Sales prospecting is simply seeking or “fishing” for new customers for a company. It is the act of looking for or recruiting new buyers for a business with the aim of growing the business’s customer base and therefore increasing its revenue generation. It is accomplished by inside sales representatives with outbound calls and emails to sales leads with the hope of landing a serious buyer. In addition to involving cold-calling to prospective customers, sales prospecting also involves reaching out to withering cold leads and nurturing them.

In the modern marketing and sales market, companies hire dedicated sales prospectors, who are commonly referred to as sales development representatives. These sales development representatives create opportunities for account executives and therefore aid in achieving predictable ROI.

The strategy of using sales prospectors (sales development representative) has proven to be highly successful as account executives are free from prospecting for themselves. They can instead spend their energy on completing sales deals with sales-ready buyers that the sales development representatives have already qualified.

Who should be doing sales prospecting in a company?

There are various stages of growth of a company and all will require different people to do the sales prospecting.

During the infant days of a business, mostly a small business, the owner(s) or founder(s) may have to do their own prospecting before the company grows. This may be unavoidable if there isn’t enough capital to hire specialized prospectors.

As the business grows, it may hire sales representatives who are then tasked with the whole sales process; from generating leads, to contacting them so as to talk about possible sales deal, to qualifying them and closing the sales deal. This is not the most preferred method but just like in the first example, it may be inescapable for the company.

BDRs and SDRs – these are abbreviations for business development representatives and sale development representatives. A healthy and capable business will usually have BDRs and SDRs in the sales teams. The sales development representatives are usually tasked with dealing with and qualifying inbound leads while the business sales representatives will stick to finding and qualifying outbound leads.

Required skills of a sales prospector

There are certain skills and information that a good prospector should have. Such include:

  • Extensive knowledge of the product – this is basic and inescapable for prospectors. If he/she is going to find a lead and positively engage, then the prospector should not only know details but also how to use it even better than the closers.
  • Broad knowledge of the ideal buyer – so as to know who to target
  • Good research skills – prospecting equals digging; that is, research.