these questions will let you judge if this is the right provider for you.

Extra Features:

A quality database will include more than just information. Unique features such as live updating of data and geo-targeting are always a bonus.

Last but not least, focus on quality more than quantity. A list containing 100 contacts with accurate and detailed information is always better than a list containing 1000 contact lists with numerous missing fields.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Laws and Regulations regarding B2B Database?

Depending on your location, buying and using a B2B database might require you to maintain some regulations. European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR, is one of the most important regulations when it comes to B2B Data protection. The GDPR bears ties with Privacy and Electronic Communications (2003) and Data Protection Act (1998), safeguarding the personal information of individual users.

What is data decay?

Data decay occurs when you experience a gradual loss of data within your database. Data decay is often a continuous process and can be challenging to identify.

For example, when a contact switches their email address or contact number, there is a 50/50 probability of keeping the old ones or getting rid of them. This is why spotting outdated information and updating them is essential. Without their updated information, you’ll be wasting your resources on inactive leads.

How can automate building B2B contact lists?

If you want to automate the B2B list building process, OneMoreLead is the solution you’re looking for. You can simply set your parameters and let OneMoreLead build the list for you.

OneMoreLead boasts a database with over 40+ Million verified B2B prospects to search from and allows you to easily find the perfect prospect for your product or service.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up today and start building B2B lists that convert!