Prospecting isn’t easy … Prospecting is tough.
Many of us started our careers crushing the phones. We made cold call after cold call, working as hard as possible to be the next rep to be promoted. When it finally happened for me I’m not sure what was more exciting, becoming an AE or realizing I wasn’t doing lead generation anymore. I was extremely excited about advancing in my career, then my world came crashing down around me.
You see, I’m a very hands-on and observational learner. My general technique when beginning a new position is to find people who are doing it better, then replicate and improve on their processes.
Here is what I realized, the best AE’s are great at prospecting, in fact, it seems to come naturally. They spend less time doing it than I did as a DGR, yet somehow have almost better results. This realization was a game changer, I began asking myself “how do I get more efficient at prospecting?”
This lead me on an interesting journey of exploration and learning. Since I’m a visual learner and my current product is sales facing, I had the unique opportunity of looking into how top reps at companies like Cisco and Oracle get the job done. I got to watch how they did it and how I can adapt they’re best practices into my own. This was invaluable to my learning experience.
Here’s what I learned.
- The easiest way to reach prospects is not always the most effective. It quickly became clear that I needed to break out of my mass email/cold outreach mindset, and reach leads where they are … on LinkedIn and other social platforms. Then I faced a second challenge.
- How to use technology to scale my prospecting and outreach efforts. Prospecting over social networks manually is incredibly inefficient, there is no possible way to meet my number doing it all on my own. My challenge was quickly and efficiently pulling their info into my CRM and engaging. Once I solved that the rest was easy.
This is when it all started to shift. One of the perks of my job is that I get all the shiny new Colabo features before anyone else, so I started exploring how I could use them in my sales process. Once I embraced technology, I actually began to enjoy prospecting again.
Conversations are happening on LinkedIn, not on email, and deploying tools that empower me to scale those conversations makes them much more possible. It has definitely been interesting spending a large portion of my day on a social site, but the results have justified it. I’m not saying cold calling is dead, but why not try warm calling.