Operational Excellence (Part 2): Prospecting

If your marketing is working, you will find that a lot of people are opening your emails, clicking on links, downloading papers, and attending your webinars and other events.  All that is great. However, not all of these people are qualified to see your most expensive resources—your sales reps.

What you want to do next is pre-qualify these prospects to make sure that your sales reps are meeting with the right people, at the right time. You want to give your sales team the truly Sales Qualified Leads (SQLS).

 

Objective (s)

The objective of the Teleprospecting process is to pre-qualify MQLs and set appointments for the sales team with qualified prospects who are decision makers and ready to meet with a sales rep.

Best Practices

Call→ Connect→ Key Conversation→ Qualify—Set Appointment

As we mentioned earlier, only a small portion of even your most actively engaged audience will reach out to you asking to be contacted. The vast majority will continue to view your new content and attend many of your events without making a move to buy.

You need actual humans to call them, qualify, and then set appointments with your sales reps for the qualified prospects.

This is far harder said than done:

  • In today’s B2B world, it takes between 25-40 dials to reach someone, and it may take two rounds to reach the right person. Therefore, it is vital that the target list ONLY contains highly targeted prospects rather than a wide audience.
  • Once you reach the right person, you have about 20 seconds to get the attention and curiosity of the prospect before she says, “No thanks” and hangs up on you. During that brief moment, your rep must make a compelling value proposition; keep the prospect engaged, and qualify her adequately.
  • Since your reps have less than a minute or so before the prospects says she has to go, they need to immediately ask your most critical qualifying questions—those that would absolutely qualify the prospect IN or OUT. First, is the pain a pressing issue; next, is this the right person to talk to; after that, are there any disqualifying criteria; and finally, if it’s all a go, schedule the meeting.

Clearly, you want to use highly experienced Business Development Reps (BDRs) for prospecting. They must have at least 5-7 years of experience in B2B prospecting, and preferably have had quota bearing inside or field sales experience as well. Remember that this is your first line team, not a place to try and save a buck or two.

Key Metrics

Besides the actual number of appointments set per month per BDR, you want to track how many of these were added to the sales pipeline (conversion rates); how many were attended or rescheduled; and how many were no-shows. You also want to track these numbers not just in the aggregate, but per BDR and sales rep to see if there are anomalies you need to address.

Read about the third operation in B2B Sales, “Sales”.