Zig Ziglar, David Sandler, Grant Cardone, Colleen Stanley – there are many sales methodologies to subscribe to, but the fundamentals are all the same. Ultimately, sales comes down to finding people who may be interested in your product or service, communicating with each one to narrow down the potential buyers, and then zeroing in on the short list of those ready to make a purchase.
Up until about 15 years ago, finding people who have the potential to be interested in your product or service – prospecting – involved going door to door in industrial and corporate parks (and getting kicked out of your fair share too). Now, we have a multitude of online tools at our fingertips to scrape, purchase, and research prospects and their contact information. But that doesn’t mean prospecting is any easier.
Every sales training curriculum has its own unique twist, but most agree that prospecting is about quality, not quantity. Buying a list of 1,000 contacts does not complete the task. If this is the route your sales team chooses to take, their heavy lifting has only just begun. They need to turn that quantity of suspects into a quality list of prospects, which takes emails, phone calls, more research, and follow-ups. Sales teams who are finding 100 contacts per day on LinkedIn are in the same boat.
When hungry sales reps hit their stride and start turning into legitimate closers for your company, it’s only natural that the habitual practice of prospecting drops to the bottom of the priority list. Instead, reps now reserve most of their time for attending to qualified leads, developing proposals and presentations, onboarding new customers, and in many cases, managing the accounts they win. Resourceful sales reps create a systematic process with efficiency and predictability at its core. This evolves their prospecting process from finding as many contacts as possible to finding the minimum needed to achieve their sales goals. Good for short-term business, but bad for long-term brand awareness.
Another fundamental truth of sales: one salesperson can only manage 100-200 actual meaningful relationships, prospects, or targets at a time. Calling or communicating with more contacts with regular frequency just isn’t possible. So, if a team of 5 salespeople is limited to 200 relationships at a time, your company’s prospect ceiling is 1,000. What about the other 9,000+ businesses in your service area that could benefit from working with you?
One of Gravity Marketing’s fundamental truths is that sales and marketing are one and the same. Marketing does one-to-many what sales does one-to-one. You should be holding the marketing team accountable for the same prospecting function. Marketing efforts in list building, advertising, website traffic, and content advertising must have the intention of adding to and communicating with the contact database. This can be the difference between having 1,000 prospects in your pipeline and 10,000.
Salespeople are not going to prospect as much as you would like them to. And, even if they did, there is a very real ceiling that they will hit. Sales and marketing are not mutually exclusive – let marketing focus on the broader pipeline so sales can zero in on qualified leads that have a high probability of becoming quality customers. Contact us today to hear more about our marketing recommendations and strategies.