A business needs to have a steady stream of buyers to find success. This requires seeking them out actively, but when you do, you need to make sure they’re likely to do business with you long-term.
It all comes down to how you go about prospecting your leads. In this guide, we’ll discuss what B2B sales prospecting is, why it’s crucial to a healthy inbound funnel, ways you can find quality leads, and tons of tools to help you along the way.
What is B2B Sales Prospecting?
In B2B sales prospecting, you find potential business customers and apply strategies that compel them to do business with your company. These businesses may often make large purchases or turn your company into one of their suppliers, ensuring large one-time sales or long-term profits.
Why is B2B Sales Prospecting Important?
Here are some other reasons why B2B marketing is important for business:
- You can secure huge deals and recurring profits. Dealing with other businesses is not a small-time, one-off affair. Here you have the opportunity to get a big sale in one go or land long-term deals.
- You get industry recognition. The more you work with other businesses in your niche, the more word of your brand spreads across your industry, meaning more business opportunities for you.
- You get to build better, more lasting relationships with your customers. A good B2B marketing strategy will help you build strong relationships with businesses that stand to gain something from your company.
How to Find B2B Prospects
Finding potential B2B clients will require practically every resource at your disposal. While there are some obvious places on the Internet where your prospects hang out, you might have to think outside the box to get things done. Here are a few venues where you can begin your search:
LinkedIn is where you can find decision-makers in companies that you are looking to work with. A quick search will easily bring you to the right people, in the right places, and working in the right companies. Additionally, you can reach out to your LinkedIn prospects straight from the platform itself.
When taking this route, it’s important to be creative. Many people look for connections via LinkedIn, so make your sales outreach stand out.
Social Media Channels
Companies of all sizes understand the value of a solid social media presence, so expect to find them in the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Looking at your prospect’s social media accounts is also a great way to know more about them and how you can approach them for potential partnerships.
Make sure your presence is substantial and that you’re running ads, using retargeting efforts, and utilizing other efforts that will help you grow your business.
Clients who have had a good relationship with your business may refer others to use your services. In fact, referrals can make some of the best customers since those referring them know their needs so well. Alternatively, they can point these businesses in your direction and directly help you generate some great B2B sales.
To achieve this, it’s crucial that your efforts don’t lag after you’ve secured a new client. Your customer support and management need to be stellar, so you can create a great customer experience to encourage referrals.
Inbound Sales Prospecting
Valuable content like high-quality blog posts, whitepapers, guest posts, videos, and webinars are great for attracting an audience and generating leads. Interested parties might contact you if your content made them interested in what you offer. You can also automate the inbound prospecting process with an email marketing automation tool, like Benchmark Email. Most of these tools also allow you to set up opt-in forms that integrate seamlessly with your favorite autoresponder.
Perhaps the easiest way to find B2B prospects is through the use of lead prospecting tools.
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator – A huge leap from the standard LinkedIn account, this platform provides you with a more comprehensive search engine with filters that let you quickly find decision-makers in your industry.
- Leadfeeder – This tool identifies the companies that visit your website through Google Analytics data and tracks their browsing behavior. In this way, it builds a list of leads out of your site’s web traffic.
- Seamless.ai – This search engine draws from a massive database of decision-makers. It also has a Chrome extension that lets you find leads anywhere on the Internet.
- ZoomInfo – This tool gives you access to a huge database of leads in any industry. These leads come rich with information that includes their contact details.
- HotJar – Described as a visitor recording tool, it identifies companies that visit your site much like Leadfeeder does. It focuses on determining visitor satisfaction through their browsing and buying behavior.
Finding Your Prospects’ Contact Info
The step that follows prospecting is outreach, and you are likely going to do some cold calling or a cold emailing approach. As such, you will need contact information that includes your prospect’s phone numbers and email addresses. Here are a few ways to get your prospect’s contact details:
Manually Finding Contact Information Online
It is not impossible to find the contact information of a company’s point person right on the Internet. Consider the following:
- Check out their company website. Look for “About Us,” “Contact Us,” or “Meet the Team” pages to find the right people to contact and their contact details. You can also check out their press releases and white papers to find the names and contact details of their decision-makers.
- Look at their social media pages. The “About” sections on your prospect’s social media pages often list generic email addresses and support phone numbers, but they occasionally turn up names and contact information of company point persons who can lead you to their decision-makers.
- Do a Google search. A quick search might return the names of the people that you need to contact, and further searches may reveal their contact information—experiment using various search operators for the best results.
- Ask mutual contacts. If you know someone who has connections with your target company, you can simply contact them and ask for your prospect’s contact information.
Contact Search Tools
Alternatively, you can make use of contact search tools. Here are some that you might just find worth the investment:
- Hunter.io – This tool lets you find the email address of anyone online, provided that you know your target company’s domain name. It also has an email verification tool and a Chrome extension that reveals contacts on any website.
- ContactOut – A compact and lightweight Chrome extension, this tool finds the contact details of your leads in LinkedIn. You can save and export your contacts in its handy dashboard and find leads who are not in LinkedIn with its people search portal.
- Lusha – This tool focuses on finding your prospects’ personal email addresses. It can also reveal their work email addresses and phone numbers.
- Datanyze Insider – With this tool, you can find your prospect’s email address by simply highlighting their names whenever you find them on the Internet. If not, you can always click on the “Find email” button to search all possible email addresses for that particular person.
- VoilaNorbert – This email search tool gives you 50 free leads right off the bat. It is easy to use, requires no installations, and lets you find corporate email addresses right on its browser-based search platform.
How to Reach Out to Your B2B Prospects
There are two common ways through which you can reach out to your prospects. You can do this primarily through cold emails or cold calls.
Outbound email is basically sending out unsolicited emails to your prospects. Note that not all cold emails are spam, as most actually provide value to their recipient in an effort to drive conversions.
Your cold emails should be personalized and tailored to your intended recipients. Be sure to address your recipient by name and mention their company. Your message, meanwhile, has to be engaging, brief, and concise. This takes a bit of work, but you can save time by using an email marketing automation software that covers everything from prospecting to sending emails. Using outbound sales tools to reach out can also be beneficial since you can schedule email campaigns and automatically follow up with prospects if they do not respond.
Cold calling is basically making unsolicited promotional phone calls. The goal is to offer your prospects something that they may be interested in.
To make a cold call, you must have a well-written script on hand. It should be brief and structured and read in a way that it hooks your prospect to the conversation and facilitates engagement before moving on to the main pitch. Take note, though, that before you make your call, be sure to research your contact and call at their most convenient time.
Social media is a great place to connect with other businesses. Social selling is basically reaching out to your target businesses with your offers through social media.
Here, you need to be on the right platform and have a sizable network that adds to your rapport. You can join niche-specific groups to find decision-makers in businesses that you would like to contact, holding meaningful conversations with them with conversion as your ultimate goal.
In a nutshell, B2B prospecting is finding companies that you want to offer products and services to. It is the first step to growing your business from a B2C venture to an essential player in your niche.
Christian Somcio writes content on interesting topics like SEO and B2B marketing. The top three things he likes are cats, dogs, and coffee, and if you would like a quick chat on any of those topics, feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn.