Conventional wisdom says that the answer to “How much time should I spend prospecting?” is almost always “More than you are now.” But is more prospecting really the best way to close deals? Sure, it can fill the funnel faster, but clogging your pipeline with low-quality leads doesn’t really achieve the best results. In fact, we’d argue that you should be spending less time prospecting and more time, you know, selling.
The case against high-volume prospecting
For a time, marketing and sales automation tools meant that simply hunting down emails and phone numbers was enough to fill your funnel: one massive email blast, and leads fell into your lap. Now, the window is closing. Automation is everywhere, so you need a personalized message to rise above the noise. You can spend an hour collecting 500 emails for a templated message that goes nowhere, or you can craft a stellar “why you, why now” message that actually gets opened. In today’s sales landscape, high-volume prospecting just isn’t enough.
That leads into another trend: account-based marketing. The thinking behind ABM is that sales and marketing teams should coordinate to attract, sign, and nurture an account, because the benefit of landing a high-value customer justifies the time required for a personalized effort. ABM is quickly gaining ground, validating the idea that quality matters over quantity.
How to prospect efficiently
Prospecting best practices increasingly favor finding the right targets, rather than many targets. As a result, the faster you can find ideal customers, the more effective you’ll be. We’ve covered this in detail on our guide to prospecting efficiently, but in essence, you should aim to:
- Use existing accounts to build a prototype of your target customer (based on industry, headcount, revenue, etc.) and from there, find companies that fit the target; and
- Time your outreach with sales triggers, so that you’ll reach out at the right time, as well as to the right account.
It’s reasonable to think that achieving this level of granularity will mean more time spent prospecting, not less. But it is possible to build prospect lists and monitor triggers efficiently, so that you aren’t wasting your time searching Google and LinkedIn when you should be talking to potential customers.
Sales automation done right
DataFox helps you prospect better, faster, and at a higher volume.
Better: Our Similar Companies engine takes in one of your existing accounts and outputs a list of related companies that you can sort by headcount, location, or any other criteria. Here’s an example: we started with Looker, and found 50 other prospects to target.
Faster: Build prospect using intuitive, genuinely useful data. Search with intuitive keywords like SaaS, healthcare, or fintech, with no NAICS codes required. Then, filter by the criteria that matter most to you, whether that’s company size, revenue, or location. For example, we made a list of over 200 SaaS companies in Boston – in under 60 seconds. Not only can you build lists quickly, but we’ll send daily automatic sales triggers for the companies on your list, so you can prioritize thousands of accounts.
Higher volume: Our database of over 1 million companies is deep in tech and private companies, so you’ll be able to discover more target companies. And we’re constantly adding new ones (to the tune of 2,000 a day) so you’ll be the first to know when another company meets your target criteria. Here are just a few of the prospect lists we’ve created:
- 95 exhibitors at Y Combinator Winter 2015’s Demo Day
- 60 companies similar to AppDynamics
- 178 B2B companies in the Bay Area
Ready to spend time selling, not prospecting?
Start a 14-day free trial of DataFox (no credit card required) and see how our team of Salesforce veterans is taking the grunt work out of building prospect lists.