What is prospecting meaning? Prospecting may not seem like a difficult word, but it is actually a tricky and challenging process. Because of the complexity of buyers’ behavior, there is fierce competition for finding customers.
So, here we intend to make prospecting in sales an easier task and explain all the ways that make prospecting convenient and targeted.
So stay tuned.
What does it mean when someone is prospecting?
Sometimes it is possible that you as a marketer or employer don’t know the answer to some of these questions, such as: what is prospecting meaning or what does it mean when someone is prospecting?
Throughout the marketing, sales, and business growth process, these terms are often thrown around without being properly defined.
Due to IT development and the digital communication age, it is possible that prospecting meaning and its techniques and methods have changed even more than in the past.
Prospecting is the first and most critical part of the sales funnel of your company or organization.
Accordingly, whenever your prospect needs your product or service and is willing to pay for it, you’re prospecting.
What is a prospect?
A prospect is referred to as any person or organization that definitely meets the criteria considered by the seller or marketer to be a likely customer.
It is better to know that the first customers are very important to you because they teach you how to develop your business.
An important point: Not every person or company has to be interested in what you’re selling to be considered a potential customer.
They just need to meet the requirements to become a customer.
Always remember this principle that every prospect can be a lead for your business, but not all customers are necessarily loyal customers.
What is the difference between a lead and a prospect?
If you want to know what a lead is, leads are potential customers or prospects who have expressed their interest in your brand or company through actions such as visiting your website, viewing your LinkedIn company pages, subscribing to a blog, or registering for a free training course.
Whereas a potential customer is a lead that is qualified and aligned with your target audience community.
As a matter of fact, depending on your buyer persona criteria, a qualified lead can be considered a high-likely customer even if it has a limited connection or interaction with your company.
Note that although a lead and a prospect are defined differently, you are pursuing the same goal for both:
Growing leads and potential customers to the point where they buy your service or product.
The importance of prospecting strategy
The prospecting strategy is exactly what initially provides growth opportunities for your company and business.
Bear in mind, though, that it’s up to your team of sales reps to lead buyers to use unique prospecting channels and then convert them into real customers and buyers.
Instead of spending a lot of time filling your contact list, a prospecting strategy helps you identify the problems buyers face with your products or services, then develop creative and diverse solutions to communicate with them.
You can choose several methods of prospecting to get started.
If you don’t know what methods to use to launch prospecting campaigns, don’t worry.
In the rest of the article, we’ll examine customer acquisition techniques and examples of their methods.
What are the steps of prospecting in sales?
The process of prospecting
The process of identifying, attracting, contacting potential customers, keeping, and converting them into permanent customers in order to create new business is referred to as the prospecting process.
After all, prospecting is the way sales reps and marketing teams get in touch with prospects or qualified leads and put the sales process in motion.
Prospecting can take the form of a cold email sent to someone who matches your buyer persona.
On top of that, a call to a consumer in your target community or a thank you message to a qualified lead on LinkedIn or Twitter or other social platforms can be forms of prospecting.
The steps of the prospecting process
Here are the basic steps of the customer acquisition process you can take to uncover new opportunities for your business:
1. Research your prospects and their business:
Anything you can find out about a potential customer is considered research in the prospecting process.
However, you must remember that before reaching your target audience, you need to know your potential and qualified people as much as possible through research.
It is interesting to note that in the world of B2B and B2C business, research is often done by viewing the LinkedIn profiles and other social media accounts of potential buyers and looking at their company pages.
That’s why LinkedIn is the best place for prospecting and generating new leads.
In fact, this professional networking platform allows you to quickly and easily find your target audience, get their insights, and analyze them so that you can explore and connect with your leads and prospects with consummate ease.
As such, at this step, you need to visit different platforms and databases, as well as prepare a list of people who can potentially buy your product.
In addition, search for the contact information of your target customers.
According to professional marketers, in prospecting and marketing research, you should research the following items, so that you can prioritize your business goals with the help of this information:
- The current state of the target market
- Market needs
- Customer categories
- Customer needs
- The behavior of customers and users
- History of the target market
- Capital and capacity of your target market
- Similar examples of failed customer acquisition
- Competitor analysis
It’s worthwhile to mention that paying attention to all of the above items can provide a clear perspective on your business.
Keep in mind that after checking the above factors, the main prospecting process will begin.
In the meantime, you must use effective and efficient prospecting techniques and methods so that the sale of your products or services is satisfactory.
2. Qualify and prioritize your prospects:
Determine if a customer or prospect is worth targeting and pursuing and if the prospect with a buyer persona is a good fit for your business. If so, how do you prioritize them?
Qualified leads are usually ranked based on how likely they are to convert into customers or their potential value for your business.
In addition, prioritizing your prospects will likely depend on factors such as your role, your vertical, and the preferences of your sales team.
These features are usually evaluated by figuring out and scoring leads or potential customers.
Accordingly, at this step, you should check the list provided in the previous step and list those who are more likely to buy in the new category.
However, if you want to save time and money and maximize your trading potential, you need to know where you can spend your time and effort more efficiently. And that just starts with prioritizing your prospects.
It is important to know that you can qualify your prospects based on certain characteristics such as timing and deal size.
Do you know how to qualify your leads to become legitimate customers, or in other words, score your potential customers?
Initially, in order to prioritize and score potential customers, you can measure your quality metrics for each prospect by a percentage between 1% and 100% based on how effective they are in the sales process.
Since deal volume is probably more important than deal completion time, for example, you consider the percentage of deal size to be 60% and time to be 40%.
Now we can assign a score to each of these values for each potential customer.
Then, when this step is finished, you can get your prospect’s value by multiplying the percentage considered for each criterion.
Finally, the final sum of these scores can determine whether or not this lead should be on your prioritized list as a likely customer.
For example, if a prospect’s value is 80% and the dimension weight score is 60, the final score for each potential customer will be 48.
3. Prepare for outreach
At this step, you can prepare a personalized presentation for each of your target prospects.
That is, you must be able to personalize the message you’re going to deliver to your prospects to effectively communicate and engage them.
Of course, you need more information about each of your prospects to personalize your communications.
To do that, you can do it through the following ways:
- Reviewing potential clients’ articles on their blogs
- Reviewing social media profiles of potential customers
- Checking potential customers’ websites
- Reviewing LinkedIn business pages of potential clients
- Visiting prospects’ About section on LinkedIn
By discovering more about your target audience’s business, interests, articles, and recent posts, you can check if you have common pain points and mutual connections with them, if there is a defining event, or if there is a reason for outreach.
4. Reach out to uncover potential customers
At this step, you can first get in touch with your audience through the channels you think they prefer to be connected to, whether it’s email, phone, events, or social media.
Keep in mind that engaging should be tailored to your industry, business, and prospects’ interests.
In making the first contact, we advise you to observe the following important points:
- Try to be friendly and informal with your potential customers. For example, compliment their published content or comment on their posts, or like and celebrate their posts on social media like LinkedIn, etc.
- Be sure to send a personalized message to each of your prospects and address a topic of interest or challenge to them and offer a solution.
- Since this step focuses on the customer’s needs, try engaging them to provide value.
5. Evaluate and track the ways of attracting your customers
Once you’ve researched potential customers, their businesses, and interests, identified them and prepared to connect with them, it’s time to monitor and measure which channels are more effective to create quality customers.
This step will help you evaluate and track the different ways to attract and reach out to your prospects and determine if the customer feedback is positive or not.
Additionally, as you go through the process of prospecting, you should evaluate how you uncovered challenges, understood the decision-making process for the client, identified potential or successful outcomes, and obtained the prospect’s access to funding.
By continuously evaluating your prospecting process, you can definitely improve your prospecting techniques and performance significantly in the future.
What are 3 prospecting techniques?
In the world of digital marketing, the more intelligent and modern techniques you use to prospect, the more loyal customers and sales you’ll have.
As you know, one of the skills of a successful seller or marketer is to increase the number of buyers.
Therefore, in the world of digital marketing, one of the biggest challenges of any business and organization is business development through customer acquisition.
So, identifying and attracting potential customers is the most difficult step. Especially if they are not familiar with prospecting techniques.
Certainly, it is necessary to attract customers, to know the target audience, and how to use prospecting techniques.
As a rule of thumb, the smarter and more modern techniques you use to get qualified leads, the more loyal customers and sales you will have.
The best email marketing techniques:
If you want to send an effective email that the recipient will open, you need to follow some hot tips:
1. Use an engaging headline: The headline should be written based on the prospect’s interest. It is better to avoid clichéd hook sentences.
2. Write a personalized opening sentence: The first emails you send to your prospects should start with something about them, not you.
This process is about prospecting problems and determining how to add value to their business or processes.
3. Establish a productive relationship: Now is the time to build a relationship. In the opening sentences of the email, the prospect will understand why we have sent him the email. But after that, he should know why he should care about what we do.
4. Use a clear Call-To-Action (CTA): offer the prospect a specific time or ask a closed-ended question to reveal a golden opportunity.
You can use the following examples:
“Do you have 5 minutes tomorrow morning for us to call you?” or “Do you have half an hour of free time between 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM on Wednesday?”
As a whole, to get the best results in terms of prospecting, it is better to send them a calendar invitation along with sending an email. You can write your personalized message in the description section of this invitation.
The best social media marketing techniques
With the following techniques, you can make the most of social media platforms to research and keep in touch with potential buyers:
1. Try Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and other online advertising methods to target your social media ads.
2. Search your qualified leads and follow their social media pages
3. Increase your network of connections on LinkedIn
4. Make sure your prospects can easily find you on your website or social media pages
The best techniques for prospecting through referrals
In order to get referrals and get them to introduce you to others, you can follow these killer tips:
1. Check out your successful competitors
2. Use discounts and special offers to attract prospects
3. Become a sponsor of events
4. Attend seminars and webinars where your prospects are present
5. Do not neglect the people around you and look for prospects in your friends’ circle
What are examples of prospecting?
There are many examples of prospecting methods to identify potential customers and attract unenthusiastic clients, some of which are very popular.
Some of these common methods are:
1. Social selling:
Nowadays, due to the expansion of the use of social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram, prospecting via them can be very useful.
Accordingly, one of the most effective ways to find prospective customers is through popular social networks.
Social selling can be done by using social media to attract potential buyers through different online networks.
With this strategy, sales professionals and marketers rely heavily on content posting, sharing, and comments to drive engagement with customers.
The main goal of social media marketing is for sales professionals and marketers to become thought leaders by posting their knowledge on platforms like LinkedIn or Instagram, and other social media.
Having said that, using social media can help your sales team connect and engage with people who are already looking for your services or products and as a result, turn it into an organic prospecting strategy.
In the following examples, you can see how to use social networks to prospect:
Example #1: Use LinkedIn groups:
One of the great examples of prospecting through social media is using LinkedIn groups.
LinkedIn groups are the best place to discover qualified leads. By joining LinkedIn groups, in addition to increasing brand awareness, you can interact constructively with members by commenting, asking questions, and sharing useful information.
Example #2: Use tag or mention:
In addition, to better connect with customers on social networks such as Twitter or LinkedIn, mention or tag them on your LinkedIn posts or comments.
With this technique, you are known and seen as a friend to them.
As a result, it is much easier to sell products and services to those who feel they know you.
Example #3: Use the repost or re-share feature
Some users may believe that reposting or re-sharing other people’s LinkedIn posts is of little benefit to you.
However, by reposting your prospects’ content, not only are you paying tribute to them, but you can also increase engagement with them.
2. Phone calls:
Although telemarketing is one of the traditional methods of prospecting, it can be said that this method is one of the most difficult and time-consuming ways of marketing and finding customers.
In this way, the seller directly communicates with the customer and tries to stimulate the prospect to buy the product or service, which is also called the cold calling marketing method.
It is very important to remember that in the telemarketing or cold calling method, you should be able to elicit many opinions and suggestions from your customers without disturbing them and using previously prepared questions.
One example of telemarketing or cold calling is automated voice messages that encourage a prospect to do something, whether it’s visiting a website or making a phone call.
One of the least expensive internet prospecting methods is to find likely customers through email marketing.
In the method of searching for clients via email outreach, instead of sending postal packages, you can find potential customers in your business by sending advertising messages and specifying gifts & festivals.
In fact, for prospecting through email marketing, it is better to know information such as the age, gender, job title, industry, and location of your consumers so that prospecting becomes helpful and beneficial.
One of the best examples of great email marketing is sending congratulatory or thank-you emails to your prospects.
Moreover, it is better to know that promotional emails, which are common examples of customer acquisition, like automated voice messages, are designed to encourage a person to do something.
Related Questions & Answers
What is prospecting in sales?
Prospecting in sales refers to the process of identifying and qualifying potential customers or clients who are likely to purchase a product or service. It involves researching and analyzing a target market to determine who may be interested in what a business has to offer. The ultimate goal of prospecting is to generate leads and build a sales pipeline that can be nurtured and converted into sales. Prospecting can be done through various channels such as email, phone, social media, or in-person networking events. Effective prospecting is essential for any successful sales strategy and requires a combination of research, communication skills, and persistence.
What is prospecting in marketing?
Prospecting in marketing refers to the process of identifying potential customers or clients who may be interested in a particular product or service. This involves researching and analyzing customer behavior, demographics, and buying habits to create a target audience. The ultimate goal of prospecting in marketing is to generate leads and convert them into paying customers. It is a critical component of the marketing process and requires a well-planned strategy, including tactics such as content marketing, social media advertising, and email campaigns. By identifying and reaching out to potential customers, companies can increase brand awareness, drive sales, and achieve their marketing objectives.
Prospecting in sales examples
Here are some examples of prospecting in sales:
- Cold calling: This involves calling a list of potential customers who have shown interest in your product or service.
- Email marketing: Sending emails to potential customers to introduce your product or service and entice them to take action.
- Networking: Attending events, conferences, or trade shows to meet potential customers and generate leads.
- Referrals: Asking satisfied customers to refer their friends and colleagues to your product or service.
- Social media: Using social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to connect with potential customers and build relationships.
These are just a few examples of prospecting in sales. The goal is to identify and engage with potential customers to generate interest and eventually close deals.
What is prospecting in business?
Prospecting in business is the process of identifying potential customers or clients who may be interested in your products or services. It is an essential part of sales and marketing, as it allows businesses to expand their customer base and generate more revenue. Prospecting can involve a range of activities, such as researching target markets, attending networking events, cold calling, email outreach, and social media engagement. By developing a successful prospecting strategy, businesses can increase their chances of finding new customers and building long-term relationships with them.
What is Prospecting Personality?
Prospecting personality is a set of traits that help individuals succeed in sales prospecting. These traits may include persistence, resilience, strong communication skills, empathy, adaptability, and a competitive nature. People with a strong prospecting personality tend to be self-motivated, goal-oriented, and have a natural ability to connect with others. They are often skilled at identifying and pursuing new business opportunities, building relationships with prospects, and navigating through objections to close deals. Developing a prospecting personality can be beneficial not only in sales but also in other areas of business that involve networking and relationship-building.
What is prospecting in network marketing?
Prospecting in network marketing refers to the process of identifying and pursuing potential customers or business partners who may be interested in your product or service. This involves building relationships and making connections through various means such as social media, events, and referrals. The goal is to create interest, generate leads, and ultimately convert those leads into sales or new members of your network marketing team. Prospecting is a key activity in network marketing and requires a combination of skills such as communication, relationship building, and persistence.
What is prospecting in real estate?
In real estate, prospecting refers to the process of identifying and reaching out to potential clients or leads. This involves researching and identifying potential properties to sell or clients to represent, as well as reaching out to them through various means such as cold calling, direct mail, and social media. The goal of prospecting in real estate is to build a pipeline of potential clients and properties that can lead to future sales and transactions. It requires a combination of strong communication skills, market knowledge, and persistence to be successful in real estate prospecting.
What is prospecting in advertising?
Prospecting in advertising refers to the process of identifying and reaching out to potential customers or clients for a particular product or service. It involves researching and targeting specific demographics and industries to increase the likelihood of a successful sale or lead generation. This can be done through various forms of advertising, such as print ads, digital ads, social media marketing, and more. The goal of prospecting in advertising is to build awareness and interest in a product or service, and ultimately convert prospects into paying customers.
Now that you know the prospecting meaning and how you can implement a prospecting process for sales, and how to improve your prospecting strategies, it’s time to start your prospecting campaigns.
Today, with the techniques you learn about customer acquisition in our article, you can expand your sales more effectively.
And besides, with the help of prospecting methods like cold emailing, calling, social selling, referrals, and video content, you can convert more qualified leads into regular customers.
What does prospecting mean in business?
Prospecting is any method or tactic that leads to finding a new potential customer for your business.
What is the simple meaning of prospect?
Simply put, a prospect is an individual, company, or organization meeting the seller’s criteria for becoming a likely customer.