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Prospecting, more commonly referred to as the process of finding prospects, luring them to become powerful leads, and eventually converting leads into paying customers is one most pivotal stages of a typical sales process by making efficient use of a free CRM. The more prospecting you do the more leads fall into your lap.

Be that as it may, prospecting is a very daunting task which the majority of the salespeople are forced to contend with. However, if done in the right fashion it can deliver a wonderful experience that buffs up your sales skills and empower you to grab hold of potential customers who are the ideal fit for your products/services.

Read on to learn 8 ways by which you can accomplish sales prospecting in a gainful manner.

1. Fabricating an ideal profile of a prospect

As the types of people and industry and the sizes of a company differ you need to devote substantial time to determine what your ideal customer profile would actually look like and carry out the much-needed research from your database. Based on information gathered about your customers in terms of their priority and profitability, profile groups have to be created with the help of free CRM software.

Avoid having any preconceived assumption that if a company features in your database it’s fit to be included in the profile of your ideal customers. Research shows that nearly 50 percent of prospects aren’t really suitable for what you’d like to sell out to them. It’s always preferable to gain a thorough understanding of your potential customers’ pain points and the several ways your product/service can solve them.

Once you’re thru with this groundwork, making a collaborative use of your existing company list and profile list present in your free CRM database can equip you to discover other businesses that fulfill similar criteria. This strategy is known as ‘account-based marketing” helps focus on and catch high-priority customers.

2. Finding means to recognize your ideal prospects

Initiate the process by classifying your most profitable customers as “best customers”. It’s imperative to know the origin of your best customers. It can be a promotional event, seminar, trade show, or referral. This will give you enough indication of how and wherefrom you can seize your ideal prospects.

Also, take their digital presence into consideration by means of free CRM software. They may be available on social media and various news feeds, forums, and digital publications they usually use or frequent. For instance, if you do B2B sales, odds are your best customers would come from LinkedIn. This implies you’re required to establish a strong presence, especially on social media to dig out all relevant information about a prospect, chalk out a plan-of-action to meet your prospect, besides preparing for your initial round of approach via a mutual association.

3. Asking for referrals

As a matter of fact, when your customers are happy, they’re even happier to spread word-of-mouth praise about your business. According to most recent research studies when it comes to B2B, nearly 91 percent of buyers are impacted by word-of-mouth referrals while settling on their buying decision. The studies also indicate the referral-based sales closure ratio to touch around 50 to 70 percent.

So asking your customers for referrals is an excellent and unmissable sales opportunity. What’s more, it comes for free. Sadly, in actual fact, a significant percentage of sales professionals seldom request for any referrals.

The most opportune time when you can ask for a referral is just after a sale is done. During that time the buying experience still stays fresh in the mind of the customer. Given that the customers go through a satisfying buying experience, odds are 83 percent of them would go ahead and extend a referral to their acquaintances. Furthermore, it’s important that you remain in touch with your current customers to see to it they still look up to your company and the products/services it offers. This is where the unique features of free CRM can prove beneficial.

4. Building up your call lists

There are three types of call lists each salesperson is supposed to handle. These are:

  • Cold call list
  • Warm lead list
  • Lost leads list

Put each of them in priority in your free CRM software framework and invest some time every day to give a call to the people who feature on these lists. Research shows around 69 percent of buyers accept a call from fresh salespeople and 27 percent of salespeople agree on the undeniable efficacy of initiating communication with a new contact through phone calls.

What’s needed here isn’t a well-scripted sales pitch template but a two-way correspondence, recorded in your free CRM database, in the course of which you know about the prospects’ needs, desires, and pain points inside out. Most importantly, you get familiarized with the stage they’re in amidst their buying journey. Given that you sustain an interesting, meaningful conversation, qualifying prospects into leads and finally into paying customers to become a lot easier.

5. Sending personalized emails

Research reveals that 80 percent of buyers exhibit the preference of being contacted via email by their sellers. In recent times, bulk or mass emails are on the wane. It’s personalized emails having nearly 26 percent higher click-through rate than mass emails that are reigning supreme.

At the outset, you need to ensure that the content so served is custom-tailored with free CRM software functionality to meet the unique needs of a prospect. The content has to be so explicit that it perfectly addresses the needs of a certain prospect. The onus lies on you to make them aware and impressed with the information you have as far as their company or industry is concerned.

Secondly, ensure your emails look good on all mobile devices with different screen sizes. Only then you can make your leads click-open your emails and read them while they’re on the move. Studies reveal that over 50 percent of all emails so received are read while customers are traveling. As a matter of fact, responsive emails properly optimized with free CRM can be read on mobile devices of all shapes and sizes. They produce 15 percent more click-through rates than non-optimized emails.

Finally, to make certain your sales reach the target you have to be pretty sure of what and how to write. In this context, you can benefit from several email templates that are currently available replete with tips and tricks to augment sales.

6. Sending appropriate content to prospects

It’s a well-known fact of how content comes to the aid of salespeople in quickly pulling the prospects in the sales funnel. However, you should also have the knowledge of what content needs to be sent and at what time.

In the course of the prospective stage, your main goal is to draw the attention of your potential customers and allow their raise to the following stage. This implies that the content you send should focus on the distinctive situations and apprehensions of a prospect.

But alas, oftentimes, the lion’s share of the content generated by companies and delivered to the prospects or existing customers majorly concentrates on their integrated products, services, and features instead of addressing the pain points of the potential customers.

It’s been observed that 69 percent of potential buyers are keen on looking for research data that have relevance to their area of business. Therefore, you need to offer relevant solutions to your prospects so that they value your content. By resorting to your free CRM framework make them know that you’re aware of:

  • The precise stage of the buying journey they’re in
  • The challenges they’re facing

Naturally, the obligation lies with you to render know-how, insights, and ideas and move them up further in their buying journey.

7. Creating your prominence on social media

The foremost social networking channels which your potential customers make the most of to acquire information are Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Make sure you’re all-pervasive in each of these social media platforms by getting them incorporated with free CRM software.

Some key selling statistics indicate that:

  • 91 percent of B2B buyers enjoy active involvement in social media
  • 84 percent of senior business executives leverage social media to back their buying decisions
  • 65 percent of salespeople who capitalize on the benefits of social media fill their sales pipeline
  • Social selling tools help increase leads winning rate by 5 percent
  • Social selling tools help enlarge the deal size by 35 percent

Initiate your social selling venture by creating a profile on one or more social media channels by exploiting free CRM that you think is suitable for your business. If you’re dealing in B2B, ensure you have a profile on LinkedIn investing where is of supreme importance since nearly 82 percent of B2B buyers are believed to be looking for vendors on LinkedIn prior to responding to your efforts in reaching out to them. Bear in mind that your presence on social media only complements your prospecting options and doesn’t supplant other similar activities.

8. Engaging in constant follow-ups

As a final point, you should know that encouraging results don’t show overnight when you start a tour with your first contact. It entails plenty of effort to attract leads into buying products/services and becoming your paying customers. This involves a lot of repetitive actions, facilitated by free CRM software, right from sending follow-up emails and making numerous phone calls to sharing plenty of supplementary information.

One of the most reliable means of building and nurturing relationships with customers is by engaging in well-timed follow-ups. They help establish your trustworthiness and resolve and go a long way in amplifying your odds of culminating a lead into a sale.

Research points out that if you fail to hear back from a customer within 24 hours in reply to your initial mail it’s necessary that you begin following up with a second email. In 21 percent of cases, you’re likely to receive a reply in the second attempt on the off chance your first email doesn’t evoke any response. Nonetheless, constantly being in charge of follow-ups can be quite a daunting task. That’s why you need to leverage the capabilities of a CRM system to go along with the flow.

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