How to Prospect for Sales Leads within Your Network
Think about the last time you needed help, advice, or recommendations. Chances are, you turned to friends, family, or peers, right? Now think about the last time you wanted to get in touch with, meet, or get matched with someone you didn’t know first-hand. It’s only human (and common sense) to turn to those that are closest to us to help facilitate those relationships. If you’re working in B2B sales – where prospecting new leads is crucial to your success – this shouldn’t be any different. In fact, with more and more sales pros recognizing the value of social and relationship selling, comes the realization that sometimes, finding new prospects is as easy as looking into your own network. Here’s how:
Leverage your team’s relationships
Look at the relationships already present within your team (you can do this on Nudge!). Really understand which team members are in touch with which prospects (and how many within one organization) as well as how strong those relationships are. For example, is the last team member to reach out to your target prospect still at your company? If not, when was the last time they spoke to the prospect? Has the deal gone cold or is it still up in the air? With Nudge, you will be able to see with whom at the target account they spoke last, and can seamlessly pick up the conversation from there. Arming yourself with these insights will make it all the more easy to reach out to the prospect yourself. As a sales leader, you also want to know which, if any, key decision makers your reps are talking to so that you can coach them on the appropriate next steps, if necessary.
Expand your current relationships
When leveraging relationships, think about those found within your prospect’s network as well.
Nowadays, it takes a committee of nearly seven people to sign off on B2B purchases – that can mean anyone from team leads to IT, to Legal depending on the industry. So, building a strong relationship with your prospect is the key to forging relationships with their peers and closing the deal. Having a multi-threaded approach to selling to prospects means good news for your lead generation as well – more (strong) relationships, mean more contacts in your network you can turn to for potential leads. As we mentioned above, it’s also important that you’re forging multiple relationships with the right prospects as well (i.e. key decision makers). As a sales lead, this requires you to look at the seniority of the rep versus that of the prospect – our studies show that, when you include in-deal relationship building, you can expect average response rates between 12% – 22%. Having the right mix of senior sales reps reaching out to more senior prospects is crucial to keeping those response rates at the higher end of the scale. Taking all of the above into consideration will ultimately help you drive expansion from within the account in order to drive revenue.
You can also use this approach in tandem with other team members. For example, it pays to know which of your team members are talking to which prospects (and how frequently), where those prospects are from, who else is in their organization, and who they’re connected to that you can potentially surface as a warm lead. Leveraging CRM (or any other) tools to understand account information like this (as well as the outcomes) ensures that your outreach efforts aren’t overlapping with your teammates’.
If you’re a sales leader, Nudge’s conversations widget gives you an objective view into what your sales reps are doing and help you with coaching, all while preventing deals from potentially slipping.
Leverage your prospects relationships
Considering that 84% of B2B sales start with warm referrals, asking for warm intros is definitely something you don’t want to shy away from. Use whatever tools you have (including Nudge) to search for the contacts of your contacts. Nudge goes one step further by allowing you to see the strength of your contacts relationships so you know if it’s worth the effort to make the ask (there’s nothing worse than being asked for a warm intro to someone you only know by name and nothing more). So, if you and a prospect have 48 contacts in common, Nudge is able to rank those relationships by strength, so that you can clearly see the best people to ask for a warm introduction. We do this by using an AI-powered algorithm to tracks interactions over time and builds/attaches relationship strength score to each person, so you can rest assured that anyone with a “strong” relationship with a potential prospect knows them very well and have recently been in touch.
How in-deal prospecting impacts your sales
It should be clear by now that leveraging your network, your team’s network, and even your prospect’s network gives you a major leg up when it comes to lead prospecting. You should never feel as though you’re going into anything “cold” (or ice cold, anyway) when you take this approach to selling.
And, when you consider the number of emails (up to seven) and weeks (up to 13!) the average sales reps wastes, reaching out to prospects that are likely never to respond, it starts to make sense why top reps stick to building and maintaining relationships within their immediate (and sometimes not-so-immediate) network! Save yourself time, effort, and increase your response rates by doing the same.