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Sales Prospecting Plan

The sales cycle in telemarketing is largely dependent on the quality and accuracy of the sales prospecting plan. Though it’s important, it doesn’t need to be a stressful process in creating one. Use these six steps to help you quickly and effectively build your sales prospecting plan today! 

What Is Sales Prospecting?

Sales prospects are potential buyers of your product or service. When determining who the sales prospects might be, one might use a set of criteria to qualify or disqualify a prospect. 

What Is the Goal of Strategic Prospecting?

The goal of strategic prospecting is to find individuals or companies who fit the criteria and are willing and able to make a purchase of whatever you’re selling.

How to Create a Strategic Prospecting Action Plan

Having your well equipped prospecting action plan will make identifying prospects and catering to prospects much more efficient. Your sales team will be able to optimize high quality prospects and save more time that could have been wasted on unqualified prospects. Without a solid action plan, you will be shooting in the dark. Let’s shed some light to the plan and begin with step 1!

1. Identify Your Ideal Customer

To identify your ideal customer, start by looking at your current customer base. Understanding who has bought from you already will give you a better idea of who will buy from you now. 

Dive deep into what the ideal customers’ current habits, goals, fears, and buying decisions are when buying your product. With the use of analytics, SEO, and other forms of data generation tools, you will be able to work closely with the marketing team to identify these consumer traits. 

Once you have identified your ideal customer, start thinking of ways to interact with them. For instance, instruct your sales team to answer the following questions to get them thinking about ways to interact with prospects:

      • Who are your prospects’ customers?
      • Why do their clients buy from them?

2. Set Your Goals

“If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.”- Lawrence J. Peter

Likewise, if you have no goal, then you’ll never meet it. If you have no direction you will never go anywhere. Setting practical and attainable goals are key to determining and measuring success. 

Try to keep the goals minimal, so you can focus on specific areas that will need to be successful in order for the plan to do well. Then you will be able to shift focus later and create goals for areas that the team or plan is lacking in. Here are a few areas to set goals for: 

      • Email responses 
      • Phone calls
      • Meetings
      • Referrals
      • Networking & Social Media outreach 

3. Develop Your Sales Script

When developing your cold calling script there are few things you will want to consider: 

    • What it should contain (introduction):
      • Who is calling them (either the company name or sales agents name)
      • Information of value to the prospect (to encourage the prospect to stay on the line or call back)
      • Summarize the offer/deal and include a way to contact the company or the sales agent
    • How long it should be:
      • The goal is to keep them on the phone as long as possible until a sale or follow-up is made
      • The length should be long enough to relay the important information but brief if the prospect has limited time or if the sales person is leaving a voice message
    • Cold call templates (for the type of call):
      • Short, condensed voice mail script–an intriguing yet brief message that motivates your prospect to call you back
      • First contact script–concise introductory remarks designed to spark interest and persuade your prospect to listen to you and speak with you further, either immediately or in the near future
      • Second contact script–follow up remarks to remind the prospect of the purpose of your call and to motivate him or her to interact with you in more detail

4. Outreach

If you are unable to make warm calls, that’s okay! Cold calling works too. 

Why cold calling works:

  • People see, on average, 10,000 advertisements a day. It can be very easy for ads online, on billboards, in inboxes, etc. to become white noise. A phone call, however, is very hard to ignore.
  • Cold calls make personal impressions on prospects.
  • Cold calls give opportunities for prospects’ questions and concerns to be answered in real time. 
  • The sales person can gain relevant information.
  • Sales people can receive referrals.
  • Receive instant feedback.

Not to mention, research shows  that 69% of people accepted a cold call from a sales person in the past 12 months.

5. Create a Qualification Checklist

Don’t be fooled, some prospects will look great at first, but that doesn’t always result in a sale. A major part of the sales prospecting plan is the ability to qualify the prospect before having to make contact. 

Having a qualification checklist will aid in determining a qualified and unqualified prospect. This allows the sales agents to quickly understand who can purchase, who is willing to purchase, and who wants to purchase your product or service. 

Removing disqualified prospects means more time and energy can be focused on the qualified candidates. It’s a win-win situation since the agents were able to conduct research on the prospect, they will also be able to personalize their approach. 

6. Convert and Repeat 

If you have closed sales, great! Don’t lose their contact information just yet though. The action plan for generating leads in an ongoing process, therefore, you never want to lose touch with the customer. Even in situations where the product is a one time purchase, the customer can still be helpful to the sales person by helping them find the source of the next lead. 

On a roll? Learn these 8 effective sales prospecting techniques that will help you achieve your sales prospecting plan even better.