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Topics Covered: <a href='/resources/search/?query=Sales Management'>Sales Management</a> | <a href='/resources/search/?query=Social Networking'>Social Networking</a> | <a href='/resources/search/?query=Referrals'>Referrals</a> | <a href='/resources/search/?query=Prospecting'>Prospecting</a> | <a href='/resources/search/?query=Lead Generation'>Lead Generation</a>
Sales Strategy
Apr 19, 2017 | Canadian Professional Sales Association lock
In order for the prospecting process to work to the best of its abilities, it has to be as efficient as possible. Prospecting, the task of finding qualified leads for the sales team, requires a huge amount of work. It also has to be quite large in its scope.

In reality, not all prospects are going to turn into good leads for the sales team to work with. Of the huge lists of potential customers that are handed over to the sales team, only a small percentage will bear fruit. That means that prospectors need to search far and wide to come up with large quantities of potential leads. The fewer potential leads they come up with, the fewer sales the sales team will be able to generate. In this context, efficiency is absolutely vital, as is the task of sourcing out prospects who are more likely to turn into customers.

Of the numerous prospecting methods that are used, there are three that are especially efficient and that have much higher rates of success. Any well-oiled prospecting team should incorporate these prospecting methods sooner than later.

1. Referrals

Referrals are an absolute treasure trove for potentially qualified leads for the sales team. Referrals come from current clients, business associates, or people within your larger network, who pass on names of people they believe would be receptive to a sales call. 

Most people don’t like referring their friends or associates if they don’t think they’d actually be receptive. It can reflect badly on them. As a result, referrals tend to have much higher success rates. Referrals contacted by the sales team tend to be more receptive and they tend to take sales calls more seriously because of the shared connection. It’s also incredibly efficient; after all, referrals are given, they don’t have to be actively hunted for. Increasing your referrals is a highly effective way to generate new prospects. 

2. Alliances

Of the prospecting methods in circulation, this one is heavily underutilized, especially when you consider its very real benefits. An alliances approach is all about collaborating with other companies that share your broader network. Obviously, this doesn’t include those directly competing for your sales, but it can include companies that are closely associated with your industry or product. 

The reason it’s so successful is this: people tend to give their business to companies with similar structures and values. If they’re doing business with the company you’ve formed an alliance with, they’re much more likely to be receptive to your sales call, as well as satisfied with the way that you conduct business. Cross-promotional work within alliances can also be a great way to boost your brand, which in turn will help generate further prospects.  

3. Social Networking

Social networking has become an essential part of the prospecting process. Most of your potential client base is interacting with both companies and sales reps online. They seek out information about products and companies online, they look up reviews online, and they network and connect with each other online. 

Without strong social media prospecting methods in place, you’re missing out on a key demographic of current consumers. Social media networking as a prospecting method involves tracking when people visit your website, your LinkedIn page, or your Twitter feeds. It also involves adding people to the prospecting database if they’ve ever interacted with your company or your product online. 

In terms of the prospecting methods that we’ve mentioned, this is one of the more forward-looking methods. Social networking as a means of doing business is not going away. In fact, it’s set to become an even larger part of the way we do business in the next decade. Finding new leads is one of the biggest challenges in a sales career. Your prospecting methods need to catch up and get on board with this highly efficient means of finding clients.

About the Canadian Professional Sales Association
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Contact us today at MemberServices@cpsa.com or 1-888-267-2772 to see how we can help you and your team reach new heights in sales success.

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