One way to recognize a true master of their craft is by the tools they bring to the job. Woodworkers have planes and chisels; artists have easels and brushes. Every occupation has specialized equipment that helps professionals accomplish their daily tasks.
The same is true for the business development team. It takes more than just a telephone to fill the company pipeline with qualified leads and interested prospects. That’s why outfitting your inside sales team with the best sales prospecting tools is important.
Sales prospecting tools for every size and budget
The good news is that many sales prospecting tools cost very little—but at the same time, can make a tremendous impact on sales effectiveness.
Likewise, there are various options available for those items that do require investment. Even smaller organizations and startups can find sales prospecting tools that meet your needs without breaking the budget.
Equip your team with these sales prospecting essentials
To build your sales prospecting toolkit, start with these essentials:
- Value proposition. Every business development call or email should include targeted messaging. Arm your inside sales team with a quality value proposition that’s relevant, benefit-oriented and that clearly differentiates you in the market.
- Prospect list. The quality of your prospect list is one of the most important factors for lead generation success. Unfortunately, B2B data degrades quickly as individuals switch jobs, companies merge and contact information changes. A current, accurate contact list is a must-have sales prospecting tool. (Hint: If your company struggles with database updates, Volkart May can help!)
- Outbound calling. Sales calls form the foundation of an effective sales prospecting effort. Train your business development team, set goals and operate your program consistently. Be prepared to make multiple attempts and to navigate phone trees, receptionists and gate-keepers in order to reach busy B2B decision-makers.
- Database or CRM system. Tracking progress becomes far easier with the right technology behind it. Instead of relying on spreadsheets, stacks of business cards or worse, your sales team’s memory, invest in a sales database that lets everyone in the company access current information.
- Offer. An offer adds muscle to your sales prospecting efforts. It gives the business development team another reason to engage with your target audience, and it demonstrates value to potential buyers. Educational guides, invitations to webinars, price discounts and bundled services are all examples of offers you can add to your sales prospecting toolkit.
Add these sales prospecting tools to grow your capabilities
Next, as your efforts become more sophisticated, add these sales prospecting tools:
- Lead scoring criteria. Some sales prospects are ready to buy immediately, making them “hot” leads. Others are cooler and require more nurturing before they’re ready to close the deal. Instead of making these decisions on an arbitrary basis, which can lead to issues internally, develop objective lead scoring criteria to guide your sales prospecting efforts.
- Virtual meeting technology. With COVID-19, sales prospecting efforts across industries have moved online. That makes a videoconferencing service such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Google Meet an in-demand sales prospecting tool. Find the right option for your company, then offer training for your business development team so they feel confident and comfortable hosting sales calls.
- Search engine optimization. While your business development team will keep in touch with many prospects, it’s also important that new contacts find you easily. That’s where search engine optimization (SEO) can complement your outbound calling efforts. Enhancing your online presence ensures that when they’re ready to buy, your prospects have multiple ways to reach you.
- LinkedIn presence. The world’s largest professional networking site attracts millions of users. Cultivating strong profiles for your company and your inside sales team members reinforces your value proposition and sales prospecting efforts. You can link with potential customers, find common connections and have another way to share your message in the marketplace.
Put your sales prospecting tools to work
Once you’ve developed a comprehensive toolkit for your business development team, it’s time to take action. With the best sales prospecting tools in place, your inside sales team can sell more efficiently.
Add outsourced lead generation to your toolkit. Need fast traction in your marketplace? Have aggressive lead generation goals? Want to test a new approach? Working with an outsourced contact center like Volkart May can help. Learn more about our work, then contact us to discuss your project.