9 tips for sales prospecting in 2023
People send 347.3 billion emails every day, alongside 23 billion text messages. Social media is just as busy, with 100 billion messages sent on Facebook and other sites daily. And we can’t forget about the phone for sales prospecting, even in 2023.
The picture is clear: your prospects have a lot of people vying for their attention. With these 9 tips, you can improve prospecting—and make sure your prospects take notice.
1. Personalization is king
Did you know 72% of people won’t even look at an email if it isn’t personalized?
Why does personalization matter so much? Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes. They’re bombarded by messages every day. A lot of those messages are generic, and many of them don’t even begin to address the prospect’s reality.
Personalizing your messages when you’re prospecting changes the picture. Suddenly, the prospect is at the center of the interaction. This message is about their business, their successes, and their pain points.
2. Keep it short and sweet
Studies have shown that the “sweet spot” for subject lines is around 7 words long. Likewise, you want to keep your messages concise.
Your prospects are, after all, busy people with crowded inboxes. You don’t want to take up too much of their time. Instead, get to the point and let them know what you want.
3. Aim for subject line success
If your subject line doesn’t grab the prospect’s attention, then they’re not even looking at the rest of the message.
There are plenty of tips on how to craft a great subject line, as well as plenty of examples that wowed the recipients.
4. Use a template to craft better emails
Personalizing messages doesn’t mean you need to write all of them from scratch.
Templates can help you craft better prospecting messages. Some of them use tried-and-true formulas. Using one of these templates can help you attract and hold the prospect’s attention. They also show you where to plug in details about the prospect or their company.
5. Sales prospecting success means persevering
Follow-up is probably the most neglected part of the sales prospecting process. In fact, 48% of sales reps never attempt to follow up with a prospect.
While it might seem like the prospect isn’t interested, the numbers tell a different story. Almost two-thirds of prospects say no 4 or more times before they say yes to a meeting.
The moral of the story? If you want to be successful, you need to keep following up with your prospects.
6. Qualify and categorize prospects
In 2023, we can do more research on our prospects, with a lot less effort.
You can run a search on LinkedIn and come up with profiles that match your criteria. Better yet, your search can be as specific as you like. There are even tools that let you export search data from LinkedIn, so you can compile lists.
Other tools help you rate prospects. Someone might be a great match for your search criteria, but they’re just not interested. Another prospect may be a less-than-perfect fit, but they’re showing more interest.
Lead scoring can inform how you approach these prospects. It may even dictate how often you follow up and how much effort you put into building a relationship with them.
Being picky is okay
The old-school method of contacting every single person on a list is time-intensive, and it doesn’t always yield great results. Instead, look for prospects who are good fits for your business. You can find them by seeking out lookalikes of your best customers and creating buyer personas.
7. Tech tools are your secret sales prospecting weapons
We already mentioned tools that can help you use LinkedIn more effectively and tools that can help you rate leads. What else do you need when you’re sales prospecting?
Today’s sales tools include:
- AI tools to assist with scheduling and even writing messages
- Assessment tools that analyze lead behavior and tell you when to act
- Tools that analyze prospects and determine if they’re a good “fit”
- Tools that keep track of what messages were sent to a prospect and when
These tools can speed up your sales prospecting and improve response rates, so make use of them.
8. Deliver value in every message
If you want to stand out in someone’s inbox, then shift your focus to delivering value to them every time you send a message. Always ask yourself what your prospect is getting out of your message.
Sending a quick note to ask for a meeting might have value to you, but what does it do for the prospect? Why should they open that email? More than that, why should they say yes to a meeting?
Delivering value flips the script, especially when you’re sending follow-up. Prospects will look forward to your next note.
How do you deliver value?
Delivering value doesn’t need to be difficult. Sometimes, it’s as simple as sharing a link to an intriguing article you found. Maybe it talks about the prospect’s industry or how other companies are dealing with their specific pain point.
You can also share insights about similar companies that use your solution. Remember, though, knowledge is valuable, so don’t share too much. Give the prospect enough to intrigue them, then ask them for a meeting.
9. Pick a channel, any channel
If you’re having trouble reaching your prospects or getting responses, it’s time to switch channels.
One of the issues with sales prospecting in 2023 is how many different ways you can reach a prospect. Of course, that’s also a boon for most sales reps. If one channel isn’t working, you can try another.
Popular channels include:
- Social media, like LinkedIn
- Text messages
- Phone calls
Any single one of these channels can work. Some of them are better than others, depending on your prospects and their industry.
Older prospects and those in industries that are less “online” may prefer an old-school phone call or an email. Younger prospects might be more likely to answer you on LinkedIn.
Cold outreach can improve your prospects
Plenty of people say cold outreach is dead, but they’re likely not prospecting the right way. These tips will help you adapt your sales prospecting process to the business world of 2023. In turn, your success with cold outreach should skyrocket.
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