Since the B2B industry is extremely competitive space, having a great product to sell is an imperative. But is just having a great product enough to guarantee success? It would be in a utopian world. However, since it is not so, it becomes essential to dig out the prospects and get into the line of sight of the right people and build a prospect pipeline. But how do we go about searching for prospects? Where are they hiding? How can we locate them? How do we approach them? These are some pertinent questions that startups ask on the mission to score prospects.
The good news is that today the market is ripe with opportunity. If you have a good product to sell, with the right strategy you can find your prospects and start building your sales pipeline. In this blog, we take a look at how to approach prospecting potential customers.
Market Segmentation and Target Audience:
A successful prospecting plan begins with some basic homework. It starts with taking a long look at the entire prospect universe and grouping them into categories. Post this, you need to identify in which of these segments your product can deliver business value by providing an answer to an existing problem. This helps you identify your target companies. You will further need to identify the right group of people to target to sell your product to. For example, if you are selling recruitment software it would make greater sense to connect with the HR head instead of contacting someone from IT.
Leverage Social Media:
Social Media can be used constructively to find prospects. Social Media Platforms like LinkedIn are great places to connect with decision makers such as VP’s or Senior Directors. Networking with the senior management makes navigating the corporate pipeline much easier. According to an article written by Mitch Meyerson for Entrepreneur, “LinkedIn members are 50 percent more likely to engage with a company they engage with on LinkedIn” and “Sixty-five percent of companies acquired B2B leads through LinkedIn.”
So search for the relevant people on LinkedIn or if you can’t find that person or job title on LinkedIn, refine your search further. You can do a search on search engines to find a relevant profile and then connect with that person on LinkedIn. You can also use LinkedIn to build your own network (called first degree connections) by connecting with the relevant people and then request them for introductions to possible prospects (called second-degree connections). You can similarly use other platforms like Twitter for engaging with your target audience.
Industry events – Conferences/ Tradeshows/ Seminars:
Once you have the target audience in place, you can easily identify their areas of interest and the kind of conferences and trade shows they are likely to attend. Attending industry conferences, seminars, events or trade shows are a great place to connect with potential prospects. You get the opportunity to meet people face to face and talk to them about their requirements and how your product or service can help them. Attending such events will also keep you updated on the latest industry trends and ensure that you stay ahead of the curve and also give you the opportunity to build connections with industry experts which you can leverage during networking. You also get the fantastic opportunity to identify if your product or service needs to add any feature to become more market ready.
A number of your prospects are also living online making it imperative for you to find out where they live. You can do so by demonstrating thought leadership by publishing compelling content that establishes your expertise and authority. Company blogs and industry publications, videos, podcasts are great ways to create content that establishes thought leadership. Social media channels such as Twitter and LinkedIn can amplify your content and bring you in the eye line of your prospects. You can also identify what your prospective clients are talking about and where their interests lie and use this information to connect with them.
Once you have identified where your prospects are you need to connect with them to set up a meeting. The above-mentioned strategies will help you establish some form of familiarity with the potential client which you can leverage when seeking an appointment. When you do talk to the client for a prospecting, it pays to do some research into what the client needs or potential problems that they could be facing and show how your product or service could help alleviate those. With the help of insightful questions, you can get the clients talking about their needs and get set on the road to building a strong prospect pipeline.
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