Sales Prospecting Techniques for 2021


By Stephanie Carrillo, Senior Marketing Consultant at Heinz Marketing

When was the last time you read a sales prospecting email? I’m sales’ worst nightmare, I rarely ever open and read sales emails; like many, they are sent directly to my delete box. On occasion, when a prospecting email catches my eye, it’s because the sender personalized it.

It may come as a surprise some sales teams are still sending out mass-produced email outreaches that are not customized. Personalization is not a new prospecting tactic, but many sales organizations do not take the extra time to personalize their message.

Personalizing your sales prospecting touchpoints

The first step in personalization is to do your research. A great sales prospector will research by checking blogs, social channels, and looking at company or industry news to understand their audience.

Email is a great way to start the conversation. Every email should include personalization, beyond name and organization. These are potential buyers; use your research to fuel your first conversation. Maybe you read about a specific hardship they currently face, send an email showing empathy for their current hardship, and ask to meet with them to learn more.

Depending on your style, you might even want to take a lighter approach and mention something more personalized. In one email I received, a sales rep acknowledged my volunteer work in Boyscouts and briefly talked about his experience with scouts. It caught my eye, and I read his entire email, which does not happen very often.

Intent tools for sales prospecting

Intent tools are a wonderful way for sales and BDR teams to discover prospects’ activity and use that information to make personalized recommendations for content or services.

Use the data to determine a specific problem they are searching answers for and address it on a call or email. Those types of interactions are what builds a relationship of trust.

You could use intent data from tech companies to see what service a customer is researching on your website and then create a short customized prospecting demo video showcasing it.

Personalized sales calls

Sales calls should no longer be a sale pitch. Why? Because it should be a personalized conversation addressing the potential buyer’s pain points and needs.

The first touch should be a brief introduction. Find something in common for your first outreach; maybe it’s a conference you both attended. Craft a discussion around the conference. Maybe something stood out to them that their company might not be doing that your services can help.

Use multiple phone calls to help forge relationships with your qualified prospects. Spend time listening to them and see if you can share any industry knowledge that might help them succeed before trying to sell them anything. Then work your way up to focus on the benefits your company can help solve for them.

Using email templates for prospecting

B2B sales teams are busy, to send 50 highly personalized emails to your top accounts is not possible. Pick out your top 5 accounts to focus those efforts on and use a template for the others.

My last tip. Create multiple templates personalized by industry and include specific pain points to that industry and how your services can address them. Retail and manufacturing are very different, so don’t treat them the same way, even if your functionality serves them similarly.

Also, break it out by persona groups; The C-suite and technology team might have a common goal, but each group is trying to solve different things, so your emails should appropriately address each group.

Lastly, let your personality shine through. Be your unique, authentic self, and people will want to build a relationship and become a customer.