Your sales prospect list is one of the most important elements of your B2B marketing plan. But even an extensive list is worth little if few of those leads convert.
To get the most out of a prospect list, effective marketers use time-tested methods as well as innovative, high-performance tools to qualify the leads they’ve gathered. These qualified leads are the prospects most likely to buy from you and perhaps even become return customers. They’re the people and businesses your sales team should contact first.
Here are some techniques and tools for making best use of your sales prospect list and closing more deals.
Strengthen your sales funnel
Most likely you already have a sales funnel to take potential customers from knowing who you are to actually purchasing from you. If not, back up and start there! The prospects on your list don’t have anywhere to go without a sales funnel.
A successful funnel is built on trial and error, and you’ll lose some prospects at every stage. If your sales outreach team reports that a lot of prospects drop off early in the process, that’s a sign that your prospect list needs work. It could be too random, which means you’re not setting your salespeople up for success by providing them with qualified leads.
Studying the retention rate at each step of the way will help you make adjustments to keep your leads moving along.
Segment your sales prospect list
Your every interaction with a lead should be relevant to them. Otherwise, they’ll lose interest and leave the funnel. Segmenting your sales prospect list for more targeted marketing allows you to share information that each lead will benefit from.
Plus, when you tailor your pitches, engagement, and marketing content to a more specific audience, leads see that you care about offering them something their business genuinely needs.
You can segment your list by combing through it and grouping prospects by relevant categories. These could be location, industry, number of employees, annual revenue, etc. Finding and processing all this data takes time, though. Another option is to use a sales prospecting platform. This technology instantly filters data for you, allowing you to generate (quickly) lists of qualified leads who’re more likely to close on a deal.
Provide value with each interaction
To keep prospects from your list interested and moving through the funnel, your every contact with them must deliver value.
All your emails should give prospects concrete information that helps them decide about buying from you. However, since welcome sequences tend to have the highest open rate for marketing emails, they’re a particularly good means of sharing valuable information. Use them to address common objections, answer frequently asked questions, and to tell leads exactly how your product will solve their problem.
Of course, even the best email content won’t help you close more deals if the emails don’t reach the right people. So, researching companies’ internal hierarchies and gathering accurate contact data is an essential part of the lead-qualifying process.
Don’t neglect your leads
But don’t drive them away either.
Once your welcome emails are done, how often should you contact your prospects?
Hopefully your welcome email sequence will lead them to make a purchase. In that case, staying in regular contact with a newsletter, sales promotion, or product launch will keep your customers interested and aware of your brand.
If your lead is still on the fence, it’s reasonable to send one or two follow up emails to try to convince them. There’s a significant drop in engagement after a certain number of emails. What that magic number is depends on your targeted industry and the characteristics of your audience—another reason to segment that prospect list carefully before turning it over to the sales team.
Need to speed all this up?
Even before all the work that goes into closing a deal, the task of continuously growing, updating and segmenting your sales prospect list can be a full-time job. Plus, it’s harder than ever to find the correct contact information for a company’s decision-makers (they often keep it private to minimize cold contacts).
However, the latest sales prospecting tools can take the burden of research away from your sales team so they can focus their talents where they belong—on closing deals.
American City Business Journals (ACBJ) recently introduced BizLeads, a revolutionary cloud-based prospecting tool that enables you to rapidly generate data-driven lists full of qualified leads for increased conversions.
The BizLeads’ database has powerful data, insights and contact information on over 30 million companies and 80 million professionals nationwide. It enables you to discover and connect with your ideal clients using advanced search filters such as industry, job title, location, revenue, and employee size. Because it’s powered by ACBJ, BizLeads receives the most first-party, self-reported data of any prospecting tool on the market. Plus, BizLeads offers free email verification and easy export for CRM integration.
Are you ready for results? Schedule a BizLeads demo to discover how you can equip your sales team with the data and information needed to maximize results.