Prospecting in the digital age is a topic we hear a lot about. In fact, it has grown in importance over the last few years. For a company or an entrepreneur, it is therefore essential to have a prospecting plan. It is one of the key factors in the growth of a business. If you already have a prospecting plan, you should plan to update it. If you don’t have a prospecting plan yet, you should seriously consider developing one.
Nowadays, companies use different techniques to find new customers, among which telephone prospecting. To find new customers and improve your sales, you need to know who you are going to contact and what their profile is. Then you need to know what you have to offer them or what you can interest them with. Finally, it is important to determine how you will approach them and then follow up.
At first glance, sales prospecting may seem very simple. However, even with a very competent sales team, prospecting can be costly in terms of time and money if the people contacted are all unqualified prospects that do not correspond to your company’s target.
This is where the development of a business prospecting plan comes in.
A prospecting plan will guide you in your business strategy. It will allow you to better organize yourself and to know precisely what you must do and in what order. You will therefore need to know the different key steps to follow to succeed in your telephone prospecting.
What is a prospecting plan?
When a company wants to sell its products or services, it can quickly find itself faced with the following problem: how to contact people who might be interested in what it is selling? This is where the prospecting plan comes in.
Definition of the prospecting plan
A prospecting plan is a detailed plan that allows you to keep an eye on all the steps of your prospect research. By using it, you will be able to measure and evaluate the success of your actions by consulting the key indicators you have defined in advance.
The plan can be established for a specific period or for a longer period, but it should always be present in your marketing strategy. In addition, it is useful to review it from time to time because the results indicators are likely to change over time.
In fact, it is an action plan that seeks to understand the “why” and “how” of prospecting to find the best opportunities. For a prospecting plan to be effective, the company must have a well-informed and regularly updated prospect file.
Why create a prospecting plan?
As a real action plan, the prospecting plan will help your sales teams to become more efficient and save time to contribute to the achievement of your company’s objectives. Indeed, the better you select the prospects to contact, the more effective your actions will be.
Save time and optimize your efforts
This is certainly the reason that motivates most companies to establish a prospecting plan: to optimize their efforts and save time. Indeed, once you have identified the targets to be prospected, it is often simpler to define adapted actions. If you don’t know where to start, if you can’t structure your prospecting, a prospecting plan can be the solution.
Assisting the sales team
The purpose of the plan is to assist your sales teams in:
- Defining the targets to prospect, and therefore identifying the best sales opportunities
- The definition of effective sales actions adapted to your prospecting strategy.
Increase your visibility
In addition to optimizing your efforts, the prospecting plan also allows you to increase your company’s visibility on the market. If you don’t know where to prospect, you risk missing good business opportunities. The prospecting plan establishes the sales axes, the actions to be carried out, and ensures that you reach a specific target.
How to carry out a commercial prospecting plan? The different steps
To create a prospecting plan, you will have to know your target, define your objectives, set up actions to qualify prospects. Moreover, you will have to choose one or several channels according to your budget. Finally, it will be essential to set up a follow-up. Let’s take a closer look at these different steps to create your prospecting plan.
Knowing your target
When creating a business development plan, it is essential to know your target. This is a prerequisite for knowing how you will carry out your next business prospecting actions.
To know your target, you will decide what type of prospect you want to prospect. For example, if your target is individuals, it will be important to know their age, their gender, their family situation, their income, their location… Indeed, people with children have a more limited budget than single people, women have a larger household budget than men, etc.
In the same way, if you are targeting companies, it will be important to know their sector of activity, their turnover, their number of employees… Thus, you will be able to have a more precise vision of your prospects.
For your commercial prospecting plan to be successful, integrate all the elements that you deem relevant. Do so according to your company and your offer.
Finally, once you know your target, you can decide how you are going to approach these people: through a brochure, an advertisement, a flyer, a letter, an e-mail…
To go further: How to create your buyer persona?
Define your objectives
Once you know your target, move on to defining your objectives. It will indeed be necessary to clarify them. For example, you will have to determine the volume of prospects you want to reach, the type of prospects (companies or individuals), the turnover you would like to achieve.
Qualify the prospects
Once you have defined your objectives, you will determine the target and qualify the prospects. To do this, it is important that you have gathered enough information about them to evaluate their potential interest in your products or services.
To qualify a prospect, you must:
- Identify their needs
- Know their budget
- Determine their decision-making process.
If you succeed in qualifying your prospect, you will then be able to focus on the priority profiles, i.e., those who are most likely to close the sale.
Use different communication channels
To reach your objectives, you can use several prospecting levers, such as:
- a sales visit
- telephone prospecting
- prospecting by mail
- prospecting by e-mail
The choice of these channels will depend on your budget. If your budget is not limited, you can also turn to paid advertising.
These levers will allow you to increase your turnover while increasing your visibility with your prospects. By choosing multi-channel, you ensure that you participate in the success of your sales strategy.
Ensure a personalized follow-up of your prospects
If you want to get the maximum return on your prospecting, you must ensure a personalized follow-up to each of your prospects. This will allow you to implement the negotiation phase, which is essential to increase your sales revenues in commercial prospecting.
To help you, you can use a prospecting software that will automate certain tasks.
Of course, it is then very important to measure the performance of your prospecting. To know if you have reached your objectives, you will make sure to determine the most relevant indicators to evaluate. These can be:
- the turnover generated by your commercial actions
- the profitability of your actions
- the number of new customers
- the market share gained
Thanks to these indicators, you will be able to optimize future prospecting campaigns.
To go further: Why Outsource your Sales Prospecting?
When a prospecting plan is methodically developed, it allows for the targeting of prospects and the optimization of the response rate. It is not uncommon for clients to underestimate the amount of time it takes to develop a plan and to imagine that they will emerge with a meager list of prospects.
In a prospecting plan, the time spent on analysis, definition of parameters and implementation of strategies is very important. This preparatory work is essential. It is what will allow you to optimize and control your prospecting.
Need help to set up an efficient prospecting plan? Call on Finelis services!