Protect Your Prospects From Poachers

July 19, 2020

Prospecting is the art of starting new relationships in order to drive future business opportunities, which can drive sales. One of the biggest problems businesses can face is losing these prospects to the competition. You’ve invested time and money getting these leads into your sales funnel; you don’t want to lose them now! In this article, we will cover some of the main things you should focus on in order to optimise your prospecting efforts, and keep as many leads as possible. 

Identify Any Problems

The first step to solving a problem is identifying exactly what that problem is. It is important to pinpoint where you are making these losses, so that you can focus your efforts on improving that area. 

Revisit your buyer journey - This can help you to re-evaluate your current approach to the customer. Perhaps your audience has shifted slightly, or perhaps certain content isn’t working. Identify whereabouts in this journey you may be losing customers, and this can help you to establish the first steps to solving the problem.

Analyse your sales funnel - Is your sales funnel too long and complex for the customer to get through? Is there any important or relevant information missing that might be turning leads away? Is the process as seamless as it can be? Even a slight hiccup in this sales funnel can cause customers to drop off, and head to a competitor instead. 

Analyse your content - The content you are putting out should be relevant, interesting, and optimised to your ideal audience. Have you included clear call-to-actions? Is the content consistent and in-line with your prospecting goal?

Identify the pain points - After going through these processes, you should be able to identify certain areas where you are losing prospects - or ‘pain points’ for the customer. This could be due to poor website design, technical issues, or a lack of communication from business to customer. 

men shaking hands

Attract the right people

It’s a waste of your valuable time trying to attract leads who aren’t likely to show any interest in what your business can offer. Therefore, one of the most important parts of prospecting is ensuring you are targeting the right people.

Revisit customer personas - You should have a clearly defined persona outlining who your ideal customer is. Revisiting this can help you to realign your focus to targeting those who you should be targeting. You may even notice issues within your current customer personas, and decide to make changes. This can help the whole business/ sales team to have a more clear approach to attracting the right people. 

Evaluate content - Similarly to the point in the first section, you should re-evaluate your content to ensure it suits your target audience. The content style, keywords, and channels you use should all align with your target prospects. 

An additional point: you may want to invest in CRM (customer relationship management) to help your team to nurture leads once they have been made. This can ensure you are continuing to target the right people after the initial connection has been established.

Use Multiple Methods

Sadly, there is not just one clear cut way to gain and keep prospects. You should be using multiple methods for this, and identifying which methods work best for your business. 

Send relevant content - This may involve email marketing, networking, trade shows, conferences, direct email, social media, and much more. Invest time into using all of these techniques, and set up a strategy for tracking the success of each method. Find out which are working best for you, and focus more time onto those. 

Be good at cold calling - Cold calling is, without a doubt, one of the fastest ways to open up conversations and relationships, schedule appointments, and make progress with your prospects. When working in sales, you will likely develop this skill over time. Try using scripts; this may sound daunting at first - as you don’t want to sound like a robot - but there are ways to use scripts effectively. Ensure your script is fluid and flexible; the main purpose for scripts is to experiment with different language choices in a strategic way. Then, you will begin to notice what works and what does not. 

man making phone call

Connect, Connect, Connect!

Have a personal approach - You should always have a friendly, human, personal approach when connecting with your prospects (whilst, of course, remaining professional). A great way to establish this approach could be by personally inviting prospects to company events. For example, webinars or in-person events. 

Connect on LinkedIn - Did you know that around 80% of all leads come from LinkedIn? Yep, it’s a pretty important tool! This can help to open up more conversations, create a more personal sense of connection, plus your prospect will begin to see your company’s content and updates. 

Remember: consistency is key! You should be prospecting daily, and ensuring that your leads don’t feel as though they have been forgotten. Nurturing relationships over time is the best way to retain prospects, and gain complete customer loyalty.