When you are a small business starting out, one of the many questions you may have is, “Where do I find sales prospects and leads?” This question is hardly limited to startups, but it is likely to weigh heavily on your mind if you have yet to acquire a significant or recurring customer base.
First, it it will be necessary to optimize your digital marketing presence and have an infrastructure that can easily capture inbound leads. I’d recommend checking out Izell Marketing Group for great advice and services in that field.
Next, you will want to start building a prospect lists for your outbound sales efforts. You may not initially need a myriad of prospecting or lead generation tools, but you will likely need some as you scale up. I’ll be exploring and reviewing various tools in subsequent posts.
1. Research Your Prospects and Stick to Your Parameters
What qualities of a prospective customer do you consider most important?
Employee count and industry are examples of concrete parameters; an aesthetically pleasing website could be a somewhat more subjective parameter.
Generally speaking, I wouldn’t recommend going over 10 parameters, as you don’t want to get “stuck in the weeds” trying to find a perfect prospect, but you do want them to be of good quality.
If you go too broad, you risk creating a large list of prospects who are not a good fit for what you are offering, whereas if you go too narrow, you risk not gaining traction.
2. Score Your Prospects
Once you’ve decided on the most important parameters that your prospect needs to be an ideal client, you can rank them based on how many aspects they match. This will allow you to reach out to each one in order of their importance.
If you decide to run an outbound email campaign prior to calling the prospects, you can incorporate read and open rates into your scoring. There are some good tools out there such as prospect and these will be covered more in-depth in future posts.
3. Don’t Get Lost in the Numbers
When building a prospect list, it is important not to spend too much of your time actually compiling the list because you will need to spend time selling.
The goal is to build a targeted list, not shotgun blast thousands of potential clients. If you are emailing prospects, this is especially true as you do not want the same email to go out to each lead.
The process of building your initial sales lead lists doesn’t need to be daunting. Stick to these three core principles, and you will see that gaining traction through outbound sales efforts can be very effective for your business.