Prospecting – Let’s go back to basics

Oct 12, 2021

Trends come and go, but the fundamentals of prospecting remain the same. Let’s find out more.

Prospecting isn’t easy. In fact, 42% of sales reps say that prospecting is the hardest part of the sales process. But, it has to be done. If you don’t get a steady stream of leads moving through the top of the funnel, you won’t have any deals to close and you won’t hit your targets. 

A lot has changed in prospecting over the last ten years or so. Advances in technology coupled with the changing demands of buyers (accelerated by the pandemic) mean that today’s SDRs have had to learn a raft of new skills. There’s always something new – from social selling to video to voice notes and more. However, whatever channel you use, you have to master the basics to be successful at prospecting.

In this article, we’ll look at seven back-to-basics prospecting tips. How many of these do you neglect as you try to keep up with the times?


1 – Know who you’re targeting

Your company will have an ideal customer profile (ICP), probably put together by the marketing team. It’s a detailed picture of who is most likely to buy your product.

As an SDR, your job is to know your ICP like the back of your hand. First, think about the problems your ideal customer faces every day and how it affects them. Then, consider the impact the solution you sell will have on their lives. When you know what makes your ICP tick, you’ll find it easier to craft a message that resonates with them.


2 – Never give up

It takes an average of 8 cold calls to get through to a prospect. So, don’t write off a prospect if you don’t reach them after the first couple of calls. Always keep trying. Remember that you can warm up prospects before you call them with interactions on social media or email. 

Often, you might find yourself stuck with a gatekeeper who won’t let you speak to the decision-maker. Don’t despair – we put together a list of gatekeeper do’s and don’ts to help you navigate your way through. 


3 – Know your stuff

Prospecting is all about providing value to your potential customer while you get the information you need. You’ll find that the more you know about your business, the more likely your prospect is to give you what you want. Become an expert in your industry, know your product and its benefits inside and out, speak the same language as your prospect. Your prospect will see you as a trusted advisor rather than someone trying to sell them something.

You could also build a personal brand on social media, connect with the right people, post insights and share helpful content. That way, when you call your prospect, there’s a good chance they already know who you are.


4 – Get personal

The one thing that turns prospects off is feeling like they’re a prospect. If you are going to have any success with a prospect, you have to treat them like the unique person they are. 

Tailor every contact with every prospect to their individual situation – that means no generic copy-and-paste emails or robotic scripts. Instead, as we talked about in Tip 1, think about the pain that keeps them up at night and the value of a solution. Craft a message to match.

However, it works both ways. You need to be yourself when you’re prospecting. Your prospect will warm to you if you come across naturally, rather than putting on a show.


5 – Don’t sell

The mistake so many salespeople make is thinking they have to sell all the time. There’s a time and a place – and the prospecting stage is neither! Your job is to gather information on the prospect relating to their likelihood to buy, while locating their pain points and sowing the seed that you might have the solution. 

The one thing to remember is that your prospect wants to talk about themselves – so let them! Ask questions that get them to expand on their pain points. Make them realise that they need help. Once you do that, you can start to introduce the product you sell. 


6 – Don’t get in an argument

Remember that when you cold call, you’re interrupting someone’s busy day. It’s natural that your prospect might put up some barriers between you and your goal of bringing them into your funnel. But, remember that most of the time, the objection they give you isn’t really what’s bothering them.

For example, if the prospect tells you that they use a competitor’s solution and that they’re happy, it might be true, but it could also mean:

  • They want to get you off the phone
  • They aren’t satisfied but are too busy to research a new solution
  • They don’t know what other potential solutions exist

In this situation, you shouldn’t get in a fight with them about how your solution is better. No one wants to be told that they’re wrong – and it certainly won’t result in a sale. Nor should you give up and write the prospect off. Instead, agree with them and steer the conversation to what exactly they like about your competitor’s solution. Then, you have a way in.


7 – Follow up

An SDRs job isn’t done after the first conversation. Once you have spoken to a decision-maker, you need an average of six more calls to win a sale. You need to be involved in some of these conversations. 

You can also keep the prospect warm with emails and social media contacts. Share content you think they’ll find helpful. Be there if they want to continue the conversation or find out more.


Find out more from SaaSLeads

At, we recruit, develop and deliver SDRs to your organisation, ready to produce excellent results in your sales team. Our SDRs have an excellent grounding in the basics, ready to branch out into more advanced techniques.

Our extensive training programme teaches SDRs to generate excitement around the impact your product brings. First, they learn how to move your prospects through a structured sales process that leads to more won deals. Then, when they get to your company, they’re ready to produce unparalleled results. 

To find out more, contact us by filling out the form below.

Jack Vesztrocy

Jack is an SDR here at SaaSLeads.

During his time with us he has displayed how quickly he learns, as well as his ability to exceed targets and excel in all things sales.

Jack has a Bachelor of Science – business and management degree from Aston University and has A Levels in Biology, Business Studies and French, which we are sure will come in handy if he needs to finalise deals in French.

Outside of the world of sales, Jack has experience in marketing and was previously a Marketing Assistant. He has also completed a social media and PR internship.

You can find Jack on LinkedIn here, where he showcases his social media skills.

Ready to talk? Get in touch today