When it comes to business-to-business sales, there is no denying that PROSPECTING is one of the most challenging parts of the sales process. It could even be said that a sales professionals overall success is directly proportional to how effective they are at prospecting.
However, Prospecting is not a skill that can be mastered overnight. It requires what I call the 3 P’s:
- Practice and
In addition… I have in my arsenal a few great books written by sales experts who have observed and trained thousands of salespeople get better at prospecting.
Here are five of my favourites that cover everything from creating a prospecting plan, crafting messages that work, having a robust follow-up strategy, having the right mindset when prospecting and a lot more.
In no particular order:
Shift! teaches the essential element of timing and how to use it to your benefit. There are specific “trigger events” that every salesperson must be on the lookout for in order to identify which prospects to approach, and when it’s a good time to do so. The knowledge of ‘Trigger Events’ will not only allow you to fill up your sales funnel faster, but the prospects that you discover will be of a higher quality AND you will be able to close them much more quickly as well.
Most business-to-business salespeople are on LinkedIn , but the top sales professionals have a systematic approach of leveraging LinkedIn to generate quality leads on an ongoing basis. I know most people don’t tend to read product manuals, but the ones who do – discover short-cuts that make their use of the ‘thing’ a lot more effective. LinkedIn is really no different; think of it more as a sales tool and this book is its must have manual for B2B sales professionals.
Some salespeople come up with brilliant excuses not to pick up the phone. A classic one is… “My target prospects are all C-level executives, and they rarely answer the phone, so I just send emails.” Whilst this might be true to a certain extent, this practice doesn’t necessarily produce the results either. The problem is that digital communication has become too impersonal, especially since people are bombarded with it on a regular basis every day. Pick Up the Damn Phone! does a brilliant job of making the case for salespeople to well… Pick Up the Damn Phone! and then use customer-centric techniques to get results.
If you have ever experienced that voice in the back of your mind, reminding you of the fear of failure and rejection, then know this… Until you get rid of that feeling, you will always dread making cold calls. In “Smart Calling”, you will learn the tips and techniques that guarantee you will receive more yeses than nos. It might sound like a hyped up statement, but once you read the book and start practising its lessons, your results will speak for themselves.
Regardless of what you sell, this book shows you simple and practical ways to maximise your contacts and relationships (both online and offline) in order to generate prospects on an ongoing basis. Think of it as a 24/7 prospecting guide. I was given this book by one of my sales directors nearly eight years ago, but the principles within still apply today and will continue to do so – that’s how valuable the lessons are in this book.
That’s it from me; Now ask yourself this question:
What books, sales training resources and sales blogs do you read to continuous sharpen your PROSPECTING ability and help you generate more leads?