“Prospecting is all about creating conversations that will ultimately lead to sales.”

Finding the exact prospects for a business is crucial to its success. Marketers need to concentrate on the people who are most in need of or interested in their product or service; so that they can allocate the resources to the right efforts. It is important to identify the target audience so that the marketer can maximize the effectiveness of the marketing process.

Let’s have a look at the importance of identifying the target audience and the best way to reach the target audience in a short time.

Why identifying the target audience is significant?

When it comes to prospecting, finding the right customer for the business is one among the most crucial elements for a business owner to consider. Without knowing the target audience, one cannot expect the business venture to survive. For example: If you are a physical therapist, your target audience will be athletes who are recovering from injury, senior citizens looking to maintain mobility or middle-aged men and women with back pain.

Marketers who learn how to identify their specific audience stand a better chance of turning prospects to customers. The most-efficient way to reach more qualified prospects is to target smaller, more specific groups by using demographic statistics like revenue, age, gender, employee size etc.

Narrowing your focus to a core audience helps you to develop an effective marketing strategy. It helps your company craft a messaging strategy that appeals directly to the targeted prospects who are more likely to convert into customers. Instead of sending direct mail to every person, we will receive a better return on investment by targeting customer who may already have an interest in your type of products or services.

Choosing the right target audience is essential because it enables the firm to direct its resources to those prospects with high potential for sales growth, interest in the product and loyalty to the brand. Thus by focusing resources on a specific prospect, a startup business may be able to better serve a target market than its larger competitors.

Methods used by the sales team for better prospecting:

The best way to do a sales prospecting process is to capture a steady stream of leads. To do that as effectively as possible, sales representatives uses some strategies and methods that’ll help them to be more productive and fill the top of their sales pipeline.

Here are some strategies and methods followed by the salespeople to position the company and its product(s) to target prospects in a meaningful, differentiated way.

1. LinkedIn Prospecting

Having over 300 million active users and 40% of them creating their accounts daily, LinkedIn is one among the stunning opportunities for sales prospecting. Some advanced features of LinkedIn prospecting help them to connect with all first, second and third-degree connections and join with relevant groups. And it also allows to track the customers, prospects, and competitors.

2. Asking for Referrals

Satisfied customers are the biggest assets for obtaining new customers. They’ll spread the word about the amazing product or service of the marketers, and can connect them to their friends and peers via referrals.

3. Yelp Prospecting

Yelp can be one of the best methods for sales prospecting. With some basic keyword research, marketers can find hundreds of qualified leads quickly.

4. Cold Emailing

Cold emailing will be one of the most efficient methods for generating leads. A lot of Sales representatives engage themselves in this practice because it can be a great source of new prospects. Here are some cold email tips used by them are

  • Including a subject line that is warm and helpful – which builds trust
  • Adding an effective call-to-action

5. Attending Relevant Events

Meeting in-person is the best way to deliver first impressions and put salespeople in an advantageous position to build relationships the right way. They should make it a point to attend events which the target prospects or potential partners are attending. Because in-person networking has greater potential to build connections than most other prospecting venues.

6. Seeking Out Partners

Partnering with other businesses particularly in different industries helps to get the initial contact with the target buyers that is why great sales organizations continuously discover new partnerships to maximize their leads. This could be a business that offers services alongside, or that are able to subcontract some excess work from. It could even be a business that pays a commission to for each of their customers that they send your way.

Therefore, for obtaining a large stream of leads with a high volume of targeted prospects, the following seven steps are commonly used by salespeople to  identify their target audience:

  1. Examining current customers
  2. Researching for the competitors
  3. Analyzing the product or service
  4. Creating  buyer personas
  5. Choosing specific demographics
  6. Choosing  personal characteristics
  7. Evaluate and revise the segmented audience

Many salespeople find it difficult to meet their quotas because the above process makes them do lots of research on identifying the target audience so they find difficult in closing sales/deals.

Defects of own research in identifying the target audience/ Flaws in identifying the target audience via own research

Sales reps are asked this question frequently “How much time should the sales reps spend researching prospects? They are taking way too long and should just pick up the phone and dial. Do anyone have an answer for this?”

Prospecting is a challenging and often frustrating responsibility for typical sales reps. Often, the effort put into lead generation can demoralize some salespeople. The above-mentioned sales prospecting techniques may seem easy but the time involved for that is tremendously long. A sales rep can able to spend only 25% of their time for closing deals whereas they need to spend 75% of the time for identifying the target audience. So a better way of closing deals in a short period of time is through outsourcing the prospecting process to someone who can save 75% of their time in prospecting for target customers.

By all means, outsourcing can help the sales rep to spend nearly 90% of the time in closing deals and the remaining 10% can be used for the verification process. Thus, sales reps have turned to outsourced prospecting as a contemporary strategy to resolve this problem.

Two possible ways for outsourced prospecting:

Driving sales and keeping the sales operation healthy means, providing the sales pipeline with a steady source of good leads. There are many methods in the market which are used for lead generation, but for a small-scale business to sustain growth and reach its next milestone, it needs a predictable method for generating leads and filling the sales funnel. Finding a method that balances quantity, quality and price could be the proverbial goose that lays the golden egg. Outsourcing lead generation can be exactly that for you.

But first, let’s take a look at some of the most common choices for outsourcing lead generation:

  • Buy a List: There are many “database vendors” that scrape the data from public resources and approach with a claim to have clean data to sell at bargain prices. However, this route hasn’t worked out well for many salespeople. To salvage these lists, they take more work to refine it and find the quality leads. But by that time, the list has dwindled and the cost per lead jumped significantly.
  • Manual Lead Generation: This approach involves a human process which helps salespeople to get qualified leads where verification are done at every checkpoint. By using the latest research methods, we get a list which is focused on core competencies with less time and cost.

Which way is best and why?

Streamlining the prospecting process is not an easy task, but having the right prospecting process in place will allow you to work smarter and save time when it comes to research and outreach. And it allows your salespeople to focus more on closing deals.

There are have been few tools and services on the market that are ready to give a prospect list which is outdated and inaccurate. Instead, entrust an outsourced manual prospecting team that gives a properly targeted prospect list, which helps to reach the target audience in a short period of time.

When a marketer engages with an expert company that has a fine-tuned manual research process for generating leads, he will be surprised by the results that can be had from freeing your salespeople to do what they do best. The manual prospecting team also develop a clear lead qualification process that allows salespeople to highlight low quality leads early, so that they can drop these distractions and focus on the right prospects. And in turn, it will save time, declutter your pipeline and earn more loyal customers.

By removing the prospecting process from the sales team and handing over to the manual prospect list builders, your company’s salespeople would be able to focus on referrals, qualified inbound leads, their networks, cross-selling, and upselling to their customer base. These are all things that boost the revenue of your organization intensely.

The highly targeted prospect list produced by manual prospect list builders always helps salespeople to close more deals faster and fill their pipeline with higher quality leads.