Strategic Prospecting vs. Cold Outbound: Which Strategy Helps SDRs Prospect Smarter?

B2B buying behavior has curbed sales activities. Now, as 70% of the buyer’s journey is being completed before Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) step in, sellers may have little opportunity to influence customer decisions.

A prospect that is considering a purchase might only spend 5-6% of that time interacting with an SDR—which casts doubt on the traditional go-to strategy for building rapport: cold outbound. Yet cold outreach “is nothing to shy away from,” Lara S. Triozzi, CEO at MarketLauncher, encourages, “you just need to change the way you think about it.”

What Makes Cold Outbound Effective

An outbound sales plan isn’t conditioned by the prospect’s first move. Whether SDRs turn to cold calling or attend a trade show to connect with potential buyers, every interaction is within their control.

The aim is to briskly approach prospects and qualify the ones with the highest probability of converting to customers. When sales representatives target decision-makers directly, they are likely to shorten the sales cycle and quickly validate the company’s product/service.

To rapidly fill up the pipeline with high-quality prospects, SDRs need to have the right sales enablement tools handy; and since 40% of sellers think prospecting is hard work, a top-performing database is one of the warranted tools for seamlessly finding and reaching key decision-makers.

SDRs Benefit Greatly from Strategic Prospecting

As much as SDRs want to move a specific decision-maker further ahead in the purchasing journey, each minute spent with a prospect who has no intention of buying translates into wasted ROI.

Instead of making 45 unannounced calls per day, strategic prospecting helps SDRs identify, qualify, and prioritize sales opportunities in the most efficient way. Prior to the initial conversation, SDRs try to fully understand who their potential customers are and what pain points they experience. Once they build a list of high-yielding prospects and gather accurate contact data on the most vetted decision-makers, SDRs will:

  1. Segment and prioritize prospects by the potential revenue they represent.
  2. Cultivate an authentic relationship with prospective buyers and routinely follow up to keep their business top-of-mind.

Consequently, a strategic prospecting strategy is likely to generate increased revenue at a lower cost of acquisition.

How to Bring in Top-Value Prospects

Sales prospecting is an exhaustive undertaking.

While it’s not a one-size-fits-all activity, prospecting starts with identifying the highest-potential target—every time.

Try to “know your customer,” as Brian Burlinguette, Strategic Enterprise Sales Manager, says, “not just their phone number.” That’s how SDRs win at prospecting—they understand who is the key decision-maker and what exactly drives his choices in order to tailor their sales messaging for maximum engagement.

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