10+ Ways to Improve B2B Sales Prospecting: Tested & Proven

B2B Sales Prospecting requires dedication and consistency regardless of how the sales department is set up internally. Whether your sales team is responsible for the entire pipeline or the sales development team is assigned to fill the sales teams, there are some tested and proven ways to improve sales prospecting.

man on telephone in front of a screen reading sales
Image from Freepik by rawpixel.com

Typically, a sales process consists of 5-7 steps, and prospecting is the first among them. Yet, this step is left out due to mediocre research and average concentration.

In this article, we will guide you through 10+ ways to improve B2B sales prospecting along with shading light on some basic relevant questions.

Table of Contents

TL;DR

What Is B2B Sales Prospecting?

A prospect is someone who has been identified as a possible customer based on a company's criteria. A prospect does not have to express an interest in purchasing from a company; they only need to meet certain criteria.

So, what is the definition of sales prospecting?

Sales prospecting is a set of activities aimed at generating new business prospects by discovering and cultivating potential clients. Sales teams oversee the entire process. B2B sales prospecting is the process of discovering potential clients and convert them into customers.

There are many stages of closing a deal like qualifying the leads, initiating discussions, and nurturing connections to move prospects through the sales pipeline. Prospecting opens the gate for all other stages and keeps potential customers ready to push through the sales pipeline.

Is Sales prospecting the same as lead generation?

A top-of-the-funnel contact (individual or business) who has shown potential interest in your company's product or service is referred to as a sales lead.

Although the two terms, Sales Prospecting and Lead generation, are often used interchangeably, they are not the same.

To claim that leads and prospects are interchangeable is like stating that a delicious cheeseburger and a vegetarian burger are the same.

Yes, they're both "burgers" made to satisfy your hunger.

When you take a bite, though, you'll notice the difference. A vegetarian burger is tasty, but nothing beats a juicy cheeseburger.

A similar idea may be used for leads and prospects.

Prospects and leads are both parts of the sales process and have expressed various levels of interest in a product or service. While a lead shows interest by providing information in exchange for gated content, a prospect has to meet a set of predetermined criteria.

Lead generation is typically a marketing function. It's the initial stage in the sales process, as well as a long-term plan for growing your sales funnel.

Importance Of B2B Sales Prospecting

B2B prospecting is crucial to any company's growth. Your sales operations are the heart of your company, and B2B sales prospecting ensures the good health of your company. Here’s why you should be prioritizing B2B sales prospecting.

Fills the Funnel Consistently

B2B prospecting offers high-quality leads to fill your sales funnel. Prospective customers are constantly looking for services and products, which means you'll be able to locate them without even trying!

More Effective Outreach

For optimum efficacy, B2B prospecting ensures that your communications are delivered at the correct time, to the right prospects, and through the proper channel.

Quicker Qualification

B2B prospecting allows you to quickly weed out leads who aren't interested in your products or services.

Shortens the Sales Cycle

Effective B2B prospecting shortens the sales cycle, making it more productive. It also leads to a higher number of closed deals.

Higher Lead Quality

B2B prospecting is a method of bringing high-quality leads to sales. Your conversion rate will improve as a result of this.

How To Improve B2B Sales Prospecting

Prospecting is an important aspect of a salesperson's job. According to HubSpot's 2021 Sales Enablement Report, sales prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales process for 40% of salespeople. To help you out, we have highlighted some effective strategies.

1. Generate Ideal Customer Profile

How does your dream customer look like? If you do not know who you want to attract, you are going nowhere.

When salesmen are unable to clinch a deal, they frequently contact the wrong person. To avoid this, every B2B sales process should start with thorough research on the possible pool of prospects.

You also need to define criteria for ICP and buyer personas, such as their job title, industry, company revenue, business goals, key difficulties, hobbies, and so on.

The firmographic data of the targets, such as their company size, employee count, or yearly turnover should also be included in a B2B customer profile.

2. Use Account-Based Marketing to your advantage

Account-based marketing is a targeted strategy to B2B marketing in which marketing and sales teams collaborate to identify and convert best-fit accounts into customers.

Marketers are always battling for the attention of potential clients in this age of information abundance. As a result, businesses that wish to maximize their return on investment (ROI) should concentrate on high-value accounts, taking into account penetration, marketing penetration, and branding into account.

In an ITSMA survey, 87 percent of B2B marketers said their ABM activities outperformed their other marketing investments in terms of ROI.

Account-based marketing works in the same way that sales do, putting marketing and sales teams on the same page in terms of accounts and how to target, bring them to the table, and close the transaction.

The inefficiencies of producing leads that aren't in the proper accounts or don't satisfy your ICP cause a lot of frustration among sales and marketing teams. Studies show that ABM reduces sales time spent on unproductive prospecting by 50 percent.

3. Leverage Social Selling on multiple channels

Now let's move on to the most recent prospecting craze: social selling. Is it just a whim or something you should start doing right away? According to Forbes, 78% of Salespeople using Social Media outsell their peers.

What if, out of 100 prospects, 30% would only respond to an email, 30% would respond to a phone call, 30% would respond on LinkedIn, 5% would only respond on another social media platform, and 5% would never respond?

What would you do if you want as many responses as possible? That's right, give them all a shot!

For B2B, LinkedIn is the hotbed of prospects as it is the most widely used social networking platform for professionals. If you use LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Social Selling Index together, you can unlock all sorts of insights about your prospecting performance and potential improvements.

4. Develop a strong email marketing strategy

Email marketing creates $44 for every $1 invested, a 4400 % return on investment, making it one of the most effective ways to contact prospects. Emails are an excellent method to keep existing clients informed about new products and improvements in your company (increasing customer retention).

They also encourage new prospects to purchase what you are offering them. When utilizing this channel, make sure your email does not end up in the spam folder, as this has a negative impact on B2B sales conversions.

To improve your sales prospecting through email research about the prospects’ business and roles. Find a reason to connect, that is a problem your prospect is facing, and how you can solve it. This will help you to personalize a pitch that resonates with your prospects.

5. Be the Maestro of cold calling

Despite the common assumption that cold calling is dead, it is still one of the most effective ways to convert leads when done correctly. In fact, 57% of B2B C-level and VP-level customers prefer to be engaged via this channel.

So, what makes cold calling so effective?

The major reason is that people are social beings, and cold calling is the sole route that allows the salesman and the prospect to have a personalized real-time human connection. Your B2B sales will skyrocket if you understand how to engage your prospects in a discussion during a cold call.

The best way is to provide value and ask for nothing in return. Instead of scheduling a follow-up meeting, you might offer to do an audit on their social media presence and get back to them within a week with your findings.

6. Draw a balance between quantity and quality

Always seek high-quality leads who are likely to buy your product, but keep in mind that the quantity of fresh leads is also crucial. Don't spend too much time on any one prospect in the early phases of your pipeline because you can warm them up later in your follow-up cycles.

You can use automation tools to accelerate the prospecting process. But sometimes these tools involve risks of ruining your inside sales effort. While technologies like auto email sender and pre-recorded voicemails might help you achieve a greater quantity, they can also overlook the importance of personalization in sales.

We advise using tools like OutReachBin that can offer greater personalization in your outreach rather than relying just on automation to draw a balance.

7. Ask questions to prequalify the leads

In a typical B2B company, 50% of the potential clients that meet your ICP may still be a poor fit for whatever you offer. This implies there's a good possibility you'll contact the wrong individual.

Prequalify every lead after the initial contact by asking a few easy questions to reduce the number of unqualified leads moving further down the sales pipeline:

what buyers want to talk in sales call chart
Source: HubSpot

You can ask more questions following the NOTE method, introduced by Sean Burke, the former CEO of KiteDesk before you get started:

8. Demonstrate your business using video

There are a variety of reasons why videos have become so important in the B2B sales process: they are interesting and amusing, offer a high return on investment, clients prefer viewing videos to reading about products, and they enhance the probability of closing a sale by 1.8 times.

This does not imply that you must create a YouTube channel or a TikTok account right now.

Consider sending personalized videos to your prospects' emails, or include some short video material in your blog. If you're ready to share some of your business knowledge with people, you might even want to launch a webinar course.

9. Ask for referrals

People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend.

“A trusted referral is the holy grail of advertising” – Mark Zuckerberg.

Referral marketing helps you to expand your reach by taking the help of your clients as brand ambassadors.

While some places and situations are just off-limits to traditional advertising, your customer's ability to tell a friend or coworker about a wonderful product or company has practically no bounds. Customer recommendations will also enable you to grow your client base because many people have a diverse network of contacts.

By using B2B referral marketing, 87% of sales marketing efforts are successful, whereas just 42% of sales marketing efforts are successful without it.

10. Don't forget to follow up

If you get a positive response to your pitch on your first try, you're either incredibly lucky – or very skilled at your profession. However, in the vast majority of situations, you will receive no answer at all. This should never be a reason to abandon your outreach efforts.

Follow up with an email, contact them again, and make sure you are completely prepared for your next talk when they are ready to make their next move for excellent B2B sales prospecting.

Develop a follow-up plan that works best for your company, and utilize follow-up templates to make your approach more consistent and to provide better results.

follow-up email template
Template from Dhruv Patel at SalesHandy

11. Invest in the right automation tools

Sales representatives have a difficult and time-consuming job. Worse still, not all clients who express an interest in purchasing will do so, either because they are not fully prepared and are waiting for the right moment, or because they are seeking cheaper alternatives.

You'd be always on the lookout for a way that would save you all that time and effort. This is where sales prospecting software with sales automation comes in handy. In certain ways, it improves the effectiveness and impact of the sales cycle.

For example, OneMoreLead allows you to add criteria that your target prospects must meet at data entry points, and it will provide a list of those prospects together with all of their verified information.

Final Word

Certainly, B2B sales prospecting is difficult but with definite strategies and tools, you can make it easier for the team. OneMoreLead is the right option for you if you're searching for a single place for your sales teams to prospect, develop lists, and qualify leads.

OneMoreLead offers access to a database of over 40 million verified B2B prospects, allowing you to quickly discover the ideal customer for your product or service.

What are you waiting for? Sign up on OneMoreLead today!

Sales Prospecting — The Ultimate Guide for 2020

The strength and success of any business will ultimately lie in their product or service. But even if a business had the world’s greatest product or the finest service, it’s not going to do anyone any good without customers who will buy and use the product. Which means that every company is burdened with the responsibility of selling their product/service.

Okay, we might be exaggerating a bit with terms like “burden” and all.

Still, ultimately, it is up to the business to sell their product and convince people to buy it. A critical part of this sales process is sales prospecting.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what sales prospecting is, how it works, and most importantly, how to do it well. We’ll go over the skills and techniques involved and even a few tools that anyone can use to find success with their sales prospecting process.

As always, let’s start with the basics:

What Is Sales Prospecting?

In simple terms, sales prospecting is the process of finding potential customers.

There are a number of moving parts involved in your overall sales process and customer acquisition. You have your inbound marketing, networking, and customer referrals, and more. But sales prospecting is perhaps the most important one of them all, as it is the very building block of your sales process.

During the sales prospecting process, you’ll be creating new business by searching for potential customers, clients, or buyers — also known as ‘prospects’ — for the products or services that your business sells. The ultimate goal of any sales prospector is to move these prospects through the sales funnel and convert them into revenue-generating customers.

The most common form of sales prospecting is outbound selling — cold emailing and cold calling. But in recent times, there has been a rise in the popularity of inbound prospecting, where you reach out to leads who have expressed awareness of or interest in your business. More often than not, sales prospecting can and will also involve nurturing old leads that have now grown cold.

As anyone who has done sales prospecting will tell you, the core of any effective prospecting process is identifying customers who are a good fit for your business. This means finding leads and prospects who actually have a need for your product or service in order to resolve their problems or pain points. These are the prospects who will give your company valuable business over a long period of time. While we will explore the qualities of the right customers elsewhere, the way to get them involves asking the right questions to all your leads and prospects.

Seeing as how “leads” and “prospects” are terms that we will be using quite a bit throughout this article, it’s important to note the differences between the two. While they are quite similar, they are not anywhere near the same.

So, our next question is:

Lead Vs. Sales Prospect — What Is The Difference?

A sales prospect is a lead that has been qualified.

So, leads come first, go through a process, get qualified and become a sales prospect. A sales prospect will then convert into a paying customer.

If we’re to break it down a little further and take a detailed look at it, leads are potential customers who have expressed interest in your products or services. They can have done this via visiting your website, reading your blog article, or liking a social media post. Once these leads have been qualified, they become sales prospects.

You do have to remember that while leads and prospects differ by definition, it doesn’t mean your goals with the two are different. In fact, you are aiming for the same thing with both groups. What’s that? Nurture and guide them until they buy your product or service.

After all, if we aren’t selling our products, what are we even doing?

While we are speaking of the differences between leads and sales prospects, it would also be worth your time to consider the difference between lead generation activities and sales prospecting activities.

Lead Generation vs. Sales Prospecting

Lead generation is a process that is typically driven more by marketing. Most lead generation activities start from a marketing campaign that is designed to attract potential customers. It represents both inbound and outbound efforts to find and secure leads who have expressed an interest in your product or service.

Almost all sales prospecting activities start once you have secured leads. All sales prospecting activities are directed towards converting your existing leads into paying customers. These activities include outbound calling and emailing leads and are typically conducted by salespeople.

At this point, it is worth considering just who the people involved in sales prospecting activities are.

Sales Prospecting — Who Is Responsible?

While it is true that in most cases, it is the salespeople who are involved in sales prospecting, it’s not always true. Ultimately, just who exactly is responsible for sales prospecting will depend on a business’ size, stage, and budget. There are three common, possible groups of people:

  1. Founders
  2. Sales Representatives
  3. Sales Development Representatives

1. Founders

The thing about most new businesses — that is, startups — is that they usually won’t have a seperate sales team. In these cases, the owners/founders of the business will have to take care of everything. Marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales prospecting… Everything.

2. Sales Representatives

In the next stage, with small/growing companies, the people in charge of sales prospecting tend to be sales reps. These individuals are expected to be the jack-of-all-trades of the sales department and know the whole process inside out. In these cases, these sales reps will handle everything from lead generation to signing the deal. While this is quite easy on a business’s budget, they will be trading off efficiency for it.

3. Sales Development Representatives

Any big, profitable business needs a specialized sales team if it wants to continue its path of success. One key component of a specialized sales team is the sales development representative or SDR. SDRs are dedicated to finding and qualifying leads. That’s all they do. Their one and only goal is to ensure that your business has a reliable stream of new potential customers to focus their selling efforts on.


No matter who is in charge of the sales prospecting activities, they all need to have three key characteristics.

  1. Product Knowledge
  2. Customer Understanding
  3. Research Skills

Let’s take a closer look at these three characteristics and why they’re important.

1. Product Knowledge

It goes without saying anyone working at any business needs to know what they’re selling — whether it’s a product or a service. But this characteristic is especially important in people who are prospecting because they need to be able to identify people who can benefit from the product they sell.

To be an excellent sales prospector, it’s not enough to just know the core features. You must be intimately aware of all of the product/service’s strengths and weaknesses. This includes all potential uses, hidden features and upcoming features. This knowledge will enable you to truly sell their product to a qualified lead and convert them into a paying customer.

2. Customer Understanding

Just as it is important that a sales prospector needs to know what they’re selling, they also need to know who they are selling to. Knowing a potential customer’s needs and wants, pain points and problems means that you will be able to adapt your tactics to showcase how your product can help with the prospect’s problems or fulfill their needs.

Further, knowing what kind of customers need your product will also allow you to find new customers with ease. You will be able to pick out important details like which positions within a customer’s company are most likely to want your product, which industries have a growing need for your solution, and more.

3. Research Skills

In addition to helping out with identifying common factors between your customers, research skills will also have other uses for sales prospectors. A lot of the sales prospecting process involves research. You need to dig through websites, lead generation software, social media platforms, and a wide variety of other sources for customer data and information.

If you don’t know where to find the right information to get you started, you’ve already failed. A skilled sales prospector should be able to find customer data — buying history, business size, location, and industry — and use it to identify new potential leads to act on.


Now that we’ve looked at some of the basics, it’s time we dived into actual methods involved in sales prospecting.

Sales Prospecting — Popular Sales Prospecting Strategies

Outbound Prospecting

As we’ve already mentioned, outbound prospecting is the more traditional form of sales prospecting. This process involves creating a list of businesses and personnel in those businesses that you think will have some use for the product/service you’re selling, and calling those prospects to introduce them to your business and the product/service you’re selling.

Cold Calling

Cold calling is a classic sales activity that involves making unsolicited contact with potential leads. You literally just pick up the phone and call someone who you’ve never contacted before. All in an effort to sell your product or your service.

Cold Emailing

Similar to cold calling, cold emailing is sending unsolicited emails to potential leads. An effective sales email has the ability to capture the recipient’s attention in the subject line and opening sentence. If done right, you can use cold emailing to easily highlight the value your prospect can gain from the product/service you offer.

Social Media Prospecting

This is a relatively recent addition to sales prospecting strategies. With social media gaining prominence, more and more companies are realizing its potential use as more than a marketing tool. With the right social media platform — depending on your client base, of course — you can reach out to and communicate with potential prospects using social media.

Inbound Prospecting

Inbound prospecting takes an approach where you reach out to people who engage with your company. Anyone who visits your website, likes your Facebook post, shares your YouTube video, downloads your ebook — basically, anyone who interacts with your company in any way is fair game.

Warm Calling

Much like cold calling is a thing, so is warm calling. What’s the difference between the two? Here, the call is not so unsolicited as it is when you are cold calling. Otherwise, your goal and the process is much the same.

Warm Emailing

When a lead has already interacted with your business and expressed an interest, you can use warm emailing. In most cases, this interest will be in the form of them signing up to be on your mailing list or giving you their email address in return for something like an ebook. With warm emailing, you take the data they’ve given you and use it to send them a carefully crafted email.

Social Selling

This involves using social media and directly interacting with prospects. With 76% of buyers ready to talk to someone who can provide them what they want, social selling has quite a high success rate. Much like warm emails, you can introduce yourself, learn about the specific needs of the prospect and then help them in their journey to becoming a paying customer. Whether you use Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn doesn’t matter. What does is that you pay attention to the customer and their needs.


Prospect Nurturing

Whether you use the outbound approach or the inbound approach, ultimately, you still need to nurture your prospects. Most prospects will require multiple interactions, several follow-ups, and many emails before they convert into a purchasing customer. So no matter who is doing the prospecting or what method they use, they should also take care to keep up communication and tend to their prospects. This process can involve email campaigns, phone calls, targeted offers and more.

Prospect nurturing is especially important when you are selling a product or service that is complex, has a relatively high price tag, or a long sales cycle.

Sales Prospecting — Is There A Recommended Approach?

There is nothing wrong with either of the sales prospecting approaches. Ultimately, it would be up to an individual business and it’s needs. But if you ask us, we take the stance that inbound prospecting should be prioritized. You should still continue outbound prospecting — cold calling, cold emailing and all that — but the main focus should be on inbound prospecting.

Think about it.

Whatever we’re buying, more often than not, we’ve already heard of it. Word-of-mouth from friends, colleagues, or peers. Social media is also a thing. We look at customer reviews, articles on the news and elsewhere, and industry reports and recommendations. All of this before we ever do anything to buy a product.

All of this means that before a salesperson ever has a chance to even consider prospecting, they are already part way through the sales process. We’re making the jobs easier for them. In this age of widespread awareness, cold calling is almost redundant. In fact, a study from Baylor University shows that experienced salespeople can expect to spend 7.5 hours of cold calling to get just one qualified appointment.

Outbound prospecting has a place in today’s world, sure. If your product is niche or you want to expand your reach, you’re going to have to do some cold calling and cold emailing. But otherwise, it’s time that businesses turned their focus more to inbound prospecting.

Sales Prospecting — 8 Tips That Can Help You Succeed

You might be great at sales prospecting or you might be a newbie. Or maybe you are an industry veteran just refreshing your memory. Whatever it is, it doesn’t hurt to learn some possible tips that can help your sales prospecting process become easier and more successful.

1. Research Your Prospects

Remember how we said research skills are important?

This is where you put those skills into work. Do proper research on any and all of your prospects. Take them one by one. Look at their histories, who they have partnered with, what business decisions they make, what kind of investments, who is funding them — any and every bit of information you can find.

Every little piece of data can be useful later on. Every little piece of information helps make your approach more personalized to the buyer.

In a Harvard Business Review article entitled The End of Solution Sales, the authors float the idea that selling is not necessarily always about how useful your product/service can be to the prospect. Instead, the article argues, that a business’ sales performance is dependent on how it can find the right people and guide them to buying. The article also states that any sales professional should be able to identify points where a potential customer can be guided toward a sale. This is only possible if you’ve done the research and know your targets well.

2. Have A Targeted Approach

You can always cast a wide net and hope for the best, but it won’t always work. You should make sure that you have created an ideal customer profile. If you’ve just started out, you’re going to have to build a profile more or less out of nothing. Or rather, based on who you want your customers to be like.

But if you’ve been in business for a while, this profile should be an amalgamation of your top ten customers or so. Look at their common traits like size of the company, location, who the decision makers are, how much they spend, type of product purchased, and compiled them into a profile.

When you get a potential lead, compare them to this ideal profile. This way, you can prioritize companies that are more likely to buy from you. The more targeted you can be when you are prospecting, the more chances you have of converting prospects into paying customers.

3. Send Well-Crafted Emails

Sending emails is of course a large part of sales prospecting — inbound or outbound. The thing, however, is that you need to send well-crafted emails that are guaranteed to get replies.

There are of course outlines and templates you can use, depending on the situation, but this is something you’ll need to get the hand of by actual practice. Send a few emails based on outlines or templates, see the response, adjust, and so on.

You aren’t going to get positive results 100% of the time, but the better your email is, the more successful you’ll find yourself being in your sales prospecting activities.

4. Use Customer Referrals

This is a given, especially when you are starting out. If you are clever about using customer referrals, you can decrease your customer acquisition cost and at the same time, find more qualified leads without expending much effort on your part.

Whatever your method of sales prospecting is — email, phone, social media, or perhaps in-person — make a habit of asking for referrals after you make a successful sale. This is the best time for it. Why? The customer has just made a new purchase that they’re happy about and they’re all the more likely to respond more positively to your referral request.

5. Connect With Your Prospects

This is perhaps one of the most important tips for sales prospecting. We know you’re running a business and are trying to make money, but never forget that whoever you are prospecting with is also a person. And as such, they will respond better to being treated like a person.

What do we mean?

If you’ve done your research, you should know the ins and outs of the business. If you’ve done good research, you might even know things about the person you’re dealing with. Use this information to connect with them on a personal level. Business talk is great and all, but actual conversation has a ton of great value. We don’t mean to waste your prospect’s time on talking about the weather and current global politics (of course, this depends on the individual prospect and what they respond well to) but rather, don’t make the whole conversation be about the business.

Show your prospects that you understand their needs, pain points, and goals. Empathize with them. If you can get a personal ‘in’ with a prospect on your first interaction, they’re more likely to respond better to you. They’ll listen to your pitch, see how your product/service can help them, and actually make the purchase.

Also, you might end up making a good friend or a peer. Who knows?

6. Call At The Right Time

You are going to be calling a lot. That’s for certain. But that doesn’t mean you call any company at any time, willy nilly. Your research should have given you opening hours for each business you’re going to be contacting.

Reach out to them during those hours.

If a potential prospect is in a different country — which can be the case if you’re selling software or a service on an international level — remember the time zone differences. You might be otherwise busy during those times, but that’s going to have to be put aside if you want to succeed in your business efforts.

A 2017 CallHippo study has the best data on this subject. Best day of the week to call? Wednesday, when everyone is settled into their work week. Best time to call a prospect? Between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.. The second best time? Between 11:00 a.m and 12:00 p.m..

7. Follow Up

Following up is one of the two super-secret secrets to succeeding in sales prospecting. According to a Velocify study, the optimal number of call attempts is six and 95% of all converted leads are reached by the sixth call attempt. 80% of all sales require five follow-ups, at the very least, to close but 44% of sales reps give up after just one rejection.

What does this mean? If you’re not following up with your prospects at least five times (or more) after your initial contact, you’re literally impeding your own success. Check your list of contacts, see how many times you’ve contacted each of them, and if you haven’t followed up enough… do it.

8. Make It A Habit

If follow-up is one half of the super-secret secret of sales prospecting success, what is the other half? Making it a daily habit.

You need to realize that the job of a sales prospector is never done. You need to work every day on your prospecting activities. You need to keep your pipeline full of valid leads, ready to be qualified. That means that you need to be actively cold calling, cold emailing, social selling, and doing every other sales prospecting activity there is. Every day.

It doesn’t matter if you have a hundred leads and you don’t need anymore. 99 of those leads could turn out to be useless. (Probably not, but who knows?) So make daily prospecting a habit and keep at it.


Succeed At Sales Prospecting With OneMoreLead

Sales prospecting is key to your business and your success at it depends entirely on the quality of leads you have. One of the best tools to get leads — verified ones at that — is to use OneMoreLead. With a database of over 40+ million 100% verified B2B prospects to search from and contact, you are bound to find the perfect match for your product or service, no matter your industry.

We take the policy that sales prospecting should not be a difficult and complex process. With OneMoreLead, you can make it an easy, straightforward experience and cut down the time you have to invest in sales prospecting. Use the tips above and combine with OneMoreLead and you will find yourself right on the path to success.

B2B Sales: A Guide to Master B2B Sales in 2020

Whether a long time expert or a fresh-faced newbie, we all need to refresh our knowledge at times. In this article, we’ll go back to basics and look into what B2B Sales are and answer any questions you may have.

The Meaning of B2B Sales

In the simplest of terms, 'B2B sales' is short for business-to-business sales. It’s a process where one business makes a commercial transaction with another. This can occur in several circumstances. For instance:

  1. A business sourcing materials for their production process for output, for example, a food manufacturer purchasing salt.
  2. A business hiring the services of another for operational reasons. Say, a car showroom hiring an accountancy firm to audit their finances.
  3. A business re-selling goods and services produced by others, like a supermarket purchasing goods and reselling them.

B2B Sales is distinct and different from B2C sales — business-to-consumer sales — which are instances where businesses conduct transactions with individuals.

Comparing B2B Sales and B2C Sales

Market research company Forrester’s findings show the estimated total size of the US B2B sales market was around $9 trillion in 2018 with B2B eCommerce accounting for $1.1 trillion. They’ve also predicted that US B2B eCommerce will hit a whopping $1.8 Trillion by 2023. Similar statistics for US B2C sales show that US B2C eCommerce sales only added up to $512 billion in 2018—less than half the value of the B2B market.

There are, of course, similarities between the two, such as:

  1. Both B2B and B2C sales need unique sales processes with a well-defined strategy, regardless of their length.
  2. B2B and B2C sales both require strong and well-integrated marketing, without which both sides will see a loss of sales.
  3. Whether it’s B2B or B2C, customer service is vital and the customer should have the ability to reach the service team and are attended at the top level.

But for our purposes, we also need to look at why the B2B market is so large when compared to the B2C market and how the sales process differs between the two?

B2B vs. B2C: How the B2B Sales Process Differs from B2C

The B2B Sales Process

Loosely defined, the sales process is a series of steps — a journey, if you will — that a buyer goes through before they commit to making a purchase. In B2B or B2C sales, the salesperson’s job is to guide as many buyers as they can to the end of the sales process and complete a sale.

So, what does a B2B sales process look like?

b2b sales funnel
The typical sales funnel.

We can simplify the B2B sales process to look like the simple funnel above, which is pretty much exactly the same as a B2C sales funnel, except that the finer details of the steps are different.

All sales funnels describe the journey from awareness when a potential buyer is first made aware of a product or service, all the way to purchase when the transaction is completed. It’s the marketing team’s job to make prospects aware of the product/service and make sure that their interest is piqued. The sales team will take over from there and guide the buyers through the funnel and complete the purchase.

But while the sales funnel illustrates the buying process as a linear journey, it must be understood that it is a simplified model that does not always accurately portray real-life scenarios. Buyers can and will enter and leave the funnel at different stages; sometimes they make complete purchases directly after they become aware of it without ever speaking to a sales rep. What must be understood is that they can move between stages at will.

However, the funnel still remains an excellent method to visualize the steps a buyer takes to purchase, even though it is not as inflexible as it used to be several decades ago. Which leads to our next question:

How has the B2B Sales Process changed?

The biggest change in the B2B sales process over the last decades is easily the fact that buyers are taking more control of the sales process than they ever did before. In fact, the millennial generation and Generation Z that follow them are very involved and carry out a lot of initial research before committing to a purchase.

These digital natives have become integrated into the decision-making process at their companies and the data from Forrester shows that about 68% of B2B buyers prefer to do their research independently online, using social media and review sites as their primary source of information, which can reduce the effectiveness of old-school marketing and sales tactics.

After they conduct their own research, the buyers will identify the companies they wish to reach out to, visit these companies’ websites and move along the sales funnel at their pace. Which leads to the biggest question that needs to be asked, how can B2B sales reps still have an actual impact in the modern version of the buyer’s journey?

B2B Sales Strategies and Tactics for a Modern Era

Cold calling isn’t quite dead. However, it might be getting there soon because it is not anywhere near as effective as it used to be. As buyers have become savvier, businesses have to adapt their strategies for both B2B and B2C sales. New and more subtle ways to connect with potential buyers include methods such as:

Strategic Selling

Introduced by the Miller Heiman Group, strategic selling is a tactic that focuses on helping businesses win complex deals with an insights-driven, scalable approach. The core of this approach lies in being able to identify different points of contact at the buyer’s company and estimating their influence on the sales process. Then the salesperson can adjust how they approach each point of contact and communicate with them to ensure that the final sale goes through smoothly.

Solution Selling

Solution selling focuses more on the needs of the prospect more than it does on the actual product or service being sold. In this strategy, the salesperson needs to identify and diagnose the needs of the potential buyer, their challenges, and goals and recommend products or services that can help them overcome these challenges and meet their goals.

Account-based Selling

Global research and advisory firm Gartner predicted that account-based selling would be adopted by 75% of B2B businesses by 2019. This strategy is focused on treating every single account as a market of one. Salespeople select target accounts, investigate and identify their needs, craft an approach that promotes personalized values of the product or service being sold and reaching out.

Social Selling

As previously stated, Forrester’s statistics show that 68% of B2B customers research on search engines and social media before making a purchase. Social selling focuses on social media to identify and engage with prospects. The goal of social selling is to build a relationship with prospect companies as the first step of selling and understanding their needs. In today’s market, this approach involves using social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and others to share relevant content in order to engage potential buyers or nurture existing ones.

B2B Sales Tools

As many tactics as there might be, B2B salespeople, don’t need to go about doing all of their jobs on their own. With more and more buyers conducting research independently, sales reps need to be more competent at identifying these buyers and selling to them. While this might sound like an impossible task, it doesn’t have to be.

There are many tools and services that exist that can help B2B sales teams deal with the modern market by generating sales leads from anonymous website visitors. These tools work by utilizing website visitor identification software to let sales reps see the visitors who browse their website, identify key decision-makers and proactively make contact.

OneMoreLead is one such service.

OneMoreLead

It is a fact that the people who visit a website are more likely to make a purchase than someone who has never heard of the company, which means that every single visitor should be important to the sales team. With OneMoreLead’s help, businesses can ensure that they don’t let ready-to-buy leads escape.

OneMoreLead can give sales teams valid, useful data that can allow companies to reach out to the right contacts and beat their competitors to the sale. In fact, with OneMoreLead, sales teams can expect up to 147% faster conversion to sales. With more than 40+ million 100% verified B2B prospects to search from, any sales team is bound to find the perfect match for their product or service.

In Conclusion…

B2B sales is something that has evolved a lot and is still undergoing a lot of change. Technology is the biggest disrupter and it has given a lot of power to the consumers — which is not a bad thing by any measure, but it does mean that sales teams and sales reps also need to stay on their feet and up-to-date with modern methods. Fortunately, that is not hard, what with specialized tools and technology available for use by sales teams. Using these tools, such as OneMoreLead, sales teams can take initiative while still providing a valuable experience to their prospective buyers and see their efforts succeed.