5 Tips for Effective Sales Prospecting in 2020

Looking for ideas to level up your prospecting game in 2020? Here you are — I put together a list of 5 sales prospecting tips worth implementing into your lead generation strategy this year and onwards since I believe they are pretty much everlasting.

Get yourself a nice cup of coffee and read on.

TIP #1 Prospect in less crowded places

If asked where to find new prospects, the majority of salespeople would say that LinkedIn is the first thing that comes to their mind. But while LinkedIn is a great place for sales prospecting, it’s also very crowded. What it means is that there’s a very high chance that prospects you find there have already been flooded with cold emails from other salespeople.

In marketing, there’s a phenomenon called banner blindness, which means that people see so many ads around them online and offline that they stop paying attention anymore. Similar things happen to prospects who are snowed under emails every day.

That’s why I encourage you to broaden your prospecting horizons and look for contacts on platforms other than LinkedIn. We’ve made a list of places where you can find SaaS companies, startups, software houses, marketing experts and other business:
15+ Places Where You Can Find B2B Leads, Other than LinkedIn >>

TIP #2 Mention a relevant case study

Even if you look for prospects on less obvious platforms than LinkedIn, chances are that people from your list get a few cold emails a day anyway. That’s why to get noticed your message should stand out.

Although there is no recipe for success that would work in all cases, the trick for catching your prospects’ attention may be mentioning an example of how similar companies succeeded with your product or service.

You probably experienced such a situation in real life too: your friend told you so much about how that new cool mobile app helped him get better organized in his daily tasks that you thought you’re gonna try it too and check how it works for you.

The same approach works in sales. A relevant case study can spark your prospect’s interest and trigger the bandwagon effect: if this product helped their industry peer, why not give it a try? The seed of curiosity has been planted.

But mind you, if you decide to mention your successful client’s story in email copy, make sure to avoid SPAM-trigger words, such as increase or %. If there’s no way to get around them, paste a link to a case study instead.

TIP #3 Adjust your communication to the recipient

The same message rarely resonates equally with a C-level executive and a marketing manager. That’s because they have a different perspective on the company and, what follows, they also have different pain points and needs. Especially so in bigger companies with complex structures.

So to make your message hit the right chord, tailor it to the decision-maker you’re reaching out to. Give them the “oh this sounds familiar” moment when they read a message from you. If they’re able to relate to your message, they will be more willing to schedule a call with you and learn more about your product or service.

And what if you’re not sure who the decision-maker is? You can target both a CEO and a manager, but try not to send them the exact same message. Use custom snippets to tailor the email copy to each prospect. Have a look at this example:

{{SNIPPET_1}} in a message to a sales team manager could go like this: “We know that a sales team like yours has great potential but quite often is limited by time and resources to get their lead generation process to the next level.”

While {{SNIPPET_1}} in a message that a CEO of that company would get could be like this: “I know that companies like yours can drive predictable growth with the right toolset at hand and a strategic approach.”

Can you see how those two versions of a snippet reflect two slightly different points of view?

Custom snippets allow for keeping your messages highly personalized at scale. Read more about how snippets work and how you can use them for clever outreach.

TIP #4 Make educated guesses

Learn from your own experience and draw conclusions from past campaigns to make your future ones more successful. These insights will give you a clear picture of what works, what doesn’t, and what could be improved next time.

If you notice that some segments that you target have a very low interest level, it may mean that you are barking up the wrong tree. They may not have the need or a sufficient budget for purchasing your product right now. Or perhaps your value proposition doesn’t really speak to them. Try changing the tune a bit and see what happens.

It works the other way round too. If you notice that a particular segment turned out to be an especially good target for you, focus on finding similar prospects, and follow the same strategy when reaching out to them.

You can conclude a lot from your past campaigns’ stats. Check what’s the meaning of plummeting vs. skyrocketing numbers in your stats dashboard:
What Outbound Sales Metrics Should We Track and Why? >>

TIP #5 Be open to testing and experimenting

If you’re looking for some golden rules or silver bullet solutions, I must disappoint you. Every business is different. Every target group is different too. You need to do your homework and test what approach works in your case.

While experimenting, pay attention to how much time preparing a particular campaign takes for you, and don’t waste it on something that doesn’t pay off. Don’t stick too long to one approach if the results don’t satisfy you.

Test various subject lines, different email copy versions, CTAs, sending schedules, and monitor the stats to figure out what works best in your case.

Your turn

Prospecting isn’t something you can learn from a book. It’s a process that requires some hands-on learning and a bit of out-of-the-box thinking. I encourage you to treat these tips as a good starting point to work out your own prospecting strategy.

Do you have other prospecting tips that you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below or drop me a line at [email protected]