Busted! New Data Debunks Common Prospecting Myths

BY Jessica Helinski
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You’re probably aware of quite a few sales myths, but now, there’s research that actually reveals why some myths don’t hold up. A new white paper from RAIN Group Center for Sales Research disproves five common prospecting myths by revealing insights from a recent survey of buyers and sellers. Their findings reveal that “what people say is happening and what is really happening are not the same things.” Read on for two busted myths (and how you can benefit from this new wisdom):

MYTH: Buyers really don’t want to hear from sellers.

We’ve all heard the rumblings that today’s buyers want nothing to do with salespeople. In reality, that’s just not true. In fact, the earlier a seller gets in touch, the better. The key to success is striking up a dialogue when the buyer most wants it. The survey found that 71% of buyers want to engage with providers when they begin looking for ideas/​possibilities to improve their business. Don’t be afraid to contact a prospect before he or she officially begins the buying process: Only 30% say they want to hear from a seller after submitting a request for proposal or quote.

MYTH: It’s nearly impossible for sellers to get through.

Competition. Time constraints. Distrust. If you listen to the talk, it seems like there’s no way to get a spot on a prospect’s calendar. While it may not necessarily be easy, it’s definitely possible, the research finds. “82% of buyers say they accept meetings with sellers who reach out to them,” according to the report. “Furthermore, sellers control many of the factors that influence whether or not buyers open the door.” RAIN Group found that the following are the top-​give factors that influence buyers to meet with sellers:

  1. Need (cited by 75%)
  2. Budget (64%)
  3. Hearing about the seller’s company (63%)
  4. Referred to seller (61%)
  5. Common acquaintance (60%)

Knowing these triggers allows you to be strategic in your prospecting. Each represents a major opportunity to influence the buyer to open the door for a further engagement.

Take some time to delve into RAIN Group’s white paper for the other three busted myths, as well as a full analysis of the results. Thanks to their findings, reps can be more confident in their prospecting and ultimately meet their goals. As the report states, “take these findings to heart. Leave the myths behind. You can break through to top executives, fill your pipeline, and win more sales.”