The process of finding potential consumers, locating them, and generating a base of leads to convert them into paying customers is known as prospecting
Prospecting is a part of lead generation, which is converting people who have never expressed interest in your brand to express such interest.
A prospect, therefore, is someone who perhaps has never interacted with your brand.
A lead, however, is a former prospect who has 1) interacted with your brand and 2) expressed some interest in the solution you have to offer.
Prospecting is often one of the most important aspects of any sales-driven organization. It's also usually one of the most difficult and time-consuming tasks that salespeople face daily.
There are many ways to prospect new leads, but it all starts with identifying your target market
and understanding their needs. Once you know what and who you're selling it, you can use various methods to find potential customers and build relationships with them.
A common way to begin the prospecting process is to build a customer profile. A customer profile is what it sounds like a list of characteristics that deem someone a good fit as your customer.
An example of building a customer profile
is our work with a Silicon Valley startup in the work productivity space. This startup sells software that allows employees to context-switch between external meetings.
As you can imagine, the first question our BDRs asked themselves with the customer was this: which type of employee has so many external meetings per week that they need a tool to help them quickly context-switch? We found that the answer is workers in customer success and account management.
However, having decades of combined sales experience on the team means we could filter for more important items; they included seniority, industry, company size, and more.
So the final version of the first customer profile our BDRs made looked like below.
- Position Titles: VP of Customer Success, Head of Account Management
- Employee Count: 201 - 500 people
- Industries: Internet, Computer Software
- Locations: California, New York, Washington, Massachusetts
Building rock-solid customer profiles is the first step to being an excellent BDR.