Prospect marketing that really works

david-coghlan-headshotHealthy business growth depends on healthy prospects; which has provoked many businesses to review their contact pools and consider ways to turn more leads into sales.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for B2B businesses is determining those contacts who are most likely to be interested and make a purchase. A blanket approach is common, with businesses making a mass attempt at initial contact with companies through mail shots, emails or phone calls. It’s expensive in terms of both time and money. Some companies you target may have a policy not to talk to prospect marketers, others simply might not be suitable buyers of your products and services.

If businesses knew this information before they started making contact, they could increase their chances of turning prospects into sales. The key to success is sourcing the most relevant contacts in the first place. Cold calling is an outdated and somewhat ‘hit and miss’ method of introducing business to prospective clients. It relies on chance to find a lead that fits a target market; and more often than not results in disappointment, frustration and wasted resources.

Haphazardly contacting unsuitable companies who may have no need for the services or have opted out of marketing contact from other businesses, is in some cases illegal and will almost certainly result in embarrassment, jeopardising a company’s reputation.

The great news is that existing customer data can be used to create tailored prospect lists. By recognising the common characteristics of current and profitable clients, a business can create prospect marketing lists that match those criteria; safely and with the peace of mind that they’ll be reaching the most relevant contacts. For an even more precisely targeted and relevant message, customer data lists can be segmented to reveal more in depth attributes about a company’s habits or behaviours – helping marketers to determine what their requirements might be and marketing to them accordingly. Additionally, propensity modelling determines with even more precision, which prospects are most likely to be fruitful.

Investing a relatively small amount of money into a self-selected prospect data list pays dividends. You buy only the data you want and if you spend a little time analysing your most profitable customers, you can easily find more like them, meaning there’s a better chance of turning them into genuine sales leads. Data lists are flexible, easy to compile and give healthy ROI allowing sales teams to devote more time to productive leads instead of ploughing through hundreds of random contacts.