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What Does Prospecting Mean?

The definition of sales prospecting is when inside sales reps make outbound calls or send outbound emails to leads in hopes of creating opportunities for account executives. Prospecting can involve cold-calling, email, SMS messages, and other forms of outreach to nurture leads that have gone cold, or attempt to reach completely new people who are potential buyers. Many inside sales organizations have achieved successful results by hiring dedicated sales prospectors.

Prospectors, also known as sales development reps (SDRs) or business development reps (BDRs) can help achieve predictable ROI by creating a steady stream of opportunities for account executives. These opportunities fill the sales pipeline, which provides valuable fuel for the sales team. This can be highly effective because it frees account executives from having to prospect for their own leads. Instead, they can spend their time selling to sales-ready prospects that have been qualified by sales development reps.

Sales prospecting is performed with the help of sales tools that help prospecting reps research companies, find the right people to reach out to, information about that person, and then actually contact them.

Sales prospecting is an essential part of any sales strategy that provides businesses, and sales teams, with qualified new leads to sell to.  One of the most key aspects of outbound prospecting is that SDRs/BDRs choose who they reach out to, meaning that they can specifically target buyers that your company has deemed pre-qualified. This ensures that your sales pipeline is topped with qualified leads from companies that you already know are a good fit.

To maintain sales prospecting effectiveness, prospecting strategies must evolve hand and hand with changes in buyer behavior and demands. Mike Schultz, President of the RAIN Group, recently shared information regarding how prospecting fits into buyer behavior, “The majority of buyers wanted to speak with sellers when ‘I am looking for new ideas and possibilities to drive stronger results and improve my business.'”

When it comes to who to target in prospecting, Sales Leader Bridget Gleason provides insight Everything is not an either-or, and I err on the side of quality, but I don’t want to go as far as to say that quantity does not matter. It Is not a matter of either-or, it is a question of where to put the emphasis.” Furthermore, when it comes to achieving a large quantity of prospecting within a highly quality-driven space, she adds “Quality comes before you pick up the phone. It comes from asking, ‘Are we identifying the right people to reach out to.'” Meaning that first, sales teams should identify their ideal target prospects, then focus on contacting them rather than prospecting to a large number of people and attempting to find a qualified prospect within that group.