Prospecting is often one of the most dreaded parts of a sales or marketing job because it involves so much work upfront. As a result, some companies opt to outsource this step, but if you’re rolling up your sleeves to do it manually, a strong prospect list template will make the process much easier.
Our Smith.ai live agents are experts in outreach campaigns, working from prospect lists our clients send us. We’ve taken what we’ve learned and compiled it into a prospect list template and a sales call checklist that will set you up for prospecting success.
A prospect list consists of businesses and contacts that fit your ideal customer profile. Rarely does it include leads, which are different from prospects because leads have already indicated an interest in your service or product.
You or your sales or marketing teams will use your prospect list for outbound lead generation. The more complete and targeted it is, the easier it will be for your team to get results from cold calling.
A good prospect list helps you:
To build an effective, targeted prospect list, you’ll need to do some preliminary work. Doing this work upfront will save you time and money.
You should know the ins and outs of your product or service. That means you need to know not only how the product or service is intended to be used, but how clients are actually using it.
Go beyond the basics like pricing information and features. Dig into how the product or service has helped past clients, and look for how it solved their problems. Success stories or unexpected use cases can help a prospect see the value of what you’re selling.
If you’re a startup company, you’ll need to build your ideal client profile (ICP) from scratch based on the product or service you offer. Identify the following:
Once you’ve completed your ICP, use it to develop a buyer profile, which identifies probable characteristics of the decision-makers you’ll be reaching out to. Knowing this information will help you personalize your pitch accordingly. Consider the following:
There is no specific formula for a prospect list because there will likely be variation based on your industry, product/service offering, and company needs.
However, there are several standard features of a prospect list you’ll want to include:
To get started, download our prospect list template and make a copy to add your prospect’s information.
The more care you put into this step of the process, the better and more accurate your results will be.
You have two options for building your prospect list:
While outsourcing can save you time, digging into the research yourself may make your pitches more effective since you have a better understanding of the prospects. You can also opt to use marketing automation to initially populate your prospect list before manually validating it to save some time.
A good place to start your research is actually with existing clients. First, consider where you can pitch upgrades or add-ons to develop your working relationship further. You can also ask them for referrals or reach out to their partners if they list them on their website.
Next, dig into your competitors. Read their reviews online to find customers who are unhappy with their current products or services and who may be amenable to signing up with you. Even customers who write positive reviews may be open to switching companies if the price is right or if your product or service is better.
Once you’ve learned everything you can about your existing clients and competitors, expand your horizons. Here are a few suggestions for finding new potential customers efficiently:
Prospect lists are only as effective as they are accurate. You can have the best sales team in the world, but if they’re working from an inaccurate prospect list, they won’t be able to convert prospects into customers.
Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your prospect list.
Prioritize your list based on the value you can provide to the prospect, not the prospects representing the biggest potential contracts. It’s better to focus on the people who need your product versus those who only have a big budget.
Another way to prioritize your list involves using what you know about the prospect’s level of need and potential budget to determine their readiness to purchase. It’s great to talk to heavy hitters, but if they aren’t ready to buy, it’s a waste of time for everyone involved.
Data in prospect lists can become outdated quickly, so it’s important to automate what you can. For example, if a current client gives you a referral, automate that information to populate your prospect list. You can also automate data removal if a prospect does not respond to prevent you from wasting time reaching out.
Don’t forget to automate emails to prospects as well.
If your business is already established, you should take some time to study your clients, especially those who are happiest with your company, have the biggest deals, and have been around the longest. When you see what those clients have in common, you may find that your biggest and best clients don’t match your initial ICP or buyer personas. Use that knowledge to update them accordingly.
Prospect lists consist of a lot of data, and they also generate a lot of data. A robust CRM program will help you stay on top of all that information without devoting too much time to data migration. Always make sure the CRM you select integrates with your pre-existing software.
Even the best prospect list can’t deliver results if you aren’t prepared for the call. Create a sales call checklist to help you and your team make the most out of your time with a prospect.
Your checklist should cover the following:
We’ve put together a sales call checklist so you are prepared for any call you make to whoever is on your prospect list, and make notes in our note-taking sheet.
Outbound calling is a crucial strategy for growing your business, but it can be time-consuming and overwhelming. Use our prospect list template and sales call checklist to make the process easier, or let Smith.ai’s talented live agents take on your outreach campaign so your sales team can focus on what they do best: nurturing leads and closing deals. Book a consultation today to explore how Smith.ai’s outreach campaigns can help your business thrive.
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