What is B2B Prospecting?

If you’re hearing the term ‘B2B prospecting’ for the first time, let me tell you, it’s the most important skill if you want to grow your business. 

If you don’t have an efficient sales funnel to generate new sales, sorry to say, your company is bound to go out of business. This is where B2B prospecting comes into action. 

It’s a sales process where your potential prospects are recognized, outreached to and eventually you can leverage this to generate meetings with your dream clients and close more deals!

In this guide, I have included everything you should know to make prospecting easier, including various methods and best practices to get results.

Keep reading to find out!

What are B2B Prospects ?

Any person or organization who suits the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), but has yet to show an interest in your company, is a  B2B prospect. Marketing and sales do the job of making them aware of your product or service and eventually guide them into buying your product or service.

There are 2 types of B2B prospects:

  • Sales prospects

Sales prospects are people and organisations that match your Ideal Customer Profile and are considered eligible for further outreach.

This group can include:

Prospects who can be contacted by outbound email, cold calling, social selling.

The combination of these methods to contact the prospects is known as a “sales cadence”.

  • Marketing prospects

Marketing prospect can be any person or organisation who’s expressed an interest in your company by entertaining or engaging with those content produced by your B2B marketing team.

For instance:

They may have registered for any demo via a CTA, filled out a form on the company’s website, downloaded a piece of content or clicked on one of your company’s ads.

Who conducts B2B prospecting?

It’s mainly the job of sales and marketing professionals to manage the process of B2B prospecting. Sometimes they work alone, but usually they work in teams.

B2B prospecting works best when both the marketing and sales teams are closely aligned. They, combined, can form a larger revenue team and drive more success.

Sales Team

This team is often split into 2 groups. Each group performs separate tasks as part of the broader sales strategy.

The 2 groups:

Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) – The job of this group is identifying the ideal prospects, reaching out and engaging with them as well as booking meetings.

Business Development Managers (BDMs) – The job of this group is conducting sales demos, closing the deals and producing revenue for your business.

Marketing Team:

Typically, 3 types of marketers manage B2B prospecting. 

Those are:

Performance marketers– They take the responsibility for acquisition channels across paid search and paid social. They test and optimize new channels for growth.

Content marketers– Their job is planning and creating authoritative content that leads the conversation and delivers ROI.

Campaign marketers– They execute multi-channel marketing, implement campaigns to drive customer acquisition.

What links these groups together is the belief that data and performance should be at the heart of decision-making. These groups are linked together to demonstrate the capacity to use creative strategies to drive transition and engagement. 

What are the different methods of B2B prospecting?

B2B prospecting is performed through variety of sales and marketing activities. 

Read this section to get the idea about the most popular ones.

Sales- Outbound prospecting

In sales, B2B prospecting is done through outbound prospecting and the process includes:

Cold calling– SDRs calling B2B prospects, explaining the product’s benefits, and qualifying them for future engagement.

Outbound email– SDRs reach out to B2B prospects via email, in the hopes to strike up a conversation. It’s generally operated through email automation platforms.

Social selling– SDRs following the prospects on social media, engaging and developing relationships with them over time. LinkedIn is the most popular social network for this.

Marketing-  Inbound marketing

For marketers, B2B prospecting is carried out through inbound marketing. 

The main inbound marketing channels for the B2B prospecting:

Paid– aka pay-per-click (PPC), an online advertising strategy operated by the performance marketers. The companies pay a fee when their ads are clicked on by prospects. It’s done to drive traffic to websites/content and boost conversions.

Content marketing– a strategy of publishing valuable content (including blogs, videos, webinars, podcasts and eBooks) and promoting it to prospects .  Marketers focusing precisely on this sector are called content marketers.

Email marketing– Involves planning and conducting marketing campaigns, delivers them to prospects via email with a goal to convert prospects into customers. 

The Challenges of B2B Prospecting:

Regardless of the methodology you use to actually generate the meeting, you have to understand that all these approaches are gonna be cold and when I say ‘cold’ it means that the prospect doesn’t really know who you are they don’t know about your service. Most of the time when you are reaching out whether it’s let’s say, ‘email or cold call’ that’s the first initial contact or first exposure they have to your brand. So when you’re prospecting in this cold way, you have to understand that you’re going to get a lot of ‘No’s and a lot of people who are not interested because they don’t know who you are. 

However, you’re also gonna get some ‘YES’es and keep in mind, you only need a couple yeses to make the entire process worth the effort. For example, if you’re reaching out to 100 different yoga studios and let’s say only 5% of those people actually respond and take a meeting with you. Out of those five let’s say two people actually buy your product which might equate to thousands of dollars of revenue for you. This makes the entire process of  B2B prospecting totally worth it!

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