HOW TO DEVELOP AN EFFECTIVE SALES PROSPECTING STRATEGY
Theo Paphitis of Dragons Den claims that 50% of businesses fail inside two years!
Forbes, Bloomberg and Practical Ecommerce claim that over 80% Of businesses fail In their first 18 months!
- They don’t attract a sufficient number of qualified prospects
- They fail to convert their prospects into profitable customers
- They literally run out of cash!
So, the only way to succeed in business is to be relentless in your pursuit of acquiring a constant supply of Qualified Prospects to be converted into buying customers. In order to do this it is vital that you develop an Effective Sales Prospecting Strategy,
The Sales Prospecting Challenge
- People will only buy when they are ready to buy
- People don’t want to be sold to, they prefer to buy
- People prefer to buy from people they Know, Like and Trust
As extensive research and massive investment has proved the above to be true, it demands that we adopt a completely different approach to how we prospect for new leads.
Short, Medium or Long Term
A substantial number of business owners acknowledge that, medium and long term prospecting is essential but they also need customers today.
So, let’s deal with acquiring new customers today. To help us do this we will need to look at the challenges and how best to position ourselves in the marketplace, together with the most reliable, efficient and cost effective, Lead Generation System to match your business needs.
If you need customers today, let’s look at medium term prospecting and then let’s look at the cost of escalating or accelerating the process.
With Amazon, ‘same day’ delivery is the very same process as ‘next day’ or ‘five day’, just a little more expensive.
We will look at the background to sales prospecting, the obstacles to be overcome and the massive new opportunities available to us today.
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Your Business Has Only Two Functions
“Because its purpose is to create a customer, the business has two — and only two — functions! Prospecting and innovation which produce results, all the rest are costs.” – Peter Ducker: Author and Professor.
So, regardless of the type of business, market, products or services; all businesses are Sales & Marketing driven businesses.
Having a ‘great’ product or service alone will not achieve success… BUT a ‘quality’ product or service marketed in a superior way will GUARANTEE your success.
The key to a profitable business is to successfully implement effective and affordable Prospecting and Innovation.
The 5 Essentials For Strategic Prospecting
A five year study of the Times 1000 and Fortune 500 companies, revealed that the ones who were leaders in their field all invested heavily in the following five areas:
- Direct Prospecting
- Customer Education
- Brand, Image and Positioning (how they are perceived).
- Personal Contact
Prospecting is the all-powerful process of getting people to want to buy a product or service. This is frequently acknowledged as sowing the seeds.
Prospecting is the process of harvesting and gathering the fruits of this incredibly expensive advertising or marketing activity. It has been said that ‘half the money spent on advertising is a complete waste, but we just don’t know which half’.
A great deal of sales people get lulled into complacency when business is booming. When you are incredibly busy, it’s difficult to think of a time when you might have nothing to do. But when you finally catch up, and you don’t have another lead or another job in the pipeline, it almost always takes a lot of time and work to restart that prospecting engine, get it to work, and finally land that next client.
Think of prospecting like a shark. Marine biologists tell us that sharks can never rest. They must constantly move forward through the water because sharks breathe through their gills. They have to move water through those gills to keep them working. If the shark stops, it literally suffocates and dies.
It’s an excellent analogy for the sales person. Remember it! The minute you stop prospecting, you risk choking off your business. By the time you get things started again, it may be too late! It’s always better to be in a position of needing to turn business away rather than begging for your next job.
Existing V New Customers
Prospecting should be split between existing customers and new customers. It is generally accepted that to increase sales from new customers, demands some eight times more resource than securing increased sales from existing customers. On this basis it would be easy to argue that all our resources should be invested in increased sales from existing customers.
It is however agreed that there is always a limit to the return on investment (ROI), from increased sales opportunities which can be derived from existing customers. In the circumstances, it is accepted that every company must invest a resource in prospecting for new customers.
As an example, one of our publishing clients lost some of their major customers through no fault of their own and did not have a robust prospecting system in place for replacements and had to cease trading. It is therefore recommended that you should invest some 80% of your time working with existing customers and 20% looking for new ones, i.e. one day in five.
For further information on how to develop an Effective Sales Prospecting Strategy for you business please Contact Us. Our services are available across Lincoln, Granthan, Boston, Spalding and all surrounding areas.
For additional information on our range of specialist business coach and mentoring programmes, please visit our Sales Management page.