Depending on the behavioral style of the salesperson and the area of business in question, some hate it; others love it.
I’m not so concerned about whether one likes or dislikes prospecting.
I think it’s a given in any commercial area that, one way or another, the sales process starts with contacts with potential customers that may or may not be of quality, that may or may not be interested, that may or may not have a budget.
Anyway, do you begin to see a pattern?
Of course, you do.
One of the main difficulties in prospecting is precisely related to the quality of the information that we work.
Having a “good” database of potential customers is fundamental.
The better the information we work with, the greater capacity we have to “fine-tune” the shot we take.
There are several possibilities to create your database.
Usually, the most used, but not consistently the most effective, are the following:
This type of database makes sense when businesses or niche markets are not available in the databases you want to acquire.
In this case, we have several tools on the Internet that can help us: the electronic Yellow Pages, Industry Directories, websites of trade or industry associations, the ads that we place in specialty magazines, associations of professionals in the sector, etc.
In this case, several companies supply ready-made databases.
All of them have advantages and disadvantages.
Some are used mainly with the largest companies in the national ranking, usually acquiring the 1000 largest per area, to be more effective.
They are very well characterized in sales figures, the number of employees, leading executives, etc.
These databases usually are more expensive, but they allow greater efficiency in the segmentation of the companies that interest us.
In the case of the rest, there are databases of the entire business fabric, with about a large number of contacts, but the only segmentation it has is by activity sector.
Whether the database is hand-built or purchased, the important thing is to have the following notion: a database, from the moment we bought or created them, has a brief life span if it is not constantly updated.
Still not convinced that a good database is essential?
Then think with me.
Imagine that you have 100,000 potential companies in your country.
Of those 100,000 companies, 50,000 are potential customers because of their billing volume.
Of those 50,000 potential customers, perhaps 20,000 might be companies for which your product or service is suitable.
Of those 20,000 companies, perhaps 5,000 could be buyers for an immediate need.
Well, we already have our 5,000 companies. How do we get there now?
If prospecting is done traditionally, you will surely say to me:
“Hmmm, we do it the usual way. We call and set up meetings with them.”
And, indeed, the answer is correct.
Except that usually, a salesperson conducts 3 to 4 meetings, at most, with each client.
And to do four meetings requires a lot of discipline and that everything goes very smoothly during the day.
If you do some phone qualification, maybe you can reduce the number of companies you have to meet with to those 5,000.
Now let’s imagine you have three salespeople.
Five thousand companies divided by three salespeople divided by four meetings a day.
How much is that?
5,000 companies / 3 salespeople / 4 meetings a day = 416.6 days.
It will then take 416.6 days to beat all these customers.
A year has 22 working days per month, and each sales rep works 11 months.
We have, per year, 242 workable days.
Not to mention the famous holidays and bridges.
In other words, it will take almost two years to go around the 5,000 clients to find out where the business they need is.
So you still think that prospecting the traditional way is effective?
Also published on Medium.