Prospecting 101: Best practices for effective prospecting

Prospecting is at the heart of every sales role and for it to be effective, it needs to entail preparation and strategy, from researching your prospects and understanding their pain points, to creating impactful outreach through personalization and automation.

What are the industry best practices for thoughtfully and effectively reaching out to your prospects?

Aisha Chisholm (Sales Development Manager @ Handshake) and Courtney Johnson (Manager, Sales Development @ Smartsheet) shared some of their prospecting hacks.

Use the 3-by-3 rule. 

When researching a prospect, find 3 pieces of information on them to use for personalization in 3 minutes or less. It can be about them or their company – you’d be surprised at how much information is available online and how little time it can take to find it

How can I stand out from the noise? 

Always ask yourself this when prospecting. Think about how you can differentiate your outreach – send a video message, make a good old-fashioned cold call, send a voice memo, etc. Make yourself unique compared to the countless other people reaching out to your prospect.

An objective + clear next steps = your keys to success.

For every lead in your pipeline, you should have a specific objective on why you’re reaching out and a designated next step. You don’t want leads to go stale! Be intentional and personal at the beginning of your outreach and follow through with automated touchpoints as you continue to nurture your lead. 

Prospecting is networking, building relationships, getting to know the right people, and having a clear message as to why you are reaching out. And it’s always quality over quantity when prospecting – you’re better off with 20 impactful leads than 100 dials that won’t go anywhere.

Want to learn more? You can stream the full event recording here. 

Thank you to all of the WISE sponsors that made this event possible and our panelists from Handshake and Smartsheet for sharing their time and advice.