Course Outcomes

This sales prospecting course will:

  • Offer tools for defining the target customer groups.
  • Outline avenues and processes for finding prospective customers.
  • Suggest tactics for recovering lost accounts.
  • Provide techniques for cold calling potential prospects.

Course Overview

If you don’t feed the pipeline, eventually it runs dry. For that reason, prospecting is an essential part of the sales cycle. Great salespeople know that they must always be mining for opportunities and doing it in a smart way. In other words, “there ain’t no Coupe DeVille hiding in the bottom of a Cracker Jack box.” Misguided prospecting can waste a lot of time and energy. This course focuses on tools salespeople can use to think strategically about their customers and find those who will help them achieve their current and future business goals. During this program, participants will look at their customer segments, craft a prospecting model, determine their prospecting goals based on their attrition history and sales targets, build an online and traditional networking plan, and discuss ways to leverage the phone to grow their prospecting pipeline.

Program Objectives

At this program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the extent to which their business relies on prospecting and outline their prospecting goals.
  • Identify prospect groups.
  • Outline a prospecting process specific to their organization.
  • Leverage and grow their existing online and offline networks.
  • Put a strategy in place to regain lost accounts.
  • Use the telephone as a tool for growing their sales prospecting pipeline.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

Heading for the Hills: Targeting Your Market

This course begins with a discussion around the participant’s current practices around prospecting. During this opening conversation, we will talk about what’s working well and what’s not. Next, we will look at current customers through a series of lenses using Business Training Works’ strategic-thinking tool, Lenses: Gaining Focus and Seeing New Perspectives.TM Through their participation in this exercise, the group will begin to define the types of customers they want to attract, those they don’t, and those who are somewhere in between.

Gold Rush: Understanding the Pipeline’s Flow

The people who are the most successful prospectors understand every aspect of their sales pipeline. In this course component, participants will create a pipeline model focused on the prospecting stage of the sales process. During this activity, they will identify what should happen at each stage and the typical amount of time people spend at each step in the process.

Polishing Your Sifting Pan: Why Prospecting Is Important

The next part of the program looks at data surrounding prospecting. During this segment, participants will analyze the hard numbers surrounding their business: the makeup of repeat customers versus new ones, customer attrition rates, inbound conversion rates, and outbound conversion rates. Next, we will talk about goals related to that data and which groups are easiest to influence. Following that exercise, we’ll begin to put together a prospecting plan for each group of potential customers.

Important Nuggets: Networking, Speaking, and Tradeshows

If they can, most people prefer to buy from people they like and people they know. This portion of the program focuses on actions salespeople can take to grow their networks. Starting with LinkedIn and other digital tools, we will talk about ways to grow a virtual network. Next, we will address such traditional networking methods as attending trade shows, joining industry groups, speaking at events, and so forth. As part of this course component, participants will also identify influencers in their network who could help them gain additional business and develop a plan to leverage those connections.

That’s My Gold!: Regaining Lost Accounts

Untended gold is easily stolen. Likewise, competitors will often “steal” the customers to whom we don’t pay enough attention. This part of the program looks at customer retention and actions for regaining lost accounts and reducing future attrition. Working in teams, participants will determine specific actions that could regain some of the customers they may have lost over the years.

Hard Rock Mining: Tackling the Telephone

Few people like the idea of cold calls, but sometimes they are necessary to break new ground. This part of the program reviews the dos and don’ts of using the phone as an awareness and sales tool. In this final part of the course, we’ll focus specifically on language for opening calls, building rapport, and asking for permission to make further contact.

By this workshop’s conclusion, participants should understand the value of prospecting in their business, their prospecting pipeline model, and tactics for increasing the flow of prospects through that funnel.