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Sales Prospecting Success: 4 Steps to Creating New Conversations

Posted in:  Buyer Engagement, Sales and Marketing Management

On average, it takes most sellers eight touches to generate a conversation with a potential buyer. For top performers, it takes fewer touches (only five), but that still takes effort.

If you’re just getting started with developing a prospecting motion, you might be wondering how to get your buyer’s attention and create conversations with them. The answer lies in an organized sequence of outreach deployed across multiple media with a strong, value-based offer that will compel the buyer to act.

In other words, you need an attraction campaign.

An attraction campaign is not a marketing campaign. It’s a sequence of customized content and messages, sent to buyers over a specific period of time, for the specific purpose of generating a meeting. Sellers create and personalize these campaigns themselves.

There are four key components of an attraction campaign:

  1. Developing a target list
  2. Creating a unique offer
  3. Personalizing your outreach
  4. Securing your desired outcome

If you want to be successful in creating new conversations, you need to start with a strong attraction campaign. Here’s how to do it well.

Develop Your Target List: Who do you want to reach?

The first step is identifying the people and businesses you want to secure a meeting with. This is an incredibly important and often overlooked step in the process. Focus on five groups:

  1. Existing buyers and accounts. Are all of your accounts buying everything they should from you? If the answer is no (and it typically is), then make a note of it.
  2. Past buyers. No one stays in one job forever. Make sure you’re connected with previous customers on LinkedIn so you can stay in touch and reconnect when they move companies or switch roles.
  3. Past opportunities. Maybe someone didn’t buy from you before. Maybe they’ll be interested now.
  4. Members of your network. Tap into your network and your colleagues’ networks to uncover buyers and referral sources.
  5. High-value targets. These are the organizations that are the ideal fit based on your Most Valuable Prospect (MVP) profile. You can use LinkedIn to identify any inroads you or your colleagues have at these companies.

Once you know who you’re targeting, you can prioritize and batch these people in similar groups (for example, by industry, size, geography, or relationship) to organize your outreach.

Create a Unique Offer: What will be most compelling?

Once you know who you’re targeting, and you’ve organized these people appropriately, you need to create an offer tailored to each buyer, their industry, and their business situation. Think about your offer from the buyer’s perspective and what would be most valuable to them.

Trigger events provide a great opportunity for you to reach out. For example, when one of your top accounts hires a new COO, you could have a trigger set up to send an email about the “5 things COOs in need to do in their first 90 days.”

Whatever your offer is, it needs to be highly relevant and compelling to capture buyers’ attention and get them to act.

Personalize Your Outreach: How will you break through?

According to our research, 43% of buyers who accept meetings say it’s okay for sellers to contact them five or more times before getting through. With that in mind, you need to devise a sequence that uses multiple touchpoints, including email, LinkedIn, and phone.

But that’s not all. It’s important to personalize your outreach. Look for things you have in common or other entry points that would imply a previously existing relationship.

Specifying this kind of connection works. Based on an analysis of InMail messages sent by LinkedIn Sales Navigator users, sellers saw a 46% lift in InMail acceptance rates when at least one commonality with a prospect was shared, versus when no commonality was shared. Having common connections and attending the same school as a prospect drove InMail acceptance most in this study, regardless of the prospect’s seniority.

If you don’t take time to find and highlight these commonalities, you miss out on a huge opportunity to significantly boost your prospecting results.

Secure Your Desired Outcome: Have you done your research?

You got a meeting! Great. That’s just the beginning.

While you may compel buyers to meet with you based on your value-based offer, you must deliver on that promise — and deliver convincingly.

We’re hearing from buyers today, especially in a virtual setting, that they’re unimpressed with sellers. In fact, buyers say that an astounding 58% of sales meetings aren’t valuable to them.

Why is this? For starters, there’s a perceived lack of preparation as sellers jump from one Zoom call to the next. That, or sellers simply haven’t done their homework to learn about their buyer before they start a conversation.

To make your meetings more valuable, and increase your conversion rate from meeting to opportunity, you must do your research and make the initial call relevant to the buyer, their situation, and their industry. Use tools like LinkedIn Sales Navigator, which lets you extract key pieces of information about your buyers, such as any common connections with them or with others on your team, any recent promotions the individual has received or if they’ve been in the same role for many years, and information on the other potential decision makers in the deal.

Remember: Knowledge is power.

Make a Strong First Impression

Making a good first impression is critical for lining up new sales meetings. But sometimes it takes more than one touch to make a “first” impression.

A strong, coordinated Attraction Campaign will get you on your buyer’s radar and make that buyer more likely to want to start (and continue) a conversation with you.

sales prospecting success: 4 steps to creating new conversations