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Some things are easy, some things are hard, and then there’s prospecting.
For many sales reps out there, prospecting is a challenge. Why? For starters, you can’t ‘finish’ prospecting like you can finish most of your other tasks. It’s something that salespeople have to do day in, day out.
What’s even worse, prospecting demands a lot of energy. You have to get in touch with hundreds of leads before you find the person who’s interested to hear you out. Most of the times, your cold email (or call) will stay ignored. It’s a marathon.
Many salespeople dedicate less time to prospecting than they should. But it doesn’t have to be this way! If you’re looking for ways to improve your sales tactics in 2019, smarter prospecting should be on the list.
With the right tools, prospecting can become far less of a challenge. Here are some of our top picks.
Do you know a sales rep who crushes their prospecting goals? Chances are that they are using Sales Navigator.
It’s considered a top prospecting tool by many sales professionals. So what makes it so great?
Sales Navigator helps you search through the LinkedIn database in a more efficient manner. With Advanced Search finding accounts who fit your ideal buyer persona is a matter of a couple of clicks. Saved searches help you automate your prospecting to some extent. Activity filtering lets you find people you should contact first. And there are a lot of other shortcuts that help you prospect.
LinkedIn is a great platform for prospecting. The social network boasts of half a billion users. Millions of accounts are complete and up-to-date. Your next customer is bound to be there!
2) Google Calendar (and Calendly)
There’s a huge reason why so many sales reps struggle with prospecting. They postpone it until they don’t have the time to do it right.
Prospecting is a combination of different tasks. It needs your undivided attention. If you try multi-tasking, you’ll fail. Remember that consistency is super important for prospecting.
The solution? Start blocking regular hours to focus on prospecting and prospecting only. Google Calendar is your best friend here because it lets you set up recurring events.
People tend to overestimate how much they are going to achieve in a day. Schedule prospecting beforehand and you won’t procrastinate on it until it’s too late.
By the way, if you’re running a lot of meetings, try Calendly. It lets your prospects schedule meetings when you have the time to do it. Calendly cuts useless emails from your life, freeing you to finish important tasks.
Salespeople who need to prospect companies will find Datanyze Insider indispensable. It’s an extension that generates a report on the company you’re trying to get in touch with.
Click the extension icon when visiting the website of a potential customer. Boom — the report includes a lot of data. The number of employees, the technology the company is using, even their revenue. It’s a great tool when you want to craft a targeted pitch instead of a generic sales email.
Sales Navigator is amazing when you need to find new prospects. But it’s not perfect when it comes to getting in touch with them.
Enter LeadGibbon. It’s an extension that adds a couple of cool features to Sales Navigator. For example, you’ll be able to verify business email addresses within LinkedIn searches. It’s a great way to save yourself hours you’d spend on verifying the emails by hand.
What’s even better, LeadGibbon allows you to export lead data to Google Drive in one click. That’s super helpful when you need to add new prospects to a CRM or an email automation solution. And if you want to shoot them an email right away, LeadGibbon allows you to do it as well.
Some people prefer short and direct communication. Others love to chat about their lives and make jokes. Some people need to see your passion, while others want to get their hands on concrete data.
Building relationships is an important part of prospecting. So how can you guess what approach will work best with your lead?
Crystal can help you understand your prospect before you even send them a message. It analyzes social media profiles and will hint on the best approach to take. Want to send an email to Elon Musk? Be blunt and avoid hype. Need to convince Bill Gates? Nail your research first.
Check Crystal on yourself (or your colleague) and you’ll see that the results are spot on. It’s a great tool for crafting more powerful and resonant messages.
Imagine that you enter the pilot’s cabin on the plane only to find that the pilot is flying blind. Pretty scary, right?
So why people who write cold emails do it all the time?
MailTrack is a simple extension that adds read receipts a la WhatsApp to Gmail. When a prospect opens your email, the tool lets you know. If they ignore the message, you can see it as well.
What’s best, MailTrack is free, forever (an optional subscription unlocks advanced features). The newfound certainty of whether your emails are being read, however, is priceless.
Prospecting is usually about converting people who never heard about your product. But what if you already have some leads eager to hear your pitch?
LeadFeeder and other tools like it help you connect the dots. The tool uses Google Analytics data to track when a specific company visits your website. It generates a report letting you know who exactly and when was looking into your product.
All that’s left is writing a targeted email. If you want to find ready-to-buy leads, LeadFeeder is great.
Salespeople tend to concentrate on finding new opportunities when prospecting. That often comes at expense of following-up with leads you already found.
HubSpot research states that most people need several follow-ups before making a decision. Many sales reps stop only after one. Which means they lose a lot of opportunities.
There’s no mystery why following up is hard. You need to remember all the people you sent an email to and track whether they replied.
A tool like FollowUp.cc can ease much of the pain. It augments Gmail with schedules, rules, automatic follow-ups, and templates. Once you’ve sent an initial email, you can tell it to send a follow-up in a day, a week or a month. No more wasted opportunities!
Prospecting depends on your ability to build a relationship with a potential customer. The more information you have on your hands, the easier it is to do it.
FullContact’s extension for Gmail shows available data about your prospect in one place. That data includes their photo, social media accounts, phone number, location and more. You can even add notes and create reminders for each individual prospect.
Use FullContact to connect with potential customers on a more personal level. Connect on social media, store reminders for important events and personalize your emails. You’ll build brand loyalty in no time.
Is there any other extension that’s as easy to recommend as Grammarly?
Prospects hate reading sales emails with poor grammar. The tool helps you identify and fix all the typos and mistakes in your draft before you hit ‘send’. The extension integrates with Gmail, so the whole process is seamless.
Hemingway Editor is a similar (but completely different) tool to Grammarly. The tool improves your writing by highlighting complicated sentences and weak language. It also scores the text you write on how easy it is to read.
If you want to convert a prospect, it’s a good idea to make your writing accessible and persuasive. It’s also helpful when targeting foreign markets, where people don’t know English well. All in all, a superb tool when you need to make your writing readable (and don’t have anybody to edit it for you).
No single tool from this list will ‘solve’ prospecting for you. But they will smooth and streamline the whole process. The right set of tools can save you a lot of time — and who knows, maybe even make prospecting enjoyable?
Of course, the list is far from exhaustive. If you’re looking for more ways to build up your workflow for 2019, there are many other tools to check out. Good luck crashing that sales quota!
About The Author:
Steven is the Head of Content at LeadGibbon, a one-click tool for sales teams to find email addresses and other data for their leads. When he’s not busy with research for his latest article, Steve is binge-watching 80s horror movies or playing pick-up basketball with friends.
Disclaimer: All images are provided by the author.