Picking the Best Prospecting Strategies For Your Business
Prospecting strategies often come down to the question of whether to focus on quantity or quality of leads. These differing strategies are best represented by two different prospecting approaches: the spray-and-pray approach, focused on quantity, and the targeted, or account-based, approach, focused on quality. Between these two approaches range a number of strategies that combine the two or provide a balance between focusing on quantity or quality.
But which approach is overall best for prospecting? How do you target sales prospects using spray-and-pray vs account-based selling? In this article, we will focus on the differences between these two approaches and decide which is best for which types of prospecting. We will also go over which specific techniques correlate with which overall approach. Finally, we will offer up our own top prospecting tips so that you can effectively prospect for sales leads regardless of the product you’re selling.
The Spray-and-Pray Approach
The meaning of “spray-and-pray” is self-explanatory. With this prospecting strategy, you “spray” your sales materials as widely as possible and “pray” that someone responds to you. Basically, you value quantity over quality by contacting as many leads as possible with the hopes that at least someone will be interested. Examples of “spray-and-pray” strategies include mass emails and random cold calling.
The reasoning behind a spray-and-pray approach is that if you prospect to as many people as possible, you are bound to eventually come across a solid lead. However, the issue with this approach is that you will end up wasting time and effort on prospects that will never become customers. Additionally, spray-and-pray is the antithesis of a customer-based approach since you’re sending the same generic message to every prospect. In fact, there could be prospects who would be interested in your product but are turned off by the generic message they receive! Overall, the spray-and-pray approach is less likely to attract quality leads.
What is Account-Based Selling?
Compared to spray-and-pray, account-based selling takes a more targeted approach to sales prospecting. It uses an approach that borrows from account-based marketing tactics. Basically, account-based selling involves creating a specific persona for what kind of customer you want and then targeting your sales efforts to the accounts that fit that persona. This persona should match the profile of your most satisfied customers. Account-based selling can also focus on upselling or cross-selling to already-existing customers.
Examples of account-based selling techniques include:
- Going to industry-specific events, such as conferences or trade shows
- Hosting webinars for a specific type of clientele
- Personalized email marketing
- Personalized video messaging
Account-based approaches to prospecting and selling produce a fewer quantity of but higher quality leads. In fact, 97% of marketers have reported achieving higher ROI with account-based marketing than with other strategies. This is because accounts targeted with this approach are much more likely to respond and eventually convert into paying customers. Additionally, account-based selling uses personalized selling that is more appealing to prospects. Prospects are more likely to respond to messages if you personalize them to their specific profile and needs. This approach puts the customer first as you personalize your prospecting strategy to each individual customer’s needs.
When to Choose Account-Based Selling vs Spray-and-Pray Sales
In most cases, you should focus on targeted prospecting over the spray-and-pray approach. Account-based selling is data-driven and evidence-based, whie spray-and-pray is largely random. While account-based selling lowers the quantity of leads, it greatly increases their quality. Your leads will be more likely to respond, move forward in the sales pipeline, and eventually convert. Additionally, quality leads are more likely to become quality customers who stick with your product, leave good reviews, and even promote your product to others!
Spray-and-pray may work when you are selling a product that appeals to a wide audience. However, in b2b prospecting, you should only use target-based selling. Of course, if your product appeals to more than one buyer persona, it’s okay to run several different account-based campaigns at once. In this case, you will need to differentiate your sales materials and selling approach depending on the use case. Make sure your campaigns are clearly defined so your sales team doesn’t get confused when switching from one account target to the next!
Developing Best Practices in Sales Prospecting Strategies
So, how do you implement an account-based selling approach in your sales prospecting plan? What specific prospecting strategies work best? Let’s go over a few strategies for using account-based selling in your prospecting.
Create a clear buyer’s persona
We’ve already mentioned the importance of developing a buyer’s persona, but this technique is important enough to be emphasized again. Before you start selling to a targeted account, you need to clearly define the persona of this account. What specific type of customer or industry are you targeting? What is their use case for your product or service? What specific issues can your product help them with? When creating a buyer’s persona, your goal should be to both make it easier to identify accounts who match your persona and develop sales materials for capturing those accounts.
This is a pretty general tip, but you should work on maximizing your visibility among your chosen buyers. Attend conferences or other industry events in their industry. Maintain an online presence on the social media platforms that they use. Write articles on content relevant to their industry and develop expertise on the issues that matter to them. If a prospect has already run into your company in several other places, they are more likely to respond positively to outreach.
Utilize current customers
Do you already have customers that fit your buyer persona? You can use them as a resource to both gain contact information for other prospects in their area and create customer testimonials. Your website should feature glowing reviews from someone who fits each buyer persona that you are targeting. Your current customers are your greatest resource – use them!
Use personalized video
Sending personalized video is one of the most effective prospecting strategies. 72% of consumers have reported that they prefer learning about products or services by watching a video than by reading text. Additionally, 95% of content in a video is remembered by a recipient vs. just 10% in plain-text. You can use a video messaging platform like Covideo to embed personalized videos into your prospecting emails, text messages, and CRM messages. Recipients are more likely to click on, read, and respond to cold emails when they include a video.
To learn more about how you can use video messaging to optimize your prospecting strategy, schedule a demo today.