How to do B2B prospecting that's efficient, scalable, and drives more revenue
Hi and welcome to today’s training on prospecting. This training will be about the basics and the right foundation of prospecting to generate more sales. We will also talk about the clarity in your actions in prospecting to fuel your lead generation. And also, I will talk about the three biggest and costliest mistakes people make when it comes to prospecting and B2B lead generation. If you never heard about Yantle, we help our clients to get more qualified leads and sales, to have a reliable and scalable sales process.
And also to get more control over their pipeline. This way, they can focus on other areas of their business while we handle the sales and lead generation. So let’s start with the basics. So there isn’t any confusion about the terms let’s what I mean by prospecting and simply put, prospecting is the process of securing information about the people you want to target. These people would be a prospect in the future. For instance, if you want to send them cold emails, you need to have their email address or their name and other information.
So this process of getting the right information for the right people is called prospecting. When it comes to prospecting, you can’t target any company or anyone in the company. You’d have to target a specific account and a person in the organization who is able to make decisions about your business.
So we call these people a good-fit prospect and a good-fit prospect is someone who meets your qualification criteria.
For instance, if you’re selling to a company based in the US, maybe in your state making a specific amount of revenue every year with maybe up to 20 employees and you need to speak to the marketing director, then we can say this person is your good-fit prospect because they meet the criteria in terms of the account, the company where they work, and also in terms of what’s their position and what kind of power they have in the sales process.
So one of the most important things you can do is to create a customer avatar, which is basically a description of a good-fit prospect. And you want to include information such as the company, the position, their pains, their goals, where they struggle on a daily basis, how you can help them, how you can achieve their goal in their position and so on. So this will be a custom avatar, and this is the stepping stone of any prospecting or any sales process. As you start creating a customer avatar,
one advice I would have for you is being specific is better than being too broad because every target everyone or at least we try to target everyone you end up targeting no one. Being too broad is not effective in terms of your message you want to communicate. And also the attention you can grab because it will not speak the language that has a specific pain your business can solve whatever you sell its product or service. You need to target a specific person who will benefit from your offer.
So let’s look at the ecosystem of sales, B2B sales and where prospecting fits into that. So very simply, I break down the sales process into four different parts.
Firstly, it’s prospecting we just talked about.
Then it’s outreach.
So that can be sending e-mails, doing cold calls, sending LinkedIn messages, connecting on Twitter or different social media. Then it’s the follow-up.
People in most cases will not respond to your first message. And then there’s closing.
Whether it’s closing over the phone, closing by email or social media, there needs to be a process of actually asking for the money and securing the sale.
As you see, prospecting is the first step in the entire machine of sales. So basically, prospecting fuels your generation.
When I talk to clients, I always say they need to treat prospecting like an evergreen campaign. Essentially, that’s a campaign which never stops. You’re top of funnel prospecting should be always running. So you’re able to fuel your machine, which is lead generation, because if you don’t have the right people to contact, if you don’t have the right phone numbers, you don’t have the emails, obviously, you can’t do the outreach and you can’t close any deals.
So it’s a very basic mistake. But some people simply are not able to generate revenue because they’re not reaching out to the right number of people on a daily basis. And this way, the pipeline is always rather thin. If you’re not sure how many people should enter your top or funnel lead generation system. Very simply trying to reverse engineer your desire goals. So if you want to make an X amount of sales, simply think about what’s your conversion rate on your phone, what’s your conversion rate on your on your e-mails or your LinkedIn messages.
And based on that, you have to understand how many people have to enter your sales funnel in the first place. So it doesn’t have to be a huge number. I think it’s always better if you are consistent in your approach rather than doing a burst of activity. And why is that, we’ll talk about later in this video. Now, I will talk about some of the questions I get asked quite a lot. I think these questions are applicable not only to people who are just starting with their lead generation, but also to people who maybe have tried lead generation in the past and it didn’t go quite well.
Or maybe if they have a sales process, but it’s not very formalized or if their sales process is based on referrals and they want to start making more scalable or repeatable sales. So I think this is for everyone and I think everyone can learn from that. So let’s go through these questions very quickly and then I will talk about my answers. So the question is, where do I start? There’s so much information out there. People read blogs, videos, books, courses, and people simply don’t know where to start, what’s the first thing to do.
Next question, what technology to use? Again, there’s many technology providers who provide different tools to do completely automated prospecting. Some people sell lists, then you have these platforms which simply spit out prospect. Again. Which one is the right tool to use, what should be the pricing? Which one performs? Which tool performs better? And so on. Next, when you do prospecting, you also want to use some information you can leverage in the outreach.
So you want to display in let’s call e-mail that you understand their pain points to and you want to say this in the e-mail. So how much information to actually gather about a prospect? This is, of course, a very important question, because how much information you will gather about the prospect will influence how much time it takes to compile your list. And of course, the more time takes, the more expensive it will get. Next, should you use tools which are completely automated?
Should you use a mixture between a person managing tool and doing some some prospecting by hand and using tools to your advantage? Or should you just use completely manual prospecting? Next, as you starting doing your prospecting, should you hire a team of people outside your business. Should you do it yourself or maybe should you hire a full time employee just to take care of this element of your sales process? Next is your budget. How much you allocate to every green prospecting campaign?
How much should you allocate to the technology? Should you hire an expert who can help you? Or should you maybe hire a cheaper V.A.? Should you hire someone junior on your team? How much would you pay for per prospect? How much you pay for a lead? And again, these are very important questions that people are not sure where to start. Next, what should be the cost per prospect? What are good KPIs? Next, the question is who to target?
Do you target the managing director, the CMO, the marketing person, do you target more people in the organization, do you target let’s say the user of the solution do you target also the superior? Again, there’s so many people to target and some people just don’t know because maybe if we target person A they they will not reply. But if we target person B then. Then they will reply. And the difference is just in their position or in terms of how they use your product or service.
So I will answer all these questions in a couple of minutes. But let’s talk about the three biggest mistakes, people make. Even before they start thinking about all these different questions, I think that three major things people should address before they start anything to do with prospecting. And in fact, with lead generation. Number one. Mistake number one. I think the biggest mistake you can make is not being clear on who you want to target and why you want to target that person.
So if you invest into technology, a team or your time into prospecting, getting e-mails, phone numbers and all these different information about the prospect, maybe you do research, extensive research on your background, on their position, on their company. Then just to realize that actually this company or this person is not the right person to talk to. Then everything you’ve done after that point for every person in your list is basically useless. And this is this can be very costly.
It can be horrible for your time. And also it can burn you where maybe you say, OK, this is not the right approach for me and you simply stop doing what you’re doing. And as I said, it’s important to have the evergreen campaign going. And just based on few bad mistakes like this, which maybe you will not even identify why people didn’t reply to your messages. You stop doing everything altogether and you give up and you look at some different solutions.
The second biggest mistake I see is people not having clear numerical targets. This means not knowing how many people they should prospect and reach out to on a daily basis, weekly basis, monthly basis. How many people they should convert through their chosen communication channel.
What about email, LinkedIn or cold calls? Because we understand your numbers.
You can basically look at your funnel and understand where is the mistake. If people are not replying to your messages, maybe the targeting is off.
If you get them on on the call, but they’re not converting at the rate you want, maybe have to say maybe your offer is wrong for your target and so on.
And lastly, I think people really underestimate the effort it takes to reach out to people and to secure a meeting.
I know there’s many success stories online where people say I messaged 10 people I message twenty people and I was able to generate X amount of meetings and X amount of revenue. Usually people who write these kind of articles or blogs, there is some sort of conflict of interest. Maybe they’re trying to sell a course or training. Maybe they’re trying to sell you a tool like a prospecting tool or a cold mailing, tool, and so on. This can happen, happened to us.
But the fact is, often it will not happen to straight away, especially if you’re just starting out, because there are many elements you have to do. You have to A/B test your your messages. You have to maybe because your your positioning, maybe your offer, your call to action and so on. So that’s one element in terms of underestimating the effort. The second element of that is what it actually takes to to generate response. You have a lot of different tools that offer image, personalization, research, follow up and so on.
And the fact is, more and more businesses and more and more people are using these tools. So your average prospect is used to all these different templates and and gimmicks and tricks in their emails. So, in fact, outreach is getting harder and harder for B2B businesses.
And that’s simply the reality of situation right now.
So maybe it’s important to remember that to get the results you want. It’s actually unnecessary to work a little bit harder than you expected.
As we went through the questions now, I will try to answer them based on my experience prospecting and and running lead generation campaigns. Question number one.
Where do I start?
I think the most important three things you can do is, number one, have your customer avatar ready. Understand who you want to target. Number two, understand your numbers.
And lastly, think about the technology you’ll use. Luckily there are many tools that would allow you to do prospecting, such as finding the emails and their social media, finding colleagues and so on.
So take into consideration what tools you can use to help you optimize your time and your prospecting. Question number two. What technology should you use? If you want to do more research using more of the manual approach, what kind of information do you need to have on that account and on that person? For example, if you want to have all the information, the background information, information about the position, the situation the company is in and so on you want to use more of a manual approach.
This means a tool plus a person doing the research. If you are going for a mass approach. Basically going for the volume approach, sending many e-mails, many LinkedIn messages and basically playing the numbers game, which I don’t think is very efficient in terms of the results. But if you want to do this, then I would say go for a more of automated approach where you don’t touch the data. Where where the data is flowing from one tool to another.
And you go from prospecting to some data integration, such as Google sheets, and then you’re able to pull data into your cold e-mailing platform. So if you’re talking about the essential piece of technology you need to have, I would say start with LinkedIn, if possible, go for their premium product. This will allow you to see more people, more companies, and then go for some sort of tool which allows you to find the e-mails. And lastly, you need to have something basic like Google Sheets to pull all this information together where you can manipulate that and create like your own CRM from which you can message people, integrate the different tools and a lot of interesting stuff.
Next question, how much information do you need? Again, this depends on the price point. I would say anything above 10K per deal. I would say invest more time into doing the research. Anything below that, I would say some basic amount of research and basic information like email. First name is the one. The fact is, if you’re selling anything worthwhile, where you need to invest your time to find their name.
Their email and information about them, your product or service probably needs to have some sort of personalized messaging behind it.
People are bombarded with messages and therefore you have to stand out in some way. And personalization is a great way to do this. And of course, the more expensive your solution is, the more effort you have to put it into your sales process. Should use automation or should you do manual prospecting next to automation or manual prospecting? I think in a way I address this already. This really depends on the amount of research you have to do. And the amount of research usually depends on the price points where they’re more expensive to get the more information to include your messaging, to basically be more relevant in your outreach to resonate with your prospects.
Next question. Should you outsource or do your prospecting in-house? I would say start with outsourcing, whether it’s a company or a freelancer or some sort of V.A. and I would say bring someone in-house only once you really understand your sales process when it’s running really effectively for a number of months or maybe even years, and where it’s completely necessary, which I don’t think in many cases is. But some I know some businesses simply prefer to have their team in-house and don’t like to outsource way of things.
But outsourcing has many benefits, such as you are not locked down by different employee contracts. You save money for office space. And also usually outsourcing prospecting is relatively cheap. Next, how should you determine your budget? Well, I think this really depends on the price of your solution and how much you can invest into the entire process to secure that sales call or to secure the meeting, how much is this meeting worth to you? For example, if you’re selling a service for five hundred dollars, then it’s unlikely you can you can spend maybe two or three days researching the company, the account and what they do, just just to do this, maybe it’ll be effective. But in most cases, this will not be time efficient in terms of how much you put in and how much you put out. When I count tools such as linked in premium, your called e-mail tools, research tools and so on. That’s around 150 dollars per month. And if we go for a relatively low end V.A., which maybe you will have to train to do the proper thing for you, you’re looking at around six dollars per hour, right?
So these are the costs. I would estimate to get going. Of course, you can find some cheaper tools below this. And of course, you can maybe start doing the prospecting yourself to save some costs and to learn the process, which you can then pass on to your to your V.A. or to someone on your team. Next, what are good KPIs? As I said before unless you work with a number of similar businesses who are trying to achieve extremely similar things or are targeting similar group of people, it’ll be possibly quite hard to do this.
I think the best way to do it is simply get going and keep optimizing, keep optimizing with time, meaning find better tools to try to reduce time. Try to train your people and basically do anything you can so you can bring down the cost of your prospecting and bring out the output. The other way you can understand how your KPI should look. What is good? What is not good? Maybe you can talk to someone who does. Like, for example, ourselves, where we run a number of different prospecting and lead generation campaigns for our clients so we can look at a campaign, we can sort of say, yes, we should improve here, and maybe this is the optimal.
And this is how we can improve your KPI.
So you’re on target with your end goal.
The number of meetings on your sales. Who to target, just like I said, where is the research and budget and so on.
If your solution, if your product or service is more expensive. Most cases there’s more than one person involved and making a decision to purchase. I think with many deals where these sales price is anywhere from seven to, let’s say 10,000, you will see there is probably more than one person involved in making that decision. So in this case, it does make sense to target more people because if a person doesn’t answer, maybe you’ll be able to generate a response from person B.
So this is something you have to think about as you do your prospecting, maybe if you want to target the founder. In some cases, you can also target the co-founder, or maybe you can target someone else in the company who is going to be actually in direct contact with your product or service. So if you’re selling, let’s say, a SaaS product and the founder is the ultimate person that has to make the decision, maybe you have to target the co-founder.
But also the person below them who is actually going to use your SaaS software. Lets say you’re selling something related to content management. Maybe the marketing manager will be at the actual user of your product. So in this case, maybe you have to target the founder of the co-founder.
Also, the marketing manager, of course, as you target these people and you do research on each their goals and objectives will be different.
So you have to look at different information and also you have to create different campaigns as you approach them.
Lastly, are the people you’re trying to prospect like people who are doing research on and you want to contact – are they a good fit or are they the right people in the first place to spend your time on to get their emails and to basically reach out to them? And how do you determine if this is the right person to include in your customer avatar? And again, so if some people make the mistake of not creating custom avatar, other people can make the mistake of creating the wrong customer avatar and actually going after an account which they shouldn’t go after and this is equally equally bad in terms of how you handle your time and how you handle the investment and the opportunities you could generate with that time and money.
You just spent on something pointless. I think the best way to generate a good-fit prospect, a custom avatar, someone you want to sell to is by looking at your existing customers and looking at customers that are just great to work with. There is not a lot of friction. They have the funds to pay for your services. You are able to deliver to this specific type of customer great experience. You deliver them results. Simply it’s a great working relationship and you have a future with them.
So this is the type of customer you want to work with. Maybe this type of customer doesn’t represent the majority of your customers, and that’s why you go for the real majority of customers, which are actually hurting your business. Maybe they always want to negotiate about the price. You have to spend a lot of time on that account for fairly little amount of money. It’s maybe even hard to deliver great results for them. They’re not a good fit for your service or your product.
And simply it’s a lot of pain to work with them and in some cases simply it’s not worth the money. And you don’t want a lot of these customers. So when you think about who to target, think about these elements and go for these customers. That’s all for today.
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