B2B Prospecting Questions Answered

Your B2B Prospecting Questions Answered...plus tips, advice & lots more on using B2B prospecting by Phone for YOUR business.

B2B Prospecting
George Clay

Effective B2B prospecting is a methodical sales process.

It's about list building and then prospecting your lists to find the leads you can work into sales appointments.

But effective B2B prospecting is not one call telemarketing. The B2B sales prospecting I'm recommending involves routine follow-up calls.

These calls create trust, build your credibility and forward the sales process.

Prospecting In The Age Of The Customer 

This article in FORBES supports the B2B sales prospecting I recommend you try.

Called 7 NEW RULES FOR PROSPECTING IN THE AGE OF THE CUSTOMER it tells of the massive shift that has taken place in the marketplace of business to business sales.

  • This upheaval is between buyer and seller.
  • Buyers no longer need you the seller in front of them to make intelligent buying decisions.
  • Your importance  to a buyer is vastly diminished if you follow old way selling habits.

Forget B2B prospecting for appointments.

Appointment setting is now a loser's game.

Sure, face-to-face appointments matter...but their significance in the sales cycle has faded.

The importance of this dynamic for anyone in B2B sales and marketing cannot be understated.

Bottom Line: If you are B2B prospecting for appointments  you are playing a loser's game. Get over it. Or get yourself another job --- but not in sales.

What about getting appointments out of this process?

Quality appointments do not happen overnight. Routine follow-up calls plus e-mail follow-ups work wonders to get you in the door for a face-to-face meeting.

So EFFECTIVE B2B Prospecting is a process?

Absolutely! B2B Prospecting  is a form of direct marketing. And building a highly targeted database is the key to any successful direct marketing campaign.

Therefore, I view each call as a means for fine tuning your database.

It's a work in progress that never ends!

How do you prospect qualify?

Good prospects...weak prospects? I find out who's who by asking specific questions. For example, "Does this interest you?" Or "When would you like me to recontact you"?

Each follow-up call fine tunes a prospect's interest level. That's why I make prospect qualify questions part of every b2b sales prospecting script!

What happens after you qualify a prospect?

Once I qualify a prospect as genuinely interested in your business, the next step is your email follow-up.  After that, I recontact your prospect by phone. Starting to see how this b2b prospecting process works?

When do you  make those follow-up calls?

My call backs are scheduled according to your prospect's request. The time between the introductory cold call and the follow-up call varies from prospect to prospect.

Why not let my sales people do those follow-up calls?

Salespeople are notorious for leaving those all important follow-up calls for last on their list. And if they do make those calls they settle for voice-mail follow-up. They do old-way sales follow-up. And today, that's a loser's game.

How do you keep track of who to call and when?

I use a sales management program that organizes contacts, phone numbers, call back information and call histories into a single database package.

How do I know the prospects you qualify are worth MY time?

With introductory cold calls I learn who's a good prospect and who's a dud. From there I make routine follow-up calls to further qualify and develop the best prospects.

Have you worked your B2B Prospecting in my specific industry?

A good over the phone sales person can work any industry.

Same goes for face to face sales. The top producers are at home regardless of product or service they sell.

What about voicemail? Do you leave messages?

Leaving voice mail for customers or prospects who you know well  is one thing. But for new prospects it's a waste of time --- theirs AND yours!

When B2B prospecting or making follow-up calls, what do you say?

I never "wing it". I always use a script. This keeps repetitions, omissions and improper sequencing out of my pitch. They spell trouble when it comes to business sales lead generation phone prospecting.

What size call list do you need to get started?

Keep it simple. 100 or so prospects is plenty. Quantity is good. But quality is better!

Creating trust with each prospect is my primary goal --- NOT making a sale. Your calls are important…and making sure they’re done this way is why I don’t outsource to third party call centers.

If you want better qualified sales leads, higher conversion rates and more revenue per sales lead than is typically achieved by traditional B2B telemarketing my B2B prospecting  can help you.

new business sales prospecting
George Clay

Get updates on ways my B2B Sales Prospecting can help your business grow ---especially in this economy. Also, go here for DMA 2012 response rate reports for lead generation marketing media. Plus this Advertising Age update on B2B phone marketing.

Also, if you do nothing else today click and read this:

7 New Rules for Prospecting In The Age of The Customer