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SALES

The New B2B Prospecting

Guide for 2021

Grow your pipeline with effective prospecting strategies for high-consideration purchases.

Updated August 2021

Andy Gaylord

Senior Content Marketing Manager

B2B sales prospecting is an art, but the end goal is simple: Get meetings that lead to opportunities. Ultimately, you need to grab people’s attention and then give them a compelling reason to speak with you. ​

In 2021, B2B prospecting is hard. You're competing against a barrage of emails, LinkedIn messages, cold calls, and advertising. And without events and other in-person networking opportunities, entire channels have disappeared. ​

We’re here to make sales prospecting more effective. Let’s look closely at new, actionable prospecting strategies designed to get you more meetings and grow your pipeline.

Sales prospecting for high-consideration purchases

B2B sales prospecting in 2021 requires making personal connections through digital means. Dated tactics of mass generating prospecting collateral and sending out a million emails won’t work for high-consideration purchases.

This year, targeted, personalized outreach is critical. You need to know your audience, and when you’re making cold calls, it’s important to point your prospects to a central reference point (a shareable link is best) so your message doesn’t get lost in the endless noise.

Many B2B companies focus on solutions and services. In these markets, customer lifetime value is crucial and human relationships are essential. Before you pick up the phone or send an email blast, do the work to understand your ideal customers and make sure the content you’re sharing with them is stellar.

Identify your ideal accounts

Identifying your ideal accounts is the first step of B2B sales prospecting. It’s important to determine your target market as well as your ideal customer profile (ICP).

During this process, identify both the businesses you want to target as well as the decision-makers within each organization. Include your marketing team, sales team, and any stakeholders that have insights on identifying and qualifying new prospects.

When identifying accounts, be sure to map out:

→ Sales cycle conversion metrics
→ Customer pain points
→ Companies that have the best experience with your product or service
→ Company roles that have most frequently made purchase decisions in the past
→ Include data points like demographic, firmographic, technographic, and behavioral data

Once you’ve researched your accounts, the next step is developing a personalized strategy.

Develop a targeted, personalized plan

Many sales and marketing pros live by the Rule of Seven. Meaning it takes seven interactions to get a prospect to engage.

The rule of 7:

Audiences need to see your message at least seven times before they take action or buy from you.

In short, you can’t just autofill the name on an email, send it out, and get a meeting immediately. To be successful, you have to show that you understand your prospect through multiple forms of personalized content.

It’s important to map out your engagement plan in advance. Plan to:

→ Develop targeted videos that integrate with your content.
→ Build personalized email campaigns for your ideal accounts.
→ Create personalized, shareable content that looks great on every device.
→ Follow up with a consistent call cadence.
→ Deliver new content as your prospects begin to engage.
→ Leverage targeted and retargeted ads.

Engage your prospects

Once you’ve identified your ideal prospects and developed a targeted, personalized strategy, the next step is engaging your prospects.

Inbound prospects have initiated contact with your company. Maybe they’ve filled out a form on your blog, or come to you through referrals, or even just visited your website. If inbound prospects fit your ideal customer profile, they skip ahead in the process, and you can engage with them right away.

Outbound prospects, however, require more engagement. Let’s look closely at the key tools for engaging prospects.

Email outreach:

- Personalize subject lines.

- Use your prospect’s logos, images, tag lines, and mission statements in the email content.

- Write compelling copy that speaks directly to your prospect's pains.

- Include CTA (call-to-action) buttons, links, or reply requests

- Integrate Calendly and other automated meeting tools.

- Use lead generation or prospecting tools that integrate with your content tools

- Easily pull in your personalized content materials and automate follow-up

Cold Calling:

- Be persistent and consistent.

- Create connections based on common interests.

- Speak to customer pain points.

- Be prepared to resolve objections.

- Discuss next steps and timelines.

- Point prospects back to the content you’ve created.

LinkedIn:

- Research and connect with your prospects.

- Stay active on LinkedIn groups to join conversations with prospects.

- Empower your team with professional images, headshots, and standardized profiles for your salespeople that create a cohesive brand.

Leverage analytics

Modern sales professionals have a variety of tools at their fingertips, but most sales engagement analytics tools are underutilized because they’re either too complex or not specific to individual prospects.

Before sharing collateral with your prospects, make sure you have some form of analytics tracking. In the best-case scenario, the analytics should allow you to see individual information that lets you take informed actions. ​

Scale your strategy

Sales is a numbers game. A certain percentage of opportunities will close. The more scalable your strategies are, the more effective they’ll be.

The ability to reuse content and repurpose it for new purposes increases ROI and maximizes the value of your efforts. If you focus too much energy on one-off projects, you’ll never gain traction at scale. While personalization is critical, you must also leverage software that lets you re-use assets and quickly swap out customer data and deal information.

It also helps to integrate sales tools like Salesforce to automatically pull details such as pricing and contact information so that your content doesn't have to be remade from scratch.

Thanks for prospecting with Brandcast

Thank you for digging into B2B prospecting strategies with us. We know how hard this process can be. As you evolve your prospecting techniques to align with the rapidly evolving B2B sales landscape, we hope that these actionable strategies inspire you to reimagine how you engage your prospects and grow your pipeline.

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