You are reviewing that quarterly sales report and wondering where the first quarter flew by. The figures are not close to where you want them to be, and the generated revenue is much below your expectations. You are wondering what did you miss?
Now, that is not the kind of situation you want to put yourself into, do you? In that case, why not spend some time planning (If you already have not) and up your prospecting game?
These simple and easy steps will enable you to hit your sales goals; believe me, using these helped me generate business even amid the pandemic in the year 2020. I bet if you put in the work, you too can generate new business.
Cutting short, here are the top factors to consider when planning your prospecting game.
I’d say start with the end goal in mind and work the numbers and activities backwards.
- What do you want to achieve in Q2 of 2022 or the year 2022? Put down the numbers, i.e., goals for each quarter?
- Prepare a customer qualification criterion, i.e., the type of clients you want. E.g., companies in the manufacturing sector, x turnover, y number of employees, etc.
- Prepare a list of target companies you want to work with
- Work on the list, i.e., details of your target contacts in the company if there are FDs, MDs; their contact details such as name, email, direct dial, mobile, etc.
- Best to have a finite list of companies you can personally reach and manage. There is hardly any point in having tons of leads on your CRM when you can only manage a couple of hundreds
- Research the sources and tools you will need to use to generate this information.
- Free and paid online directories like ZoomInfo, Hoovers
- Contact info generators such as Swordfish, etc.
- Outsourcing: i.e., offshore RPOs that help with research on organisation mapping and lead generation
- What activities will you need to work on to achieve these goals?
- New lead generation
- Cold calling
- Email campaigns
- Advertising – Print and online
- Content creation, i.e., blogging, videos, etc. – Creating a social media calendar outlining respective tasks can help.
- Exhibiting an event
- Speaking opportunities
- Channel partnerships
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- Define the minimum level of activity for each function, E.g., “x” number of new leads to be sourced per day, “y” number of cold calls, emails, etc.
- Categorise the activities into two parts
- Pro-active: Cold calls, cold emails
- Reactive: Blogging, Videos, Graphics, etc.
- Categorise the priorities for each section
- Define and draft scripts for every approach, i.e., scripts for
- Introduction and Cold calling
- Email templates – inbound and outbound outreach
- Define your sales process
- First step; i.e., email campaign
- Second; cold calls
- Follow-up calls, etc.
- Meetings / Close sales online, etc.
- Work on your “Why,” and why will companies partner with you? What are the top 3-5 challenges faced by companies and professionals in your industry?
- Your response to these questions will help you arrive at the reasons why companies partner with companies like yours, i.e., what problems do you resolve?
- What are the typical outcomes that reflect the positive output of your activity?
- Catalyst questions asked by the prospects.
- Conference calls and meetings
- Commercial proposals
- Contract sign-up
- Activity evaluation
- What are the top metrics you will evaluate?
- How often, i.e., weekly, monthly, quarterly
- Who will be involved, i.e., is it your SMT, Coach, etc.?
- How much time will you give each approach before you make changes, i.e., if it’s working or it can be better?
When you spend time planning and working on the plan, wonderful things happen. Best not to leave things till the end – “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”