In the world of teleprospecting, many thought leaders are debating the efficacy of new and old techniques. With more and more sales leaders implementing new strategies, it’s important for inside sales rep to keep up with the trends. However, don’t feel you have to choose one technique and stick to it. Instead, learn to balance your techniques and manage your lists. Social selling is time-consuming, and it cuts out the ability to speak to prospects for a lengthy amount of time about their pains and needs, but it could lead to stronger opportunities. You may find that your team has more activity from the smile and dial method, but without some social intelligence behind these calls, those leads could be dead ends. Below are three things to consider when using commonly used prospecting techniques to find the balance that works right for you.
Mass email marketing
Mass emails should be used for prospecting large sets of data that may or may not have quality or relevance. Your product or service could be completely new to a certain industry, or it could have no major competitors. You wouldn’t know which titles are best to contact and you wouldn’t even have a baseline of the ideal prospect to call. However, you still have to start somewhere. Mass email marketing is a great way to clean a list before importing it into your CRM. There are many tools like Act-On that allow you to see what emails have bounced, who has clicked through the emails, and who has opted out. Spend more time calling prospects who have opened your emails numerous times, and don’t waste any time on inaccurate or irrelevant information. If there are irrelevant titles as you’re learning more about your space and seeing patterns, close them out in favor of prospects qualified through pre-call planning and research.
Mass emails should not be used as much on warmer lists, because they are less personable than phone calls. If you do use a mass email on a warmer list, keep it brief and use it as a tool to set up a time for a call.
Pre-call planning and social selling
Pre-call planning should be used when know the anatomy of your ideal prospect. If you research beforehand, your introduction to the decision maker in an account should be warmer. A top-down approach is much more effective: Research higher level contacts on LinkedIn, read company blogs, and be active on other social media outlets to examine your prospects’ roles, interests, pains, and needs. Tailor your messaging to your prospect to get a stronger response.
Do not focus as much on the volume of your dials but instead on the quality of your conversations. Focus on the accounts and how they’re structured. You’re more likely to call fewer prospects with this approach, but your conversations will be more meaningful, and they may lead to more opportunities.
Smile and dial
The smile and dial technique works best if you have a strong list of inbound leads from a relevant source. These sources could be: an inbound “Contact me” feature off your company’s website, prospect follow-ups from tradeshows, webinars, whitepaper downloads, and more. It’s still a good idea to know who you’re calling, but not as much time should be devoted to pre-call planning in this instance. You already know that the prospect has some interest in your company; they came to you for a reason. The contact information also tends to be more accurate. These leads should always be called first because they are the warmest on any list. There may even be marketing service level agreements attached to them.
Smiling and dialing on a list that is not warm or relevant, however, will lead to frustration and a world of hurt. Avoid this technique as a first step on lists that are not slightly qualified and do some more pre-call planning instead.
Most importantly, focus on what matters most for your company’s sales funnel. If you find that some techniques work more than others, stick to them. If what you’re doing isn’t helping you achieve your ultimate goal, it’s time to switch things up and try something new.