How to Connect with Key Prospects

Connecting with decision makers is always a core challenge for sales professionals. In an uncertain environment, like the one we’re currently experiencing with the coronavirus pandemic, connecting with prospects can become even more difficult – and even more important for your bottom line.

Establishing a meaningful connection with prospects is a critical first step towards becoming a trusted advisor for your prospects – a move that can ensure your team will prosper in times of crisis.

With the right skills and know-how, sales reps can focus their outreach activities to foster more productive engagement with leads and continue to generate successful sales conversations. In this post, we’ll show you the most effective ways to continue reaching out to key prospects, even in the most difficult of times. 

At HireDNA, our training experts can help your sales team learn the crucial skills needed to perform at the highest levels. Learn more.

Target the Right Prospects at the Right Time

It’s no secret that your sales calls will be significantly more successful if you’re talking to a prospect who has an immediate need and an immediate interest in your product or service. But how can you determine when that’s the case? 

Effective CRMs, such as HubSpot, include tools that help you understand how your leads are interacting with your web site. You can see which leads are visiting which pages, and use that data to gain insight on what is currently top of mind for a particular lead. Rather than having a generalized discussion about how you might be able to help your prospect, you can now open the conversation with information that is specifically tailored to their needs and interest. 

For example, if the prospect is viewing a page devoted to X and Y, your sales rep can begin the conversation with a statement like, “We know that many of our clients are struggling with how to do X or Y. Are either of these an issue for you right now?” This approach is designed to immediately capture a prospect’s interest and increase your rep’s likelihood of demonstrating value, which is critical to closing the sale.

Social media is also a valuable resource for understanding who is talking about your product, and what, specifically, they’re looking for. Recent studies suggest that 75% of B2B buyers use social media to research vendors, and social sellers can realize 66% greater quota attainment than those using traditional prospecting techniques. Knowing what your prospects are looking for on social media can help you turn cold outreach into warm and hot leads. Encourage your sales team to monitor social media for potential buyer mentions of your company name, your product or service, or a hashtag aligned with your value proposition.

Make Your Calls Count

Although some sales reps prefer to move away from phone selling, voice calls are still one of the best ways to create meaningful, memorable connections. They bring a personal warmth and likeability to the conversation that is hard to replicate through email or social media alone. 

Typically, sales reps who use cold calling rely on contact details from company web sites or directories. With a majority of prospects working from home during the global pandemic, office switchboards are less likely to connect you with key decision makers. Even direct work numbers are not always effective, as many companies were ill-equipped to set up call forwarding when the pandemic hit, and are instead relying on employees to check their voicemails.

Ideally, you’ll be able to find a prospect’s cell number by searching , or by purchasing sales data from a service like SalesIntel that can provide these numbers. Reps may be hesitant to use a mobile number out of concern for “bothering” a prospect at home. However, while the occasional prospect may have this perspective, many reps are also finding that prospects are more willing to connect on their cell phones during this virus outbreak. Not only do they understand the need to circumvent the traditional office phone tree, but many are also open to the added interaction during this isolating time – provided your rep can effectively demonstrate your product’s value in helping them through these difficult times.

Many sales reps also report that they are struggling with productivity, particularly if they are not accustomed to the rhythm of working remotely. Prioritizing and keeping track of who to call next is often a sticking point for reps who are prospecting. Call queuing can help eliminate the uncertainty of deciding on the appropriate next actions, and can help reps keep an effective cadence of activity throughout the day. 

An effective call queue targets hot leads first – those who are opening your emails, visiting your site, and engaging on social media. As noted in the beginning of this article, these are the leads who have an immediate interest and need for your product or service. Prioritize them and make a connection while this particular need is top of mind. 

Your reps should also leverage your CRM to know where the leads are in your sales process, and what touches you’ve already made with them, so they know precisely what messaging should be delivered next, regardless of the channel being used to reach them.

Use Email Effectively 

Experienced sales reps know that email outreach must be well-crafted and highly targeted to have any hope of being opened. your email outreach and ensure that your messaging is optimized to address your prospects’ specific needs. Demonstrate your business value by showing that you understand the key issues your prospect is currently struggling with, and that your product or service has helped others like them achieve specific, measurable results. 

Including relevant, personalized videos in email outreach has also been shown to drastically increase sales reps’ ability to connect with prospects. HubSpot recently reported that adding video to email can boost click-through rates by 200-300%, increase the number of meetings booked by 500%, and strongly influence prospects’ purchasing decisions.

The timing of your email messages should be carefully considered as well. Sales email tracking tools that integrate with your CRM can allow you to monitor your email campaigns and receive alerts when a lead has opened or clicked your emails. By capturing prospects’ attention while they are actively engaging with your emails, you can greatly improve your response rate and effectively secure follow-up meetings. 

Set Your Sales Reps Up for Success

Developing top sales talent is an ongoing need, regardless of the current sales climate. HireDNA provides expert, virtual sales training and coaching perfectly suited for remote teams. We use a modern, cloud-based micro-learning platform for maximum efficiency and productivity, and partner closely with our clients to create custom training content that is proven to keep reps engaged and performing at peak levels.

HireDNA was also recently recognized as an emerging leader in corporate training and coaching. Our experts can assist with any questions about building first-in-class, on-demand sales training tailored specifically for remote sales forces.

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