GUEST POST BY DEEPTI JAIN

Lead Generation is a big deal.

But you know what’s an even bigger deal?

Acquiring new prospects and exactly knowing where to acquire the prospects who are the perfect fit for you. Perfect fit doesn’t mean that they are a sure way of you making profit. No, it should go both ways. The prospect should stand a chance of gaining something from your services as well.

That said, prospecting can be very tiring, not to say there are so many prospecting mistakes that you might be guilty of. However, notwithstanding the hassle it has to be done nonetheless.

But more than acquiring the prospect, the most tedious task is to discern who the right prospects are. After all, it’s highly likely that you are surrounded by way too many potential prospects. And sometimes you might give in to the temptation and start prospecting so that your sales pipeline is inundated with potential prospects and you can eventually boost your sales. But this approach doesn’t serve the purpose. Because in the end only half of the prospects will turn out to be relevant.

Thus, rather than going at it like a rat-race focus on who is the right prospect and where to find the right prospects.

In this post we are going to give you a perfect checklist that you must consider to analyse who to prospect and where to find them.

1. What Does Your Best Customer Look Like?

The best way to go about it is by creating an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), a strategy that plays a central role when it comes to prospecting.

Aren’t we grappling with the question, Whom to prospect and whom to avoid? Well, here’s your answer.

But what exactly Ideal Customer Profile is? Ideal Customer Profile basically helps in filtering out and negating unproductive prospects.

Say, for example you are mid-scale marketing firm. So what should your ideal prospect look like?

Maybe a startup that is barely getting started but in dire need of your services. Or maybe a mid-scale company (50-100 employees) that may need you to revive their marketing approach. Because these are type of prospects that fit right with your demographic.

Now, not to say that you can’t eye a big conglomerate like IBM. You can, but your main focus should be on someone who actually. Don’t go about throwing your net in a direction where you won’t find any final results.

But how will you make an Ideal Customer Profile?

While there are more than one ways to create a buyer persona, we will tell you the simplest one.

All you have to do is to take your existing customers in account. Gather data on your existing customers as well as potential prospects and look out for any commonalities.

Here are some points that you should evaluate:

  • What is the company size?
  • Number of employees working in the enterprise
  • Annual revenue of the company
  • Where is the company located?
  • And the niche of the company

Once you have made side-by-side comparison, note everything down clearly. The hard part is over. (And it wasn’t really that hard, was it?)

Now you can streamline your prospects accordingly. Prospect the enterprises that have similar attributes as your existing customers.

2. Qualify Before Prospecting

Sure, most people qualify the leads after acquiring them. But do you really think this is the right approach?

Not sure about it?

Think of it this way – you’ve a considerable amount of resources, time and energy in acquiring, say 100 leads. Now, after acquiring the leads, you will qualify them. And after qualifying only 40 leads turn out to be relevant. Turn out, you wasted all the time and resources for nothing in acquiring those 60 irrelevant leads.

Scary, right?

So, why not simply negate such huge chances of loss?

I am not saying you should use it as your final checklist. But, you can still analyse whether your prospect has the resources to avail your services. Also, it will help you identify whether the prospect even needs your services. And it doesn’t have to be rigid either.

Do your homework and decide on the basis of these questions who your right prospect is.

  • Resources and budget – Things like the annual turnover of your potential prospect can help you decide whether the prospect has the resources and budget required to pay for your services. Look out for the past spending trends and analyse whether the payments were timely made.
  • Does The Prospect Need Your Services? How can you say that the prospect needs your services. Is the prospect similar to your existing customers? What are they aiming for? Would you be able to cater to their need? Ask yourself these questions, right down the answers and you will surely realise whom to prospect and whom to not.
  • Urgency – Say, for example, you are prospecting an enterprise that needs the task to be done within 24 hours. If you can meet this demand, then you are welcome to prospect them. However, if you are unable to meet that sort of demand, what would be the point in prospecting the enterprise? Therefore, before prospecting get to know about the urgency of the need.

3. Can You Serve The Prospect?

We have saved the best for the last.

Everything aside, the ideal prospect is one whose pain points you can address. When all is said and done, everything is manageable to some extent.

You can manage the budget, time or even the resources. However, the point is – does you product help your prospect? Can you product or services address the pan points of your potential prospect?

If you can answer these questions in a positive then you know whom to prospect. And whom to not approach.

We have touched upon some points what tell you who to prospect. And now you know who is your ideal potential prospect. Now, the question is – where will you find your ideal prospects?

Here Are Some Places Where You Can Find The Right Prospects.

  • Job Boards

You’d think that how is it possible to find prospects in a place where the prospects themselves are finding potential employees. But, that’s exactly the point.

Let me break it down for you.

Company hires people when they need a service. And the best way to analyse a company’s need is by looking at their hiring trends. Suppose, a company is looking for an HR specialist and you work in the same domain, you know that this is the organisation you can reach out to.

Job Boards where you can find your prospects

  • Glassdoor
  • LinkedIn
  • Indeed
  • AngelList
  • Quora  

Quora is a Q&A forum that has an answer to all your queries. And also your answer to where to find your prospects.

The best part about Quora, of course beside it being a knowledge oasis, is the fact that it generally has user’s Facebook or other social links on their profile. All you have to do is to create an account on Quora and start following people from your niche. Now, simply start interacting them by asking questions from them. Engaging with them by commenting on their questions. Answer the questions that they ask. Solutions are many, it’s up to how you leverage this large pool of prospects.

And voila! You will be brimming with prospects.

However, don’t forget to make use of the aforementioned ways to filter out unproductive prospects and analyse who to prospect.

  • Blogs and Forums

It may sound absurd in the beginning but subscribing to some relevant blogs and forums may come in handy. Simply because these newsletters would help you stay up to date with everything that goes on in the market.

You can learn about the upcoming companies along with the companies that are already successful. You might get some useful data about these companies that might turn out to be an ideal prospect for you.

And even if you are unable to gain some prospects reading these blogs and forums, you will still gain some important knowledge that might point you in the right direction.

Suppose, the enterprises in your industry are struggling with some data breach. And luckily you are a cyber security consultancy agency. Next you can google about this supposed breach further, research a bit more and start contacting the prospects with possible solutions.

  • Business Journals

Business Journals serve somewhat the same purpose as the blogs and forums. However, these journals cover bigger events and have a better insight about the businesses and the problems that they are facing.

And you can leverage such coverage by contacting the company (if they are an ideal prospect). Also, you might get to know of some business you have never heard of before and discover some new prospects this way.

Conclusion

So there were some ways using which you can discern whom to prospect and where to find your prospects. If you follow the above points without rushing out things then you will be able to build a mutually beneficial relation with your prospects that may later cement in profitable sales.