Updated: Dec 5, 2022
Prospecting is critical for sales success, as it sets the foundation for your lead funnel.
By Aaron Hart, BDR M Sales Growth Advisors
In my humble opinion, prospecting can be the hardest part of being a BDR. A prospect list often determines how your next week is going to go, so in order to keep your lead funnel full of quality, it is important to not only stand out to new prospects but also make sure you are precise about who you consider an ideal buyer.
Here’s a question that I’m certain many a sales pro will debate: Is it better to have fewer quality leads or to have as many leads as possible? When it comes to extremes, the first option is definitely better. Similarly to how most salespeople don’t want to waste a prospect’s time on the phone, you shouldn’t want to waste your time either by researching prospects who clearly don’t align with your definition of an Ideal Client.
In addition to making sure you are searching for suitable leads to fill the funnel, be sure that you're contacting the actual decision maker and not just any old employee. (I am still baffled by the amount of cold emails and even calls I get by uninformed salespeople who ask if I want to schedule a meeting to discuss how their product/service can help M Sales, especially since I have little to no influence on that decision as a BDR.)
Understanding the decision maker
When it comes to representing yourself and your company in front of a decision maker, the goal is to substantiate, differentiate, and resonate what you offer to stand out from the competition. Therefore, you need to not only understand their background, job objectives, and any potential challenges they face daily, but you must also be knowledgeable of their evaluation process as well as how their decisions impact the company as a whole.
Another great place to start is by taking a deep dive into a prospect’s LinkedIn profile. The second place to go for research is the company's website, as it often provides a great source of background information on items such as company culture, core values, customer profiles, and even partner portfolios. That info could be very telling for how to best approach a decision maker and position your company as a solution provider.
The warm call
With all this information, you can now specifically tailor your messages in order to better differentiate yourself from the competition. However, it’s important to remember that you don’t want to “sell” during the initial outreach to the prospect, rather, you want to warm up your prospect by first showing them how you add value as a subject matter expert.
Scott Moss, principal of MSGA, explains, “With the warm call, the assumption is that through sending previous emails or connecting on Linkedin with a prospect that there’s some credibility established before the first phone call is made.”
Moss adds, “The trick is in the content and making sure it's applicable to the person you're sending it to so that it resonates with them.” CEOs, for example, get plenty of emails each day on top of a plethora of phone calls, so you have to differentiate yourself from the rest. Sharing information like customer success stories, articles, and data that are relevant can help set up your later call for success.
By putting time into your prospecting research, you can better connect with ideal clients and position yourself for a higher likelihood of success.