Are you tired of pitching to prospects who seem disinterested?
Are you tired of hearing crickets in your inbox and phone silence from your prospects?
Are your sales numbers suffering?
The solution might be simpler than you think.💁♀️
According to the DemandGen Report,lead nurturing can bring a 20% increase in sales. So it’s time to stop throwing hail marys and start getting serious about nurturing your lead with prospect awareness. As a B2B sales professional, you know the pain of a cold outreach gone cold. But what if we told you that by understanding your prospects better, you could close deals with ease?
We’ll show you how prospect awareness can be the secret weapon for your cold outreach strategy. Get ready to say goodbye to ghosting and hello to closed deals.
1. Who Is A Prospect?
2. What Is Prospect Awareness?
3. Importance of Prospect Awareness in Sales
4. How To Improve Your Prospect Awareness Skills:
i) Conduct Thorough Research On Your Prospects
ii) Ask Open-Ended Questions To Understand Prospects Needs And Challenges
iii) Use Active Listening Skills To Identify Recurring Themes And Patterns
iv) Tailor Your Solutions To Address Their Specific Needs
5. What Are Some Tools And Technologies That Can Help?
Who Is A Prospect?
Who is a prospect, you ask?
Well, it’s that special someone (or company) who has caught your eye but has not yet engaged with your company or shown any serious interest in what you’re selling.
They’re like a love interest, but instead of chocolates and flowers, they accept your emails and business templates. And just like a romantic pursuit, the goal is to turn that prospect into a loyal customer who will never break your heart (or your sales goals). But what are the first steps to having them accept your pursuit?
And, here’s a fun fact to get you started: Did you know that the word “prospect” comes from the Latin word “prospectus,” which means “a view or outlook of the future”?
What Is Prospect Awareness?
It is the secret sauce to successful sales.
As salespeople, our mission is to be like Sherlock Holmes, detecting and understanding the needs, challenges, and goals of our prospects. Once we crack the case and identify their pain points, we can present our solutions like a superhero with the perfect tool to save the day!
So how do we save the day and improve our prospecting methods? Let’s understand!
Typically there are three prospect awareness levels:
Completely Unaware: The prospect is not aware of their problem or need and does not know that there are solutions available. If you offer your service at this stage, you will only fetch rejection. In fact, Salesmate found that about48% of sales calls end without being able to close the deal.
Problem Aware: The prospect is aware that they have a problem or need but does not know about specific solutions that can address it.
Solution Aware: The prospect is aware of the problem or need, and is also aware of specific solutions that can address it. And is evaluating different options.
However, some sales and marketing experts break down the stages further into four or even five steps, depending on their methodology and approach.
The 4th and 5th being Product Aware and Most Aware respectively.
Product Aware: The prospect is aware of your product or service and its features but may not yet be convinced it’s the right solution for them.
Most Aware: The prospect is aware of the problem, aware of possible solutions, aware of your product or service, and aware of the benefits it can offer. At this stage, the prospect is ready to make a decision and needs guidance on the next steps to move forward with a purchase.
In the book “Breakthrough Advertising” by Eugene Schwartz, all 5 prospect awareness levels are mentioned.
In this read we shall proceed considering the first three typical stages.
An Example Question that You can ask
Categorise them depending on the answers
Importance Of Prospect Awareness In Sales
Prospect awareness is more than just a buzzword in the world of sales - it’s a critical component of any successful sales prospecting process.
Let’s understand HOW.
- It’s like bringing an umbrella on a rainy day: Prospect awareness saves client loss - as an umbrella saves from rain.
- It’s the key to unlocking the door to sales success: Prospects seek a partner who comprehends their business and offers goal-aligned solutions, not just a product or service.
- It’s the difference between being a salesperson and a problem solver: Selling requires one skill, but being a problem solver requires a different kind of person.
- It’s the foundation for building strong relationships: Trust and credibility are essential in sales. Prospect awareness builds strong relationships, and demonstrates expertise and thought leadership.
- It’s a way to stand out from the competition: In a crowded market, stand out by mastering prospect awareness - showcase your deep understanding of their needs and challenges.
- It’s a way to avoid wasting time and resources: Lack of prospect awareness leads to wasted time and resources selling to unfit prospects.
In short, it’s the key to building strong relationships, standing out from the competition, avoiding wasting time and resources, and improving your sales prospecting techniques.
So, don’t leave your umbrella at home on a rainy day - make sure you bring prospect awareness with you to every sales interaction!
How To Improve Your Prospect Awareness Skills
1. Conduct Thorough Research On Your Prospects
Here’s an example to help illustrate this point:
Let’s say you’re a salesperson for a software company that provides project management tools. Your prospect is a large construction firm. You could follow these steps to understand them and develop a better sales prospecting technique.
Research their industry: Research the construction industry and its challenges to understand the market and your prospect’s pain points.
Research their company: Don’t stalk, but do your research! Look into their website, social media, and reviews. This shows their culture, values, and pain points.
Identify their pain points: Gather info and pinpoint specific struggles. In the case of our example, let’s say they struggle with project management.
Tailor your approach: Identified their pain points. Now tailor your approach accordingly. In our example, position the product as a project management tool.
Note: The first three actions are for prospects who fall under the Completely Unaware and Problem Aware stages.
2. Ask Open-Ended Questions To Understand Prospects Needs And Challenges
- Start with “What” or “How” questions: Instead of asking closed-ended questions that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no,” ask open-ended questions that encourage your prospect to provide more detail.
For example, “What challenges are you facing in your industry?” or “How have you tried to address these challenges in the past?”
Engage diligently: It’s not enough to ask open-ended questions, take notes, ask follow-up questions, and demonstrate that you’re genuinely interested in understanding their needs and challenges.
Don’t interrupt: Don’t be a conversation thief! Resist the urge to interrupt and let your prospect finish their thoughts. Don’t superimpose your perceptions on them.
Use the prospect’s language: When asking open-ended questions, use the same terminology and language your prospect uses. This will help build rapport and demonstrate that you understand their industry and challenges.
Here are some example questions you can use to understand your prospect’s needs and challenges:
i. Can you tell me more about your current process for [insert relevant topic]?
ii. What do you see as the biggest challenge faced by your industry right now?
iii. How have you tried to address [specific pain point] in the past?
iv. What are your goals for [relevant timeframe or initiative]?
v. Can you walk me through a typical day/week/month for [relevant role or department]?
vi. How do you measure success in [relevant area]?
3. Use Active Listening Skills To Identify Recurring Themes And Patterns
Active listening skills are essential to successfully identifying recurring themes and patterns in your prospects’ challenges and pain points. It can be one of the most important weapons in your arsenal of best practices of cold outreach.
Focus on the prospect: Give your prospect your full attention, and avoid distractions such as checking emails or looking at your phone during the conversation.
Listen for keywords and phrases: Pay attention to the language your prospect uses when describing their pain points and challenges.
Reflect back: Summarise what you heard from your prospect to ensure that you understand their needs correctly. This will also show your prospect that you were listening actively and caring about their concerns.
4. Tailor Your Solutions To Address Their Specific Needs
Think of it as a sharp-dressed suit - tailored specifically to fit your potential customer’s needs. By actively listening and identifying their pain points, you can tailor your solutions and leave your competitors looking like they’re wearing baggy, off-the-rack suits.
So, sharpen those scissors and start tailoring those solutions!
What Are Some Tools And Technologies That Can Help?
There are various sales tools and technologies available that can help you improve your prospect awareness skills. These include
1. Sales Intelligence Tools
These prospecting tools act as your personal detective, helping you investigate your prospects’ industry, company, and competitors through news and social media mentions. With this valuable information, you can tailor your sales pitch to hit their pain points with surgical precision.
Some examples are:
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator - a tool that provides sales professionals with access to advanced search filters, lead recommendations, and real-time updates on target accounts and prospects.
- Zintlr - a platform that provides sales intelligence data on millions of companies and individuals. Zintlr also has an extension helps predict and verify email IDs and write cold emails through smart suggestions.
- SimilarWeb - a website analytics tool that can provide insights into your prospects’ website traffic, including top pages, referral sources, and audience demographics.
2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems
Think of them as your personal assistant to upgrade your sales prospecting techniques. They help you keep track of all your prospects’ interactions, store vital information about their needs and preferences, and remind you of important follow-ups. It’s like having a sales genie in a bottle, granting your wishes for a more personalized and effective sales approach.
Some examples :
HubSpot CRM - a free CRM platform that allows you to manage your contacts, deals, and tasks in one centralized location.
Zoho CRM- a cloud-based CRM system that offers features such as lead and contact management, sales forecasting, and workflow automation.
Agile CRM - a platform that combines sales, marketing, and customer service features into one system, with a free plan available for up to 10 users.
3. Sales Enablement Platforms
Think of it like having a personal trainer at the gym, except instead of building your biceps, they’re helping you flex your sales muscles. Sales training and coaching, paired with access to educational marketing materials, can help you bulk up your knowledge and position as a trusted advisor for your prospects.
Canva - a graphic design platform that can be used to create visually appealing sales presentations, infographics, and other marketing materials.
Hootsuite - a social media management tool that can be used to schedule and publish social media posts, track engagement, and monitor brand mentions.
Grammarly - a writing assistant that can help improve the clarity, tone, and grammar of your sales emails and other written communications.
In conclusion, developing strong prospect awareness skills is crucial to achieving success in sales while improving your prospecting methods.
In the sales world, developing prospect awareness skills is like having a secret weapon - it’s the Watson to your Sherlock Holmes, the personal assistant who helps you stay ahead of the game. With the right tools and strategies, you’ll be able to crack the code of your prospect’s pain points and become the go-to problem solver in your industry.
So, are you ready to take your sales game to the next level?
Then, start improving your prospect awareness skills today and watch your sales soar!