You're certainly not alone if you're finding it tough to fill your sales pipeline with new prospects.
Using tactics such as cold calling and unsolicited emails has become a staple of an outbound sales prospecting strategy, but for most B2B companies this approach just isn't working as well as it used to. Research by HubSpot has proven this to be the case:
- It takes an average of 18 calls to connect with a buyer
- Only 24% of sales emails are actually opened
- More than 40% of sales reps say prospecting is the "most challenging" part of their job
Further research by Baylor University has found that an experienced salesperson can expect to spend 7.5 hours of cold calling to get one qualified appointment. Sound familiar?
Wasting your time
It's not just the poorer results that are signalling the end of outbound sales prospecting, sales teams around the world realise that their efforts are in vain too.
Insights from 420 sales professionals in the US, UK and Ireland have found that 17% of the working week, on average, is spent on unproductive prospecting, rather than physically selling.
With your prospects 57% of the way through the sales decision-making process even before they've spoken to your sales team, it's time for your company to start paying more attention to buyers, who they are and what they need.
Inbound sales prospecting
Inbound prospecting is the art of approaching and selling to buyers, but only when they are ready and willing to talk. This relies on your marketing team providing content on your website that can be downloaded by 'strangers'.
From this point, your sales team can begin to prospect with qualified leads with:
- Warm emailing: A email that explores a relationship with someone who downloads the content
- Social selling: Using social media to make connections and answer questions with someone who downloads the content
- Scheduled calls: Calls initiated by prospects that offer free advice, assessments or prices
This approach provides your sales team with the information they need to turn those qualified leads, into customers. It also significantly reduces the time sales reps spend randomly prospecting and gives them more time to do what they do best - sell.
SELL BETTER AND FASTER
An inbound sales prospecting strategy can help you sell better and faster. Download our Definitive Guide to Selling guide and see how you can accelerate your business' growth, bring in profitable and happy customers, and enable your sales team to sell more.Photo by Berkeley Communications on Unsplash