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Perfecting your solution and your messaging is only part of the equation—you need to ensure the people you are selling to are a part of an ecosystem that demands your solution. If there’s no pain, there’s no fit—a loss for every party.
You want your salespeople to be spending their time with clients who are interested in your services. Likewise, the clients you reach out to have to see value in the service you are offering. Many companies you will work with as a B2B are founder-led—they are navigating challenges related to their workforce, supply, and growth. The last thing they want is a salesperson who improperly prospected them and then begins throwing solutions they don’t need.
We’re getting ahead of ourselves—what is prospecting, and why does it require its own tool? And, more specifically, what are the tools for prospecting?
The process of discovering possible customers who are likely to desire or need your service, engaging with prospects, and creating the groundwork for dialogue is known collectively as sales prospecting. When you’re looking at lead generation, sales strategizing, and the industries/buyer personas you will be targeting, the process of B2B sales prospecting gives you a better idea of who you should contact.
Let’s go into the basics before we move directly into sales prospecting tools.
The Basics of Prospecting
Prospecting for B2B services clients is a process that begins with a thorough study and continues with an even more thorough investigation at each phase. This is because the ability to deliver value at each phase is contingent on the previous step’s performance.
Fundamentally, you are preparing your initial conversation and establishing which pieces of your agency’s identity will be most effective in generating buyer interest. A smart approach to sales will factor these elements in when you are forecasting, planning, and laying out a sales strategy.
Prospecting can take several forms, ranging from extremely complex to very restricted. We will touch on specific tools later in this article, but for now, let’s consider some unorthodox approaches that create this problem>solution without a SaaS intermediary.
Salespeople may use LinkedIn to cold contact people depending on their company’s position. Salespeople can also offer seminars and webinars and follow up with individuals who attend. Keeping up with comments, watching feeds, or visiting boards related to news and business development are all forms of lead generation. Knowing why the prospect was in those boards or events is the first step towards understanding their motivations.
Because virtual prospecting is still relatively new, they may search for virtual prospecting ideas or how to recruit for network marketing utilizing Facebook and other social media accounts. At its most basic level, network marketing prospecting is nothing more than a discussion.
Now more than ever, marketers now must be willing to seek out prospects over the internet, connect successfully with them, and be incredibly resilient in their follow-up.
Because it’s not always feasible to observe how someone is behaving in response to a pitch, online communication differs dramatically from face-to-face conversation. As a result, it may take some time for marketers to regain their foothold. When they do, though, they frequently discover that internet marketing is significantly more effective due to its scalability.
To scale further, you will most likely need to begin using a prospecting tool—something that automates the process and puts your people back into their most profitable seat: selling to qualified leads.
While prospecting is most commonly undertaken by SDRs, the number of prospecting sales tools out there has exploded, making it easier than ever for even amateur salespeople (including founders) to get in on sales.
What is a Prospecting Tool?
Prospecting tools may be found in almost every sector and company—however, not everyone understands that what they’re doing when they engage in everyday business is utilizing a sales prospecting tool. Consider that “LinkedIn” is one of the most effective B2B prospecting tools. It may be a social media platform, but it also delivers a plethora of knowledge on corporate structure, making it one of the greatest free sales tools available.
Of course, sales tools and strategies extend beyond simple prospecting tools. Still, sales tools are an important element of the process for both B2B and B2C sales—they’re what allows salespeople to sift the wheat from the chaff and make the most of their time. Understanding customers at-a-glance and being able to analyze their responses to greater effect are all goals of a good prospecting tool.
People are attempting to automate and customize their marketing in more significant numbers than ever before, and they realize that they must commit more time to each customer account. Technology allows a single corporate representative to handle all of the company’s many customer touchpoints as needed. Touchpoints, we should add, are an integral part of building and aligning your efforts to an ICP, thus increasing productivity further.
Typically, businesses have a whole suite or ecosystem of tools, and they try to determine which ones are optimal for their specific workflows, procedures, and habits. Being able to find the best tool for your industry is a challenge many are familiar with. Typically, the search involves fruitless contracts, pushy salespeople, and unproductive demos that almost demand a more extended (thus paid) qualifying period.
Why Are Prospecting Tools Important?
Sales staff can benefit from a variety of sales tools. They can link individuals with contacts, evaluate prospects based on viability, or simply arrange salespeople’s knowledge. There are a plethora of free prospecting tools in social media: Sales prospecting may also be done on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram—though these cases are rare for B2B prospecting.
When it comes to genuinely engaging with people and understanding their underlying motivations, though, more comprehensive technologies are required. Outbound sales software may handle anything from communication tracking to automation of many contact points. Sales teams may engage with more prospects than ever before using outbound sales tools, and they can focus on the ones that are most likely to pay dividends.
Before beginning, every sales prospector should have a strategy or process in place. Goals are set, success is measured, and the methods to get there are determined by strategies. You can only have an amorphous sense of where you want to go if you don’t have a strategy. Of interest to us today is using tech to generate, prospect, and then engage with prospects.
Sales Prospecting Tools to Generate a List of Prospects
You might be asking yourself, “what tools do I need for B2B sales prospecting?” Let us give you some ideas, from lead lists all the way up to sales/project management.
The Wingmate platform is built around the simple idea that any team member can be a part of the sales cycle—including those out in the field. By integrating tools that collect lead data and pipeline it directly into a sales flow, team members can collectively and collaboratively act on leads, making it an effective way of orienting your entire team towards successful prospects and closes.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Sales Navigator is a sales intelligence tool that allows sales professionals to develop and sustain connections with their buyers at scale, enabling virtual selling. Sales Navigator is intended to be a focal point and permanent fixture for contemporary B2B sales teams, connecting with other sales technologies (such as CRM) to create a foundation of trustworthy, dependable, and real-time data.
AngelList is a “Match.com for investors and companies,” allowing businesses to compete for funding from angel investors and (increasingly) venture capital firms. On the strength of growing early-stage values in Silicon Valley, AngelList has experienced explosive expansion. In addition, it has been growing horizontally and regionally—making it perfect for finding prospects in your field and area.
Capterra/G2 is a community-driven software qualification platform. The platform is more than simply a way to connect with potential consumers; it’s also a way to provide intriguing offers and content. You’re not only meeting clients but also encouraging them to select your service over a competitor’s. When combined with content enablement, account-based systems, and content management, this capability becomes even more beneficial.
CrunchBase is a real-time online palm reader of the IT sector, which includes both established companies as well as up-and-comers. You can stay up to date on what’s going on in the IT sector on a worldwide scale with stories from Bloomberg, Wired News, and others. You’ll also know when and when to connect with the world’s top IT experts and fans if you keep an up-to-date calendar of major events. The application helps you find the people you need to connect with depending on your chosen fields and industry.
Clutch is an “impartial” marketing platform that gathers objective client feedback on each firm listed on the site. They conduct in-depth interviews with customers and their clients to assess the quality of their interactions with Clutch-listed businesses. Based on the information obtained, the service assigns a fair rating to each company, making it an impartial prospecting tool with data to back it. Clutch classifies businesses based on their geographic location, field of specialization, and emphasis on demonstrated abilities. See the parallel with your own prospecting?
With these tools, you are searching for the right clients for your skills and service offerings. But, as we mentioned earlier, there is more research yet to do before you commit to pursuing them and potentially wasting resources.
Sales Prospecting Tools to Qualify Prospects
Now that you have a list of prospects, how do you ensure they are within your ICP? Without tech, this could be a lengthy process, but new SaaS offerings are available to help digitize the process.
Knowing your consumers inside and out is crucial to sales prospecting success. This begins with the development and internalization of a buyer persona or ideal customer profile (ICP). A buyer persona is a fictional character who portrays your ideal customer, including their industry, pain points, budget, overarching company size, and objectives. Knowing this information helps sales professionals to immediately identify leads who closely fit a character.
Furthermore, knowing your persona may assist you in crafting marketing messages that your prospects will respond to more favorably. As a result, there’s a better likelihood of conversion. Unfortunately, few salesmen devote the time required to thoroughly investigate their prospects. Instead, they employ the “spray and pray” strategy, which is ineffective and wastes time.
Let’s look at a few tools that will help you connect directly with these prospects and start the qualifying process in full force.
Datanyze assists sales and marketing professionals in locating and connecting with B2B prospects by providing actionable contact information such as email addresses, direct call numbers, and mobile numbers directly from sources like LinkedIn profiles and corporate websites—all without having to leave your browser. The Google Chrome extension, user-friendly UI, and comprehensive dashboard emphasize a seamless user experience, allowing you to easily identify and connect with your next prospect without losing productivity.
ZoomInfo collects contact information intent signals from a number of sources and integrates them into your sales workflow, allowing you to find and rank organizations that are ready to buy. ZoomInfo Workflows puts data insight into your CRM in real-time. You can save time, scale your SDR team, streamline communication and pain alignment, and enhance productivity with real-time information about contacts and organizations. In short, better and more comprehensive communication, faster.
Vainu gathers contact and signal data from millions of public and private sources and integrates it to give you in-depth, comprehensive, and actionable corporate information. Vainu also keeps you up to date on company news and determines the ones who are most likely to become your clients. Vainu also integrates with the tools used by sales departments and SDRs—automating processes that would otherwise be done manually. By giving the correct data in the right location, the application can be used more strategically, and you might achieve more favorable results.
Detective by Charlie App
The tagline is “You hired your reps to sell, not research,“ and that about says it all. Call research automatic prospecting tools through in-browser extensions mean less time building out a comprehensive data mining plan and more time connecting over the pains within your prospect’s organization.
Your prospects list has been gathered, and you’ve begun a data-backed research project. As for the next sales prospecting tools, these are dedicated to helping you nurture better.
Sales Prospecting Tools To Engage And Manage Prospects
Once you’ve collected your leads and begun nurturing them, you will need a means of collecting and refining the data.
Wingmate’s sales pipeline feature was built around one concept—visibility. Not only can Wingmate’s CRM act as a sales enablement tool, but it can also be used to set targets and reward your key players. By engaging your teams at every level (from office to field), you are creating a smarter, more activated workplace.
One of the world’s most used tools also features free CRM compatibility! While it is not purpose-built as a CRM, there are plenty of tools within Google’s suite of products that allow you to collaborate in real-time with your colleagues. For instance, master lists in Sheets or Docs give anyone with internet access the ability to access and refine your forms. No more backtracking over leads and spamming the wrong contacts—pure value for your time.
ActiveCampaign is a cloud-based marketing and sales automation platform with tools for creating email marketing campaigns, lead scoring, web analytics, and, most importantly, customer relationship management. Users may construct highly tailored campaigns for each audience using the platform’s sophisticated activity monitoring and marketing segmentation features.
Unlike a lot of business software that’s been cobbled together through acquisitions, Sales Hub Enterprise was designed from the bottom up as part of HubSpot’s platform. You’ll receive all of the strong features and integrations you need without having to pay for anything you don’t want. Create custom data objects to keep track of data unique to your company. In HubSpot, you can easily categorize, automate, and report on data linked with your prospects, making it a powerful tool when keeping track of your leads and sales activity.
With the right CRM integration, you can prepare for, launch, and crust your Zoom meetings. By using prospect data, you are able to get unprecedented context on your prospects during the call, as well as study the playback on interactions you’ve had with prospects, SDRs, and customers. Synced recordings allow you insight over conversations that are weeks old, offering you a refresher before you send that email follow-up or call.
For hybrid workplaces, it is important to track all micro-interactions and to discover means of sharing them quickly. Loom is an asynchronous video sharing and recording platform that allows you to take snapshots of your workflow and share them quickly with your team. When your calendars won’t line up, and you don’t have time to create complex debriefs, send a short video instead.
Technology moves fast, but the principles for B2B prospecting tools stay the same—be agile, accurate, and thorough in your tracking and reporting. With a solid strategy to back you up, you will see near-immediate improvements in your workflow and successful close rates.
There is a lot of theory to put into practice before an application can carry you over the finish line. Have you identified your target market and chosen to prospect in fields that complement the work you do? Have you been able to successfully articulate your value proposition succinctly given the parameters of your business and that of your ideal B2B client?
A salesperson must constantly remember the value they’re bringing and be sure that their messaging focuses on that. This will help them communicate their offering more clearly to the prospect and help mold that prospect into a buying customer later down the line through forecasting pains and solutions.
Like technology won’t write your essays or fold your shirts, there is the element of will, follow-through, and inventive communication that bridges the gap between client needs and the solutions you offer. These technology recommendations will help you, but the push will always come from your sales and service vision.
Looking for more information on sales or assistance in your lead generation? We’re here to help. Contact us today for more information, or schedule a free demo to see how Wingmate can help you with your lead generation and customer acquisition.
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