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As more and more companies continue to populate the digital landscape, it is becoming increasingly important for businesses to create effective and sustainable digital marketing and sales strategies. Without these strategies, it can be challenging for a business to reach its target audience — let alone convert the prospect into a customer. Think about it this way, if you cannot find and reach your target audience in the crowded digital sphere, your likelihood of being able to actually get them to buy your products goes way down. When it comes to sales strategies, businesses need to ensure they are not only properly marketing their products but also targeting their marketing efforts at the right audience. This is where prospecting comes in.
What is prospecting? The process of prospecting is identifying your potential customers (also known as prospects). This process is the first step in the sales process because it helps you to identify and singularly target the ideal customer for your products or services. Only once you have identified your target audience through a prospecting plan will you be able to ensure that your marketing efforts are going to good use. Another important part of prospecting is once you have developed a database of likely customers, you can utilize that information to communicate with those customers and convert them from potential customers into current customers.
Now, it is important to note that just like any other type of sales or marketing strategy, prospecting and qualifying your ideal market can be achieved by utilizing a number of different techniques and strategies. In order to create an effective and efficient sales prospecting process, you need to find the techniques and strategies that work best for your business. These techniques may be different from the techniques that other businesses use, or they may be the same. There are many different examples of prospecting strategies that you could use in your business, and likely the only way you will know for sure what techniques do and do not work is by trying them out.
This said, simply looking online for prospecting techniques and trying to implement them into your business blindly can do more harm than good because you may not be able to use those techniques accurately. Luckily, an easy solution to this problem is to utilize an online training program, such as Winning By Design’s Prospect for Impact training. In this course, you will learn the fundamental skills needed to achieve successful prospecting. These include communication techniques, email and voicemail crafting, and best practices for optimizing your prospecting efforts.
Inbound Prospecting Strategy
Now that you know the importance of prospecting as it relates to your overall sales strategy, you may be wondering, what is the most effective prospecting strategy? Well, before diving into which strategy is the most effective, it is important to understand that there are many different types of prospecting techniques available. Put simply, anyone who engages once with your online content counts as a lead, but not all of these leads are going to be good prospects. Prospecting is the step that helps you to sort these leads and determine which ones are going to be valuable and more likely to convert into customers.
There are many different ways to go about prospecting, and one strategy that you can use to handle your prospecting process is the inbound prospecting strategy. When it comes to prospecting strategies, there are two main types: inbound prospecting and outbound prospecting. “Inbound” in sales means that the lead in question has come from a customer who is reaching out to your organization or otherwise engaging with your content. This could mean that the customer has asked a question about a product or service. On the other hand, “outbound” in sales means that the lead in question has not yet actively interacted with your business. This means that the potential customer has not asked any questions about a product or service and has not otherwise expressed interest in the product.
Inbound prospecting, meaning the individuals who are expressing interest in your content and products, can be used to find the prospects who are most likely to become customers because they have already shown an interest in your content. One type of inbound prospecting strategy example is to offer a specific product — like an eBook or newsletter — that requires the individual to provide their contact information in order to view. For example, you could include a subscriber newsletter that features new updates or products that a lead can access by signing up with their email.
There are many sources of prospecting that you can use to improve the quality of your prospecting database. And while some businesses may get stuck in the idea that using only one type of prospecting system may be enough, in reality, you will want to ensure that you are opting for a variety of prospecting strategies. Honing your communication techniques and learning how to craft effective email and voicemail messages can be incredibly useful when it comes to more effectively engaging with your prospects. This engagement can help you not only communicate more effectively with your prospects (and your customers) but also create more valuable connections with them.
Strategic Prospecting Process
You may be wondering, what is strategic prospecting exactly? In short, the strategic prospecting process is meant to help your sales teams to identify, qualify, and prioritize your target market. There are many steps to keep in mind when it comes to strategic prospecting, but the final step in the strategic prospecting process is reviewing your results and adjusting. When you analyze your results and take valuable insights from the previous prospecting process, you can be sure that you are continually improving — rather than stagnating. This not only helps you to understand where you should be focusing your marketing efforts but also helps you to optimize your sales opportunities. Using the insights found from addressing your current customers’ pain points, you can also easily determine if the sales opportunities you are facing now are due to new prospects or current customers.
A strategic prospecting plan will help you to make the most out of your prospecting efforts and ensure that you understand your target market. If you are unsure about how to make your own strategic prospecting plan, you can look online for a strategic prospecting example to get ideas and inspiration for your own plan. Examples can be extremely helpful if you are looking for inspiration, but if you are looking for something to explain strategic prospecting and each stage in the strategic prospecting process, you will likely be much better off looking for an online training or coaching solution. Winning By Design offers prospecting training and coaching services that can help you not only to better understand how prospecting works but also help you build the necessary skills for professionally communicating with your prospects and current customers.
Inbound And Outbound Sales Meaning
As mentioned before, there are two main types of prospecting in sales. These are inbound and outbound prospecting. While both of these types of prospecting can be extremely beneficial for your business, the outbound prospecting strategy is going to differ in a few strategic locations when compared to the inbound prospecting strategy. Where inbound prospecting focuses on targeting individuals who have already shown interest in your products or content, outbound prospecting focuses on the individuals who match your target audience but have not already shown interest in your offerings. These are the individuals who may be very interested in the solutions or items you offer but just have not yet gotten the right push to interact with your content yet.
When it comes to inbound vs. outbound prospecting strategies, there are a few differences to keep in mind. The first and possibly most important thing to remember is that when you are dealing with outbound prospecting, the individual likely has not had much exposure to your products and services. This means that any way that you reach out to them needs to be done with less familiarity than if you were reaching out to an inbound prospect. What does this mean exactly? Well, when you are working on inbound prospects, you can utilize strategies such as warm calling and email or voicemail newsletters. But, when you are trying to contact an outbound prospect, you will more likely have to rely on more generalized messages via email or phone. This is often referred to as cold calling rather than warm calling.
You can find many different inbound and outbound sales examples online if you are curious about some techniques or strategies that you can use to communicate effectively with each of these types of prospects. And while examples can be extremely helpful, if you are looking to really understand what each technique can bring and how to best implement new techniques into your prospecting toolkit, it may be helpful to opt for prospecting training. Online training in important business operations such as managing, selling, and prospecting can be incredibly helpful — especially for newer sales development representatives (SDR) or business development representatives (BDR) — to your sales team overall. Not only can training provide you with the knowledge and practice that you need to implement better prospecting practices in your business, but it can also be a great way to get new SDRs and BDRs through onboarding in a much more efficient way.
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