As you work to build your sales pipeline your sales prospecting technique of choice may be reaching out to a list of target contacts that fits the bill for the type of prospect you’d like to speak with. As you head down this path it helps to remember that your time is precious, so the last thing you want to do is waste it on folks who aren’t interested in talking to you.
But the reality of the situation is that 99.1% of people from a cold list will not engage with you, which can make your prospecting campaign frustrating and exhausting. You may want to consider exploring techniques to use responder behavior to filter through the noise and find those prospects who are interested in a more in-depth conversation with you.
Prospect Like a (Tin) Man
Before you beat yourself up chasing every name on your list, remember that your email and content (e.g., website, presentation deck) have no heart, and so take rejection very well and efficiently. They are excellent mechanisms to identify the sales prospects you should call.
In effect, you can make your content your qualifier and lead nurturer. By only calling prospects who review your content, you save yourself the trouble of calling contacts who saw your message and chose to ignore it.
And those who do review your content will be in a much better position to have a meaningful discussion with you. What’s required from your end is to create the list, email and content.
You’ll also need a system that is smart enough to “see” the click-through and alert you. Ideally the system will also rank-order responders based on the content viewed and time spent viewing it. Marketo is a good example of a marketing automation system for websites, and online presentation platforms like (our very own) SlideRocket make this possible for your presentation content.
The Tin Man’s Sales Prospecting Technique
Your response rates will vary depending on variables like just how cold your list is, the level and department of your targets, size of the company, and of course the type and quality of the email and content. This funnel characterizes responses from a single wave of your campaign – we’ll get into the execution of broader campaigns in a different post. But in general, your sales prospecting techniques may generate a funnel that looks something like this:
- 1,000 emails sent
- 150 opens (15%)
- 30 click through a link in the email (20%)
- 9 people take your call (25%)
Why not fast forward to the 30 people who took an interest in what your company has to offer? That way your prospecting response rate will look more like 25% than 0.1%.