You know that saying — the first step is always the hardest. In sales, that first step is prospecting. With the market so mind-numbingly noisy, consumers have gotten quite good at shutting out sales and advertising people. Add the fact that they now own a majority of the buyer's journey, and the slice of time we do get with prospects feels more like a sliver.
A lot is riding on the first impression your sales reps make with a prospect, and if your sales reps aren’t using the tools at their disposal to make initial interactions great (like, meet your future in-laws for the first time great) they risk loosing a quality lead before the sales cycle even begins.
We see several prospecting hang-ups that prevent sales reps from getting in the front door. And they all share a common denominator — they result from making grand assumptions about who the prospect is, what they need, and when they want it.
- We reach out to the wrong person, or surmise that the best route is to head directly for the decision maker.
- We spend too much time focusing on the prospect's pain points because we don't know enough about their interests.
- We attempt to communicate too many times in the beginning.
If you want to avoid making these common prospecting mistakes, arm your team with these three digital sales prospecting tools:
Unlike some solutions out there, HubSpot’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is specifically designed for salespeople. The big beef salespeople have with CRM systems is manual data entry. It’s too time consuming and in the words of Sweet Brown, ain’t nobody got time for that. HubSpot automates a great deal of data entry and acts as one unified customer repository that manages every contact, communication and task to keep data organized, up-to-date and easily digestible. But more importantly, the makers developed the platform under the pretense that it would collect deep level information about prospects. We’re talking near artificial intelligence deep. When integrated with the right SaaS, HubSpot CRM becomes contextually “aware” and will help guide salespeople based on where the buyer is in the buyer’s journey. It’s this deep level information and guidance that makes HubSpot CRM one of the best digital sales prospecting tools in the industry.
Sidekick is an email tracking tool that can either stand alone or integrate with CRM systems like HubSpot — and it will completely change the way you do email prospecting. Standing alone, Sidekick allows you to write emails, schedule (or change) send-offs for a later date and see email activity in real time, including:
- Who opened your email
- When they opened it
- Where they opened it
- If they clicked around
Integrate Sidekick with your CRM, and things get exciting. As you compose your emails, you’ll have full access to a rich collection of lead/customer data, including information about their history, social media activity and any mutual contacts you may have with them.
LinkedIn? A list topper for digital sales prospecting tools? Oh yes… LinkedIn is the world’s largest network of professionals and executives. In essence, it’s the ultimate search engine for B2B and if you aren’t using it to prospect, you’re missing out on 414 million users in 200 countries and territories. LinkedIn allows you to:
- Validate information about your prospects
- Monitor their activity to learn about their interests
- Figure out the best person to speak with at a company
- Get with marketing to target the right people
LinkedIn ensures you never make a cold call asking to “speak to someone” in a particular department again.
Consumers demand the right message at the right time in the right place. These digital sales prospecting tools help sales reps gather a robust collection of information on their prospects (without burning the clock), including where they’ve been in the buyer’s journey and where they still need to go before they reach a purchasing decision. With this level of insight, your sales reps will know exactly when to reach out, to whom they should be speaking with, and what that conversation should be about. Doesn’t that sound like a promising first impression scenario?