Prospecting is considered by the majority of sales professionals as the worst part of their sales process and this is understandable. Reaching out to cold prospects is difficult, they don’t know you, they may not know your company, they are probably busy with their daily activities and the list goes on.
Prospecting is especially difficult when we struggle to get through to our preferred contacts: gatekeepers screen calls to protect decision makers from spending too much of their day speaking with salespeople; our preferred contact may spend time out of the office or work specific days of the week and so we end up leaving multiple messages on voicemails; or sending multiple emails in the hope that a response will come. All of these examples plus others will obviously frustrate a sales professional, but what if you could speak with someone and potentially get immediate insights into the inner workings of that company, maybe a mobile number to get past the gatekeeper and directly to the decision maker. Maybe your preferred contact gets into the office during the week before anybody else or leaves later and by calling at these times you will get straight through. Maybe they work specific days or there is someone else you could speak to in their department that the decision maker leans on and therefore could become an influencer or champion for your product or service. Well, there is potentially a number of people within that organisation that can do this for you and funnily enough they do the same job as you do!
Why Leverage Salespeople
I have worked for a number of organisations where sales reps focus on contacting one specific preferred contact as this is who may have the power to purchase their product or service. After a few attempts they are unable to get through and then give up and move on to another, but by expanding the scope of people they speak with on a daily basis they can actually find out important information that can help them eventually get through to the person that has the power to pull the trigger on purchasing their product or service.
One of my tips is contacting salespeople within that organisation. I have used this technique on many occasions and although it has not worked every time I can safely say that I have received intel that I have been able to take action from around 75% plus of the time.
Salespeople understand the frustrations that you and I have on a daily basis because they do the same job as we do. This means that they are highly likely to emphasise with us and provide us with relevant information if they can. Here are a few examples of how they can help and also we can help if we get a call from our sales counterpart:
- Depending on the size and structure of an organisation, that salesperson might actually have an internal relationship with your preferred contact and be able to put in a strong word on your behalf.
- They might see other relevant people (influencers) in and around the office that your preferred contact spends time with and therefore give you that person’s details in order to get you a step closer to your goal.
- They might be able to provide you with a mobile number giving you a direct route to your preferred contact.
- They might tell you that the person gets into the office at 7:30am or leaves the office at 8pm allowing you to change your outreach times to make contact easier.
- Maybe your preferred contact only works specific days and they can provide this information so that you know what days to attempt contact, leaving you to maximise other days with other prospects.
These are just a few examples, but the point is leveraging sales professionals in other organisations can be beneficial to your prospecting endeavours. Not all the time, but even if this helps you in 1 out of 10, that’s 1 more than you had before.
Top sales performers leverage a number of different techniques and channels to increase their chances when prospecting, qualifying, closing etc. By broadening the scope of people you speak with, you will potentially find out key pieces of information that you wouldn’t otherwise know. This is one potential avenue to consider when prospecting.
I am not saying that you should pick up the phone tomorrow and start calling salespeople, but what I am saying is if you’re struggling with getting through to a specific contact, don’t give up, try this and you never know what might happen!
“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph”
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