Ways to Prospect in Sales: Research Reveals One of the Best

It is no secret that top-​performing sales reps do things differently than others in the sales industry. Thankfully, recent insights shed some light on the ways to prospect in sales that top performers use, as well as what buyers want during that first contact from sales reps. A recent infographic by the RAIN Group Center for Sales Research reveals how you can adapt your own sales strategy to better connect with prospective clients.

One of the Best Ways to Prospect in Sales

One way top performers stand out are the ways to prospect in sales that they use. But, it can be difficult to know just what makes a buyer agree to that first meeting with a sales rep. RAIN’S research revealed that the following content has the biggest influence on buyers’ willingness to connect with sales reps:

  • Primary research data relevant to the prospect's business (cited by 69%)
  • Descriptions of the seller’s capabilities (67%)
  • Content 100% customized to the prospect's specific situation (67%)
  • Insight on the use of products and/​or services to solve business problems (66%)
  • Best practice methodology based on the seller’s area of expertise (65%)

And what is the best way to get this information to the buyer? A custom message is one of the best ways to prospect in sales According to the report, 80% of buyers prefer to be contacted by sales reps via email. And, “buyers want emails that pertain to their company and industry. Spend time customizing your emails for a more effective strategy.”

Approximately 31% of sales reps say they send one to two personalized emails to prospects after doing their research to ensure that the messages are effectively composed. And those efforts pay off, as 77% of buyers have responded favorably to an email from a sales rep within the past 12 months.

Cold calls can also be one of the most effective ways to prospect in sales, and again, doing research prior to picking up the phone is vital to success. Buyers are receptive to cold sales calls: More than two-​thirds have accepted a cold call in the past 12 months. The report makes it clear that phone calls are still the most effective prospecting tactic, but that aforementioned custom message matters. “Only a small subset of sellers has good telephone prospecting skills,” RAIN reports. “Build yours and you’ll see more success.”

It is clear that sellers are ready to listen to buyers and, most importantly, to schedule an initial meeting. But it is up to the seller to be prepared with a personalized pitch ready, whether that pitch is delivered by email or telephone.

Jessica Helinski

Jessica Helinski

Jessica is a senior research analyst for SalesFuel focusing on selling to SMB decision-​makers. She also reports on sales and presentation tips for SalesFuel Today. Jessica is a graduate of Ohio University.