Commercial prospecting is a vital element for any business: it is about finding and reaching new potential customers. It is in fact an ongoing process which can turn out to be more or less long, because between making contact with what is called a prospect, and his decision to acquire one of your products or services, he will Take a journey through the sales funnel (a schematic representation of your customer’s ideal journey) that has multiple stages, each of which signals growing interest from the prospect. The main difficulty of your commercial prospecting action will be to identify as quickly as possible the type of customer to which your product or service may correspond, this is called a “buyer persona”.
Currently, finding new prospects is proving more and more difficult, as competition between companies has increased in this globalized and interconnected world and buyers tend to be less loyal to brands than in the past.
On the other hand, any business constantly suffers from what is called the phenomenon of attrition, a term that can be defined by a natural loss of customers, due to many factors.
Emergence of Digital Technologies
With the emergence of digital technologies since the beginning of this century, commercial prospecting methods have evolved. Traditionally, there are two main Bulgaria Email List categories of commercial prospecting: classic prospecting, also called analog, and digital prospecting.
However, other approaches are possible and we saw the emergence a few years ago of other types of categorization, such as outbound and inbound prospecting methods.
This is what we will see in this article.
Analogue Commercial Prospecting
This type of prospecting, which we could qualify as old-fashioned prospecting, is far from being obsolete, contrary to what one might think, and even if new technologies have greatly disrupted marketing and sales techniques.
First, let’s mention the telephone, an instrument still widely used by salespeople to prospect potential customers from a database. This is called in the jargon “cold calling”, which is known to be a difficult exercise because the failure rate is high. Thus, it is estimated that only one call in 100 is successful. Besides, most people today avoid answering this kind of call, or when they do, try to hang up as soon as possible. Either the call bothers them, or they are already in high demand or knowledgeable about the products or services they want to acquire.
So much so that more and more marketers consider prospecting customers using a phone to be a thing of the past.
Then we must mention the prospecting technique by sending mass e-mails. On the cold calling model, an email is sent to a large number of recipients who have a customer profile for what you have to sell, following an often very large database. This technique was popular ten years ago, but it is clear that, like the mass phone call, it has had its day. Because people generally have the same attitude to these unwanted emails: it goes straight to the trash or the sender is directly blocked.
However, this technique is still used when it comes to customer retention, which is a completely different case because the people who receive your emails are acquired customers. But the trend in sales prospecting emails is in the direction of optimal individualization and segmentation, which is the opposite of mass mailings. The conversion rates which relate to the technique of prospecting by e-mail are also extremely low.
Making the Effort
So maybe in the end, the good old method of canvassing in the field remains the best, in terms of B2B , of course? Making the effort to reach out to potential clients seems like a lot more human and worthy than formatted mass emailing or phone calls that are often seen as harassment.
But in truth, things have changed for about thirty years and impromptu visits do not go as well as before, in our time when everything is millimeter and settled in advance. An unexpected visit is most often seen as disturbing and doomed to failure. In other words, if you have not made an appointment beforehand, your prospecting process in the field, which is by definition spontaneous, will encounter a polite refusal at the reception level.
The evolution of mentalities and technology means that field salespeople will see their number drastically reduced in the near future, with companies preferring to obtain information directly via the internet, where everything is done to present the products and services of in the most precise way possible. As we will see later,