Imagine you are talking to a stranger while they keep staring at your watch. Clearly, they are not listening to what you are saying. When you’re done talking, you feel like you’ve just been wasting your time. This is exactly what selling without prospecting feels like.

What is prospecting in sales? Prospecting allows you to make every conversation with a lead meaningful and valuable for your business. It makes every prospect a good fit to become your customer. It saves a substantial amount of time by making you research your potential buyers before you send them an email or call them over the phone.

The concept of sales keeps changing. Businesses keep coming up with new and creative ways to approach their audience and pursue them to make a purchase. Sales conversations these days are getting more and more focused on the buyer. Sales representatives need to use effective hacks and tips to be successful in their careers. That’s why companies and salespersons have started prospecting.

In this post, we will discuss the growing sales landscape and introduce the concept of prospecting. We will talk about the various strategies and processes used by businesses for sales prospecting. Let’s go through the prospecting definition first.

What is Prospecting?

What does prospecting mean? Prospecting is that phase or stage of selling that takes on the most considerable amount of time and energy of the sales department of a business. It is also the most crucial part of the sales process.

What is prospecting in sales? Prospecting helps organizations initiate and develop new business and get new clients by researching the trends in the market, changing consumers’ preferences, and forecasting the revenue that can be potentially generated by the business through the sale of specific products. The goal of prospecting is to make the prospects or potential customers go through a series of desired actions until they purchase from your business.

Why is Sales Prospecting So Important?

If you are wondering why prospecting meaning sales forecasting is so important, we have summarized a few reasons for it.

1. Identify Your Best Prospects

When you run a marketing campaign, you target reaching the entire relevant audience you think could potentially be interested in your product or service. But if you do prospecting, you can better filter out the best-suited customers from the entire target audience. In this way, prospecting actually saves your time and budget for marketing. The more accurately you target your ads, the more return you’ll get on your advertising expenses, and the quicker you’ll be able to convert your prospects into your customers.

This means you need to find out who truly needs your product or service and then focus your outreach efforts on those individuals the most.

2. Make Faster Sales

Salespersons who are focused on prospecting can get more and faster sales. In fact, marketers who are top performers in firms in the act of prospecting can generate three times more sales meetings or conversions than those who are termed as low performers. Low performers are often those who do not prospect.

This is because those who believe in prospecting can generate better quality leads. Their leads have a high chance of converting into customers because they can relate more to the marketing message sent out to them.

A sales offer at a retail store

3. Differentiate Between Leads and Prospects

Prospecting allows you to differentiate between these two categories of people: leads and prospects. Prospects are those leads that have a better chance of becoming your customers sooner, as they are similar to your buyer persona and willingness to listen to your further messages.

Leads are those who have just given you some point of contact and allowed you to get in touch with them with any updates that may or may not interest them. It is harder to convert leads into customers than it is to convert prospects. Leads often need to be filtered out further through a sales funnel before they can be entirely influenced to buy from your business.

contact form on a Strikingly user's website to get leads

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

How to Do Sales Prospecting?

Prospecting is a process. It cannot be done in just a single step. It requires time and effect but is worth it at the end of it. Businesses that believe in prospecting can get fruitful results by the end of the process.

There is no hard and fast rule on prospecting, but a general procedure can be followed by taking the following steps.

1. Research Your Prospect to See What Value You Can Provide

As a salesperson, you need to ensure that you are providing value to your prospects. To do that successfully, you need to put yourself in their shoes and see where they are coming from. Find out about the problems they face and how you can solve them. Think about the contribution you can make to make their life easier. Determine if this is workable. Qualify and prioritize your prospects.

What is prospecting? If you want to answer this question in simple terms, it is all about this step. Researching your prospect is the most critical aspect of prospecting.

 a service providing company describing the value it provides to its customers

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

2. Prioritize Your Prospects

This step is about arranging your prospects in a sequence of priorities. Those that you think have a better chance of converting into customers sooner should be given more attention. This saves a lot of time and costs in the marketing process, as it helps us avoid paying much attention to those prospects that have a very slim chance of converting.

Assign a value to each prospect, and place them on a scale. This way, it’ll be easier for you to organize your marketing efforts in a way that gives the highest priority to prospects that are on the higher end of the scale.

3. Prepare Personalized Pitches

The most effective way to make a pitch is through prospecting. This means now that you know where each prospect is coming from, you can prepare a personalized pitch for each one of them. Instead of sending a general marketing message to all, you can tune in more with their mentality and pitch them separately.

 contact form of a Strikingly user's website inviting custom or personalized orders

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

In this step, you can really make use of your prospects’ social media profiles. The kind of posts they make will show you their feelings, the type of experiences they face, and the kind of solutions they are looking for. The best pitch is one that comes out of being entirely in sync with your prospect’s emotions.

social media

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

4. Iterate the Process For Improvement

Once you complete the process of prospecting, analyze the results and find ways to make it better. Every time you conduct the process, it should be implemented better than the last time. Confirm the availability of your budget, and get going for the next round. Constant prospecting is key to the success of your marketing and sales efforts. The prospecting definition itself indicates that you are putting in extra effort to make sales and should bring about better results and return.

Other Tips to Include in Your Prospecting Definition and Process

Here are a few other actions you can take to make your prospecting more effective.

  • Classify your prospecting with ratings.
  • View your prospect’s LinkedIn and Facebook profiles to understand them better.
  • Subscribe to the blogs written or created by your prospects, if any.
  • Follow your prospects on Twitter to find out more about their interests and focus.
  • Use a combination of phone and email communication.
  • Make your pitch to individual prospects in person.
  • Follow up with your prospects diligently after making a pitch.

So what is prospecting in sales? It includes all the elements and stages that we discussed above. These kinds of processes are easy to implement if you have other areas of your business well taken care of.

For example, suppose your brand website is running smoothly. In that case, you’ll be able to give your prospects a comfortable browsing experience of going through the details of your business, products, and services. That’s why we highly recommend you build your website on a platform that offers the best customer support service and provides you ready to use templates to use as your web design.

At Strikingly, we offer you all of that and even more. Many of our users can create a complete website on our platform in just a couple of hours without writing a single line of code. Some of them also attach a simple store to their site, enabling them to make sales and accept payments directly from the site.

You can do the same and make your prospecting and other sales processes easier by registering for a free account on Strikingly. You will be able to access most of our tools and features and familiarize yourself with them in our free plan before you actually decide to start building your website.