According to Hubspot research, “More than 40% of salespeople say [effective prospecting] is the most challenging part of the sales process, followed by closing (36%) and qualifying (22%).” There has been plenty written about prospecting—how to find the right prospects, how to judge when they are ready to buy, how to interact with them and so on. The bottom line is that without prospects, sales calls don’t exist. In this post, we’ll discuss three rules to follow for effective prospecting.

Have a Plan

This sounds simplistic, but it is absolutely necessary. Creating a plan should start with commitment on your part. Set aside and stick to a dedicated time to do your prospecting. If you leave it to be completed after all your other daily tasks are done, you will put it off. More often than not, sales reps put off the process of prospecting because of the baggage attached to it. To make a habit of prospecting, set a time of day, every day to complete it. You need to have a plan of action and a system to keep track of it. If you have a system in place that makes it easier to prospect, your sales reps will be more consistent in their prospecting activities, and you can more easily track their progress. For example, in Salesvue, you can speed the process by using automated triggers and cadences, one-click dialer and voicemail, email templates, call scripts, a telephony suite and mobile app. Your sales reps will save time wasted on administrative tasks, and they will know what to say when. Creating follow-up plans in Salesvue will also help your teams improve conversations to qualification ratio.

Segment Your Prospects

Your time is valuable, so you need to invest it the right way. That means spending more time and effort on prospects who are likely to convert and less on those who may need more time to reach a decision. Once you have developed target customer profiles (or personas), segment your prospects so that you can reach out to them the right way with the right approach. effective prospecting metrics to account industry First, make a broad list of prospects whose needs match up with many of your offerings, and keep them in your prospect list for marketing activities in the event that they do show some genuine interest. Next, sift through the remaining prospects to create a sure-shot “tight” list. Here, you will list those prospects who you think are likely to convert because they more closely match your ideal customer profile. Spend more time with them, and target this segment with more phone calls, meetings, proposals and valuable content. When segmenting, it will be helpful if you have a qualifying checklist, especially for newer sales reps. To create your checklist, look up characteristics of your best customers. In Salesvue, you can identify the types of customers that are more likely to convert based on a variety of information such as lead sources, industry, job role, or any other Salesforce data you have. This kind of segmentation helps you get your work done better and allows you to bring the right level of focus to those who require it.

Follow Up

Another important aspect of prospecting- get them while they are hot! Timeliness drives conversations which drives conversions. According to our own research, in some industries where prospects are vetting options, if you’re not one of the first three to respond or call, you have less than a 5 percent chance to close. If leads land on your website and express interest by leaving their contact information with you, get in touch with them within 24 hours. When you respond quickly, you will be at the top of their mind. If you have made a call to a prospect, or have sent them a proposal, follow up soon after so you know what needs to be done next. timeliness is crucial to effective prospectingIn Salesvue, you can use the Time-to-First Touch report to measure the time between adding an entity to a plan in Salesvue—a Lead, Contact, Account or Opportunity—to the time that the first task on the plan is completed for that entity. Furthermore, following up becomes easier when you use a system like Salesvue. Salesvue’s call logging tool allows you to record (in detail) every interaction you have with your prospects, so you know where everyone stands. Plus, automated follow-ups and customizable campaigns make it easy for you to spot which touch points to utilize. Making prospecting easy is key to getting your reps to do it. See how Salesvue’s sales engagement platform can help your sales team prospect more effectively and efficiently. Watch a demo video, then schedule a personalized demo to see it in action.