Welcome to accudata’s sales training series how to prospect tutorial. If you have any questions or comments, please contact blair staas as firstname.lastname@example.org
The goal of today is to help you improve your prospecting efforts. Our content today will teach you….
The focus of our sales training is on complex sale cycles. Multiple steps, multiple decision stakeholders. At a high level, the complex sales cycles starts with getting in the doorThe discovery and validation phases are critical for improving close ratios. Before a deal can close.., you need to…You will have a much higher close ration if you create proposals that….and be thorough in the close process byToday’s focus will be on improving your ability to initiate sale cycles by getting in the door.
It is very difficult to succeed as a sales person if you struggle getting in the door / connecting with decision makers Buyers are bombarded with emails / calls making it challenging to get their attention. You can improve your prospecting effectiveness but never expect it to become easy…Prospecting is hard work. But you can succeed if you follow the formula
The goal of prospecting is to ……qualified lead can be defined asHave a problem that you can solveWilling to actHave authority to make decisionsHave moneyYour job is to contact potential buyers and engage…The more you do this, the more sale cycles you can initiate
So how do you do this? How do you get in the door with people who are willing and able to buy from you? Step one is understanding the rules of the game…Don’t hard sell Be professional Do not lieMake it personal Know your targetHave a reason for contactingKeep it shortHave a call to action
If you have ever been on the receiving end on a cold call, you know how easy it is to get turned off. Prospecting efforts fail because reps are doing things that just don’t work…..stay away from
I like to say that in order to request a meeting with someone, you need a compelling reason to contact that person. Just saying you are a sales rep for ABC company typically doesn’t cut it. You need to say something that gets their attention and makes it clear why you are calling themGood reasons to contact includeIf you don’t have a good reason to call, wait until you find one
Sales people have many options to choose from when trying to get in the door. I would like to spend a few minutes discussing some options and the pros and cons of each….Now that you know the pros and cons of various prospecting methods, I would like to discuss each in more detail
Sometimes it makes sense to ping a prospect with a email or direct mail piece prior to calling them. This technique is called a sales letter. Best practices include
Here’s a sample email that demonstrates the best practices…You can read it at your leisure but I wanted to point out a few things….
Cold calling has become challenging for a few reasonsIt is very difficult to reach people do to caller ID and voice mailPeople hate being on the receiving end of a cold call….their first response
Cold calls can be effective if done the right way…..best practices of a cold call include….We will demonstrate by doing a sample cold call with a VP of marketing…. Telephone Script MIKE: Hello Mr. Giordano, this is Mike Stankus with AccuData. We help companies like Applebees, Outback, and Cheesecake Factory increase store visits and acquire new customers.I’d like to take two minutesto tell you why I called then you can decide if we should talk more…are you okay with that? ED: Sure…But two minutes is my limit MIKE: ED, most of the restaurant marketing leaders I speak with today tell me they are concerned with the same issues: They are struggling to generate demand due to the flailing economyTheir traditional marketing programs aren’t producing the results they needAnd most importantly they are tasked with finding a solution to increase store visits while working with lower budgets and fewer resources. Does this sound familiar? ED: Are you kidding? This is the story of my life right now MIKE: The companies I mentioned above are finding great success from using our custom data and integrated marketing solutions. We have been able to make their marketing efforts more productive while working with limited budgets. Are you interested in meeting? It won’t cost you anything to discuss this further, and who knows? It may be costing you not to. ED: Actually we are in the process of evaluating our marketing programs…I guess it wouldn’t hurt to meet.MIKE: Great, how does your schedule look on…..
You have to expect and welcome objections. The first response of a busy person is to get you off the phone. You need to expect and welcome objections and use them as a way to spring board the conversation along….here’s an example…
Trade shows and industry conferences are a great place to prospect. They can be high risk because of the investment of time and money. On the flip side, they are high reward because of the targeted group of people that attends and the fact that people go to these shows to learn about new products and to network.In order to maximize your return, you must prepare to succeed
To demonstrate what a sample pitch might look like…we have set up a brief role play. The scenario isApproach ED at after hours networking event• Hello ED, my name is Mike Stankus and I am with AccuData. What brings you to the DMA show? ED: I come every year to network and find the latest and greatest technologies.MIKE: How is it going for you so far?ED: I am somewhat disappointed in the vendor turnoutMIKE: What are you hoping to accomplish here? ED: We are looking to improve our direct response mailing and I am looking for vendors that can help us with that.MIKE: What specifically are you hoping to accomplish?ED: We need to increase store visits and I am looking for solutions to help us do that.MIKE: My company works with restaurant groups such as Applebees, Outback, and Cheesecake Factory on these types of programs. Why don’t you stop by our booth at ____ tomorrow and we can discuss your situation in more detail.ED: Sounds good. I will see you at _____
Facts: 90%+ of all net new customers come from referrals /warm introduction. However most sales people spend little time building up their personal networksBuilding a personal network should be a top priority.This is how business is done
Building a personal network should be a top priority. Obvious methods include leveraging your personal contacts such as friends, family, current and past customers to introduce you to others. We already talked about industry events and why they are great. Not so obvious opportunities to expand your network include…Final you need to keep in touch with people in your network, finding out what is new with them and sharing what is new with you.
Networking efforts can be highly productive if you utilize the right tools. Develop a simple elevator pitch that clearly articulates what you do. Hi – I’m Mike Stankus with AccuData. We provide data resources, marketing analytics, and marketing database technology for companies like……Before you go to any event, decide how you will approach people you don’t know and get a conversation started. Easiest way is to walk up and introduce yourself. Hi – I’m Mike Stankus with AccuData.Once the introductions are out of the way, engage the person in a conversation. Do not start selling or talking about yourself. Come prepared with a list of questions to get the ball rolling…What brings you to the show? What were you hoping to accomplish? How are things going so far?The best way to create a relationship for someone is to seek out ways you can help them. We call this the pay it forward philosophy. If you ask the right questions, opportunities will pop up for you to help – such as make an introduction, forward a white paper, etc.If you focus on being a giver, you will build credibility and trust – the type of person who others are willing to introduce to others.
If you are meeting or planning to meet someone, always research the person before the meeting.Utilize……or simply call someone who knows your target and get some insights on the person and their interests. Find out where they went to school, career path, family, personal interests, etc.This will help you come up with a list of questions that are relevant and will keep the conversation flowing….
Email is a great tool for follow-upAlso if you were introduced by another person, send that person a note thanking them for the intro and saying you hope you can return the favor
Social media or social networking refers to Online tools such as Linkedin and Facebook that allow individuals and companies to seek out and build relationships with like minded peopleI’m sure many of you use social media tools today. If you don’t, you need to start now. This is how relationships are built in the 21st century. For those of you who wish to learn more, we have created a tutorial on the basics of social networking
The last key component of effective prospecting is having the right mind set. I can’t stress how important this is.You won’t succeed in your prospecting efforts without the right attitudeCreate a planHave thick skinMeasure progress via information gathered, follow-up opportunities createdNever STOP prospectingI would like to share a story with you….
Remember to keep these points in mind when expanding your prospecting efforts….
AccuData's Webinar Prospecting Tutorial Final
The power of partnership.
Sales Training Series
How to Prospect
Training Module Run Time: 23 minutes
What you will learn from this tutorial:
• Prospecting rules and best practices
• How to use various methods
• The importance of the right mindset
Complex Deal Sale Cycle
Get In the
Discovery Validation Propose Close
• Right • Understand • Desire • Compelling • Decision
person? the state? reason to makers on-
• Right time? problem/ • Compelling buy from board?
needs of reason to you? • Handled
the change? objections?
customer? • Favorable • When are
to our they ready
solution? to buy?
There is no silver bullet
Planning + Professionalism + Effort + Timing = Success
What is the Goal of Prospecting?
• Find qualified leads
− Have a problem that you can solve
− Willing to act
− Have authority to make decisions
− Have money
• Engage those leads in a dialogue/get in the door
Rules of the Game
How would you react to a similar approach?
• Common sense
• Make it personal
• Keep it short
• Have a call to action
What Does Not Work
• Hard sell
• Annoying tactics
Compelling Reason to Contact
• Don’t call unless you have a compelling reason!
− In the news…
− Idea to help their business…
− Industry/economic event impacting their business
Email • Non-threatening • Spam filters
• Can do off hours • Getting noticed
• Easy for prospect to reply
Phone (Cold Call) • Interactive • Business hours only
• Difficult to catch someone live
Trade Show • Interactive • Frequency
• Target audience • Cost
• People attend to network
Personal • Trust factor • Frequency
Networking • Level of effort
Social Media • Efficient • Multi-step process
Networking • Can do off hours
• Target audience
Email / Letter Best Practices
• Need to build trust, credibility by end of second paragraph
− Establish boni fides by relating success story / how you solved a
• Don’t start selling – say you are interested in understanding their
• Include a call to action
− I will be calling you on….
SUBJECT: I have an idea I would like to run by you….WIFM
(My company) helps companies like Applebee’s, Outback Steakhouse, and The Cheesecake
Factory increase store visits and acquire new customers. Credibility
In response to the difficult economy, we have developed new data solutions that improve
identification and targeting of prospective customers. I assume that as the VP of Marketing,
you are looking for ways to make your direct marketing programs more effective. Relevance
We would like to engage you in a conversation to see if there might be an opportunity to
improve your current situation. I will be calling you on June 12th to discuss our idea with you.
Don’t sell…call to action
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Cold Call Best Practices
First response is to get you off the phone…
• You must answer
− Who are you?
− Why are you calling me?
− Why should I care?
− How long will this take?
Phone Call Example
Cold call to VP of Marketing at family restaurant chain
• What to look for…
− Intro (who am I, why am I calling?)
− Risk mitigation
− Call to action
• You have to expect and welcome objections…..
• Objection handling process –Example of “no need”
1. Prospect: “I’m already using (Competitor X) and I’m very happy
with the results.”
2. “You know, a lot of our clients used to feel that way, however
after giving ___________ (your company name) a try, they found us
to be far more responsive and cost effective. You can see for
yourself… just give us a try! What types of projects are you
currently working on?
Trade Shows / Industry Conferences
High Risk – High Reward
• Prepare to Succeed!
− Establish a target list
− Create goals
− Have a connection plan (Booth, Set meetings, Networking events,
− Have a pitch for each type of connection
Trade Shows / Industry Conferences
• Have a pitch for each type of connection
Sample Networking Conversation…
90%+ of all net new customers come from referrals /warm introductions!
• Business is Relationships
• Invest in your Network!
Personal Networking Opportunities
• Leverage personal contacts
• Industry Events
• Charity Work
• School Functions
• Social Engagements
• Catch Up Calls
Personal Networking Tools
• Elevator Pitch
• Pay it Forward Philosophy
Should be done for both formal and informal networking
• Google Search
• Call someone who knows your target
You MUST follow-up after every networking conversation…
• Within 24 hours
• Cite something specific you talked about
• Re-affirm next steps commitments made
• Keep it short