Prospecting can be very frustrating because of the many parameters to take into account when you are a salesperson. You have to establish your persona, choose your distribution channel, decide on your strategy and set up your prospecting plan.
Today we’re going to make it easier for you by talking about this last point. Let’s go 🏎️!
The prospecting plan is going to make your sales easier 🤩 there’s no denying that. By doing this, you’re going to eliminate a lot of obstacles. Let’s go into detail on how to make a prospecting plan.
Set up your prospecting plan in 6 steps
This is the part we’re most interested in! What are the steps of a prospecting plan that works? To acquire new customers, there is no secret: implement the famous prospecting plan. You must ask yourself two essential questions:
- Why are you prospecting?
- How you are going to set it up.
We’re giving you right here 👇 all our tips.
Define your goals
It seems obvious, yet you need to go through this crucial step. To know where you need to go, you need to define your goals. You may have:
- Acquisition goals (for example, you need to have X number of users of your product over an advertised period of time).
- Traffic goals: you want to reach 100,000 people on your site per month for year X.
- Sales objectives: you want to reach X € for year or month X.
By defining your goals, you are giving yourself a direction and if you work as a team with salespeople, you are giving your team a direction ️. Why is this so important? Well, it’s so that you can understand the issues your targets are facing. Your team (or just you of course) will be able to come up with solutions, to face difficulties and get on course. Speaking of targets, now is the time to talk about them too.
Define your target
If you’ve been on the blog for a while, you’ll know that, quite often, in our articles, we make a mountain out of a molehill about targets or the famous“persona”. A persona is the portrait of your ideal customer. Without doing this, you cannot dig further your sales strategies.
For us, there is no discussion possible 🛑, knowing your target is knowing their need, their pain points, their frustrations, why they buy from you and not from a competitor. It’s also the time to think about your customer loyalty.
Knowing your target is a major asset in your strategy. And of course, we don’t forget segmentation, because yes, you can have a main target but also an audience coming from elsewhere that will come to buy from you.
You can use all kinds of cool tools (some of which are free) to create a portrait of your ideal lead. Some examples include:
- Hubspot (make my persona)
- Illustrator (a little ❤️ on this one for the total freedom to create the persona).
There are of course others you can use, it’s up to you to go explore. Now that we know which software or platform to use, what information should we put in our persona? You will have to show :
- First and last name.
- Her age.
- His place of living.
- Her sex.
- His marital status 💒.
- His title and function in the company.
- His or her needs.
- Her pain points or frustrations.
- How will your solution meet her need?
- Why she would go to the competition instead of you.
There are of course other relevant information that you can put (besides, do not hesitate to put a photo so that you have a visual representation of it), in this sense do not hesitate to add what echoes your solution.
Segmentation in your targets
It is true that we talk a lot about persona, but we don’t tell you everything about segmentation. Let’s take advantage of this and develop this subject.
You may have a persona related to a theme (like marketing for example) and think 🧠 about its title (marketing director, marketing assistant, marketing manager…). You have noticed that there are several branches in this same theme.
To better explain, your customers will not have the same tastes, the same desires as well as the same behaviors. However, they will still be interested in your product or service. You can therefore separate them on the basis of socio-demographic criteria 👨👩👦 according to:
- Their social status.
- Their age.
- Their profession.
- Their income.
Then come the criteria regarding their habits/personalities based on:
- Their activities.
- Their opinions.
- Their lifestyle.
Then you can also segment on behavioral criteria 😊. You will thus take into account:
- Their buying behavior 💰.
- Loyalty (are your targets loyal to certain brands?).
- Their purchase frequency.
You can, of course, segment them on your own criteria.
Choose your prospecting and distribution channel
Okay, you have your objectives and your personas, but on which platform will you communicate? What will you use for your prospecting plan? You need to think about the relevance of the tool:
- How will it help you and/or your teams?
- What is the budget 🤑 you are willing to invest?
There are of course free or Freemium tools that will get you started with your prospecting. We have one in mind to suggest: Waalaxy. We will come back to it a little later in this article to present you its different features.
You can also pay platforms (like Google Ads) to try to sell your products (you will have to set up your settings ⚙️ of targeting, habits, etc… But you will have defined these criteria in the definition of your persona).
Think about your prospecting campaigns
Now that you have set up what we have seen above, you will have to think 🧠 about your prospecting campaigns, which implies:
- The message you’re going to send to your prospects.
- The date you are going to send your message.
- The tasks you need to complete.
- The person in charge of a task.
Basically, you’re just going to set up a document in which you write down all of the above points as well as the message you’re going to send to your leads. It is on this document that you and your team will be able to rely in case of doubt.
Measure your KPIs and set up a follow-up of your actions
Data is not something that many people like. However, you’ll have to get your hands dirty to know if you’re still on the right track. So, you’ll have to analyze the different campaigns you’ve set up. There’s no point in analyzing your results the day after you launch the campaign, it’s absolutely useless.
Measuring your performance 📏 lets you know if your goal setting was right and if you’re on the right path to get there.
If you’ve exceeded your expected results, you can set new ones or continue to gain growth and revenue. Here is the list of KPIs that you need to track for us:
- The amount of business.
- The number of new customers.
- The prospects who became customers.
- The traffic to your site (if you have one).
- The level of influence ❤️.
Again, you can set up your own KPIs. They will only depend on you and your goals.
Convert and retain
Once you have your prospects, you will have to make sure that they convert. So you must not neglect your prospecting funnel. We talk about it in 👉 this article.
In your sales funnel, you’re going to try to send the right message at the right time to the prospect who is in one of the parts of this funnel. The prospecting funnel allows you to turn the simple visitor into a “promoter”.
It is a marketing automation tool and, thanks to it, you will be able to (almost) automatically manage your various prospecting campaigns. But that’s not all, your work doesn’t stop there, you’ll have to build loyalty among your customers. If someone buys from you but your customer then goes directly to the competition, you have to ask yourself questions.
You must imperatively think ❤️ about the retention of your customers, make sure that they continue to buy from you and that they talk about it around them.
The prospecting plan: definition
Simply put, the prospecting plan will allow you to determine the structure of your business. How will you reach your objectives? What will your revenues be? How will you grow your revenue?
This is a small list of questions (absolutely not exhaustive) that you will have to answer. With a prospecting plan you will have vision 👀 on your business and also allow your teams to understand in which direction to go.
At its simplest, the prospecting plan is the set of actions you’re going to put in place to attract your prospects and make sure they convert at the end of your funnel.
The prospecting file
Obviously, we can’t talk about a prospecting plan if we don’t tell you about the famous prospecting file. What is a prospecting file? In fact, it’s simply your document containing the list of your prospects (we can also call it a prospect database). You will therefore have information on your potential customers. The information you will find can be :
- The first name, last name.
- An email address.
- His/her socio-professional category.
- A phone number.
- How he knew about your solution.
- The company in which he works.
- His sector of activity.
This prospecting file is going to allow you to canvass these with the aim that they convert 🤑 with you. Of course, there are two types of prospecting files:
- B2B file.
- BtoC file.
And in both cases, you will not find the same information. Indeed, you will find in a BtoC list what we have just enumerated earlier, whereas in a BtoC prospecting file, we will find company names, functions, influential people in a company… If you are interested in this subject, we talk about it in more detail in the article about the prospecting database. Take a look at it. You don’t know what it looks like? Come on, just for your eyes only, we’ll show you.
Prospecting database: example
To give you a clear idea, let’s say we want to set up a Btob prospecting file, we’ll put the following information:
Type of business:
Company Address and Zip Code:
Decision maker :
Position held :
Interest of the prospect :
How did they find out about the solution?
Customer barriers: How do you satisfy the customer?
This list is once again non-exhaustive, you may very well add the relevant elements that you consider essential for your prospecting. Here is a visual that will help you better situate yourself in the prospecting sheet.
What about the BtoC prospecting form? It’s even simpler than what we’ve just seen. All you’ll need is your target’s personal information 😏 and how they came to find your solution. Okay and if not in an automation software, how does it work? How does it work?
Using Waalaxy as an automation software
To introduce you to this marvel of a tool, Waalaxy is a chrome extension that is going to allow you to get your prospecting off the ground in the space. It will allow you to:
- Visit profiles on LinkedIn.
- Send invitations.
- Send messages.
- Find and retrieve your prospects’ email.
- Synchronize your data with a CRM.
- Do auto-import.
- Chat with the cat (we’re not talking about the pet 🐈) if you have a problem.
Now that you know all this valuable information, you’re going to have to target your potential customers and then go out and find them. So how do you start this sales action?
- First step, head to LinkedIn.
- Type in the keywords related to the prospects you are targeting (today we are targeting professional development coaches hence the importance of targeting).
- Click on the Waalaxy icon to import the list of prospects, give a name to your list and select “Validate” for the import.
- Open Waalaxy and go to “Prospects”.
- You will find your list in the “Prospects” section.
- Admire 🤩 your list of prospects.
You can now start to implement your commercial actions. By the way, you may not have been told, but Waalaxy is free and allows you to prospect up to 100 people per week. If you have a team, you will have to go for a Team plan with Waalaxy. Let’s talk about it.
Waalaxy Team Plan
There are two plans that have the “Team” feature in Waalaxy:
- The Advanced plan.
- The Business plan.
With the Advanced plan, you will be able to prospect up to 700 people per week, benefit from CRM synchronization, auto-imports and live chat 6 days a week. With the Business plan, you will benefit from the same features with the addition of Email search 📩 with Email Finder.
Discover the pricing just here.
So, what are we waiting for to discover the tool?Découvrir Waalaxy 🪐
Knowing that on top of all this, you will benefit from a dashboard that will allow you to see in real time the evolution of your different KPIs, measure your ROI and have a look on your metric. Yes, we love Waalaxy.
As you can see, setting up a prospecting plan is an integral part of your sales strategy. It will also allow you to know the strengths and weaknesses of your marketing strategy.
This is why it is imperative to set it up. By setting up this prospecting plan, you will be able to set objectives and this will become clearer as you develop it.
So in the course of this article, we’ve seen the definition of a prospecting plan, which is simply a document 📄 set up to structure your strategy. To achieve the goals, you will need to:
- Define your persona.
- Set up the structure of your strategy.
- Write the major steps of this marketing plan.
- Understand what a prospecting file is.
- Use automation software to launch your prospecting.
FAQ of the article Putting in place a prospecting plan
For your business development, setting up a prospecting plan allows you to have vision on all your actions and structure them. But it is not only useful for you, if you work with a sales team, it will also allow them to know ⬆️ where they are going.
Inbound Marketing: The content strategy
Inbound marketing, which by the way means “inbound marketing” is a method of getting the customer to come to you. Instead of you going to solicit him, you will arouse his curiosity through different levers such as:
- The white paper.
- Social networks.
- Content strategy.
This last point is particularly interesting: the content strategy.
Indeed, if you browse ⛵ on the professional social network LinkedIn, you can see that there are a lot of people who write posts on various topics. In fact, by doing this, they are writing ✒️ in a topic that they are experts in.
So they are going to arouse the curiosity of people maybe working in the same industry. So they will create a community for themselves. Once their “authority” is established in their industry, customers will naturally go to them since they seem to know their subject. This is exactly what you need to do for an inbound marketing strategy.
Don’t be afraid to jump in, you will gain confidence as you post and your copywriting will improve greatly.
If you are wondering what prospecting is, we will give you the answers in this section. Quite simply, prospecting is looking for potential customers who might be interested in your solution. It is an integral part of your sales approach. There are of course several steps to do this:
- The search for customers.
- Creating a customer database with all their information.
- Finding marketing actions to reach your customers.
- Setting up your sales pitch.
- Retain your customers and continue to develop a portfolio of customers.
- Analyze your different actions.
How to write a prospecting plan?
As you can imagine, prospecting is not the same as it was 20 years ago and sales tactics have evolved. There are many factors to take into account especially since the arrival of digital prospecting.
You now have more information about your potential prospects since you can understand the path of a user/potential buyer. The heart 💓 of the matter is also how to write that famous prospecting plan.
So the beginning is to draw a picture of your ideal customer. Your targets have many things in common, whether it’s their needs or their pain points. They are certainly part of the same sector of activity, belong to a certain type of company. Draw up this portrait, you will need it for the following.
For the next step, you will need to set up your objectives. If you don’t know where you are going, you won’t be able to go anywhere with your sales process. It is important to know where you are going in order to do a good prospecting.
The next step is to write your sales messages. Prospecting effectively is also about understanding the message 📩 you’re going to deliver to your customers.
Sit down for two minutes and think about what you want to receive as a message and what you are throwing away. When you send a message to a lead, don’t talk about yourself, talk about them. Humans are self-centered, so you need to understand that. Show them that you care about them.
Last step: automation. Sending messages takes time (especially if you’re doing it by hand 🤚 ) when they’re personalized. With an automation tool like Waalaxy, you can send messages to a large number of people without spending hours doing it.
LinkedIn for prospecting
For the past few years, social networks have been making a big splash with Internet users. There is one that particularly stands out because it is a professional network.
We are of course talking about LinkedIn. Initially designed to connect professionals in a given sector, it is becoming more and more popular to find clients. It is one of the most incredible prospecting tools.
The first thing to know is that this social network has millions of users 🤯 who will update their data. So you get it, it becomes a database that is updated in real time. The power of the platform is incredible. You can target job titles, companies, functions…
All this, just by typing in keywords related to your sales field. Implementing a prospecting strategy with LinkedIn will boost your sales for sure. Of course, you will have to develop trust with your customers, since LinkedIn is a platform based on trust. The more comprehensive your profile, topics that show your skills 🛠️ and discussions with members of this social network, the more likely you will convert.
A good business prospecting will allow you to get new and numerous customers but don’t forget that you also need to retain your customers to make your business last over time.
All that’s left is to get started and put into practice everything you know about the prospecting plan 🚀.