2. Does the prospect’s behavior match your success profile?
Deconstruct the path to purchase to examine the behaviors, patterns and preferences that lead to closed deals.
Take a look at the customers you have had the best success with. Can you identify any patterns or variables that typically influence the purchase decision? Form a list of indicators to pinpoint lookalike prospects. Here are some patterns to look out for:
- Attitude towards change
- Factors that influence decisions
- Pattern of consideration and decision making
- Length of buying cycle
- Impact of internal influencers
- Typical roadblocks and objections
- Year-on-year growth
Including a lead generation form on your website landing pages is one of the quickest ways to qualify leads and push them along your sales cycle. This is where sales and marketing really need to work together in order to collect the right data at different stages of the funnel and implement an effective lead scoring model.
Make sure you have the right form fields in place to filter out mismatched prospects and save you time.
If you only want to focus on leads from the construction industry with a specific minimum spending budget and a job title of manager - you can use three simple form fields to get the right leads into your pipeline (and tag poor quality leads as early as possible).
The format and design of your form directly impacts conversion rates, so it’s important to a/b test your forms and optimize towards the best performing versions.
Here are some pointers to help you develop a lead capture web form that helps you get the data you need without compromising conversions:
- Position - Always make sure your form is above the fold. Instant visibility is critical to draw the user’s attention.
- Length - Only ask for what you really need. Form fields can include both demographic and qualitative style questions, but always assume that your prospects are busy and determine the number of form fields with this in mind. You need to find the right balance between collecting the information you need and not wasting your prospect’s time. And always think mobile first.
- Call-to-action - Make sure your submission button has a compelling CTA. A strong call-to-action can make or break the conversion. Keep it simple and catchy so your user knows exactly what they can expect.
3. Pre-qualify to prioritize
Set out some qualifying criteria to determine if your prospect is worth pursuing.
BANT qualification is a good starting point. BANT should not be used as a final checklist, as qualifying prospects goes much deeper than this. But it does help you to evaluate if your prospect has the bandwidth to buy now, in the future, or not at all.
Do your homework to see if you can answer any of these questions before you reach out.
Budget - The size of the business, annual turnover or what your prospect is currently spending on a solution can be a good indicator.
Authority - Do some research on your prospect and try to determine their level of influence. Are the decisions made by a committee or a single head of department/company?
Need - Is your prospect similar to any of your existing customers? What are their main goals and challenges?
Timing - Do some research on the buying cycle and try to evaluate the urgency of the need.
Addressing these points allows you anticipate common objections and puts you in a better position to handle them. It also helps you evaluate the potential deal size and prioritize leads in terms of value.
If your prospect doesn’t meet all the criteria, it doesn’t mean you should forget about them. But parking this prospect for now will free up time to focus on potential customers who are further along the path to purchase.
4. Understand your prospect’s specific pain points
This step involves a little integrity on the part of the sales rep. Timo Rein, CEO and Founder of Pipedrive, notes:
‘The ideal customer is one with whom you have the best possible strategic fit across the board.’
Does your product or solution actually answer the pain points of your potential customer?
What needs are you most successfully addressing with your solution?
Which companies have the best product/need fit?
Form a list of all the problems and challenges that your solution solves. Having this to hand will help you demonstrate value more quickly.
5. Leverage your network
Warm up your outreach with customer referrals.
John Jantsch, best-selling author of Duct Tape Marketing, writes:
‘The sale is not complete until the customer is so happy that he or she confidently makes referrals.’
Your existing customers are a powerful tool in your prospecting arsenal, provided you look after them. Long-term relationships are the key to enhancing your business reputation.
Trust is a huge factor in the decision making process and customer referrals serve as a proof point of the value you can bring.
6. Don’t forget your existing customers
Barbara Giamanco of Social Centered Selling notes that:
‘Companies tend to push their sales teams to constantly acquire new customers, even though on average that can cost the company 7 times more than making time to develop sales opportunities with existing customers.’
Take a look at your existing customer base.
Do you have customers that are looking to scale their businesses?
Are they hiring quickly?
Is there another department that could use your solution?
Always look to your existing customer base for opportunities to upsell or cross-sell. Loyal customers are more likely to spend more money with you and further invest in your solutions.
7. Capitalize on familiarity
Don’t disregard previous encounters. This could be a conversation on social media, a meeting at an industry event, or perhaps your lead is an old client of yours, now in a new role. Even small encounters serve to warm up your prospecting efforts.
There’s one simple way to increase your chances of these encounters - be social!
Make sure you are engaging in conversations relevant to your target market and find ways to keep you and your brand front of mind.
Get Smart About Prospecting to Find More Ideal Customers
Streamlining your prospecting process is no easy task, but having the right CRM in place will allow you to work smarter and save time when it comes to research and outreach.
Smart contact data allows you to find valuable insights quickly and pre-qualify your leads by retrieving web-data about your contacts.
Combining this with the Pipedrive Sales Inbox will help you automatically create contact and deal profiles from any email you send and receive. Pair these automation features with our customizable email templates to speed up your outreach and you can optimize up your sales process significantly.
Quick Snapshot of Your Ideal Prospect
If your prospect checks the following boxes, it’s a red hot chance they are worth the effort!
☐ Prospect matches ideal customer persona
☐Business challenge aligns with solution
☐You have access to the decision-maker(s)
☐They have come from a customer referral
☐They are an existing customer
☐You have had previous touch points
Understanding your ideal prospect is pivotal to prioritizing your leads, optimizing your time, and ultimately, enhancing your sales performance.