Yesterday, I posted about creating a process for prospecting. The initial process development is just the start – it’s important to manage your prospecting process on an ongoing basis.
Here are three keys for managing your prospecting process. Ask yourself the following questions.
How are you holding your team accountable?
Once you’ve identified who is involved in prospecting and they’ve developed plans, it’s important to hold them accountable for executing on those plans.
Your prospecting process should measure both behavior and results. A salesperson might complete everything on his plan but not achieve the desired result. Make sure you acknowledge his work in executing his plan, but work with him to determine how to adjust his next plan so he gets the results he’s targeting.
Another form of accountability can include consistent expectations that are placed on all salespeople regardless of their individual plans. For example, a professional services client of ours has set an expectation that all client managers perform at least three outbound prospecting activities every week. They can pick any activities they want, but they need to enter those activities into the system, and they’re held accountable to getting three.
What prospecting scripts can you leverage?
While we don’t advocate an excessively scripted prospecting process, most processes end up with some stages that are highly repetitive. Maybe it’s your initial outreach to someone who requested a resource, your cold email to a new target, or the introduction script you provide to partners who want to refer you to their contacts.
Where possible in your process, identify best practice scripts. The best scripts function more as outlines or guides, leaving room for personalization. These scripts will help your team to be more efficient, while still giving them room to use their own styles.
On an ongoing basis, review the scripts to see what’s working and what you need to update. Get a start on building your library of email templates by checking out our resource.
When and how are you capturing data?
As you’re developing your prospecting process, consider when you’ll want to capture prospect data. Do your salespeople need to enter all of their targets into the CRM system, or should they enter them only when they have been qualified? You may discover that leads from different sources should be entered at different times.
In addition to when, you’ll need to determine how you will capture data. What information can you collect early in the prospecting process, and what won’t be possible until later in the process? Who is responsible for capturing the information? What can you automate?
We’ve found that it’s best to keep it simple at first, requiring more data as prospects move through the process.
I hope these questions help you as you manage your prospecting process. Share your feedback and ideas in the comments!
And if you haven’t seen it yet, check out our resource on developing a sales process.