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Business-to-Business Sales Prospecting 5 Best Practices Tips

By: Robert Hennessey

Business-to-Business Sales Prospecting 5 Best Practices Tips

Sales prospecting is very challenging, here are 5 sales prospecting best practices tips to help you meet your sales goals.

With caller ID and voicemail, the telephone has lost its prominence as a valid sales prospecting tool in the B2B space. Direct mail used to be helpful for B2B sales prospecting, but too much “junk mail” and ever-increasing postage costs have rendered this option less desirable also. It is not cost-effective to advertise directly to an exact B2B target audience with today’s cable, satellite radio and television markets either. So what can you do to generate small business B2B sales prospects? Here a few best practice tips that might help:

1. Be Where Your Sales Prospects Mingle

If you have a defined target market, chances are your sales prospects are gathering at some type of business conference, seminar or trade associations. Join the associations if possible, attend local and regional trade shows, or offer to speak at these events. These activities allow you to get you face-to-face with your target audience of sales prospects that can make buying decisions on your product or service.

Social media platforms whether it’s, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, are excellent ways to network with potential prospects. The key here is to find out where your target audience prefers to congregate. Then allocate your time and efforts on that one platform to build a following before adding another platform to your marketing.

2. Offer Knowledge to Gain Engagement

You know something that can help your sales prospects save time, save money, solve a small business problem, or run their business more efficiently. Find a way to offer a “free sample” of your expertise as part of your sales prospecting plan. If you have technical knowledge, ask if you could help them by sending a white paper on a subject that is of interest to them. If you sell computers, you could agree to analyze their current system and make recommendations for efficiency improvements. If you are an accountant, you could offer a review of their accounting or bookkeeping system.

3. Schedule Time for Sales Prospecting

Of course, you are busy enough just running your business, but the best time to prospect for new business is not when business is slow. In fact, that is the worst time to be sales prospecting. You need to be proactive in generating new business sales leads in your pipeline every day. If you are a small business, you should be spending at least 40% of your time prospecting for new business. If prospecting sales is not your forte, then you may want to consider outsourcing marketing to a professional that will market your business every day.

4. Become an Expert

There are many ways to get your name out with today’s communication abilities. Start a newsletter, write a blog, build an engaging online profile, or write articles for industry publications, just get your name or your company’s name consistently in front of your small business sales prospects. You do not even have to do all the work yourself. Many online services can take your ideas, write copy for you, manage your e-marketing and handle your public relations. Once they start seeing your name everywhere, sales prospects will be more likely to respond to your small business B2B marketing efforts.

5. Make It Easy for Prospects to Find You

Part of your sales prospecting plan should be to make sure, that potential prospects who may not be on your radar can still easily find you when they need your product or service. That means taking full advantage of everything that the internet and search engine marketing have to offer. Think of all of the keyword phrases your sales lead prospects might use to search for your services using Google, Bing, Yahoo! or other search engines. Type those keyword phrases into several search engines and see how you rank. If you are not on the first page, you have to pump up search engine optimization on your website. Implement a social media inbound marketing campaign on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites to drive more quality traffic to your website.


Sales prospecting may have gotten more difficult, but you can use these best practices to make it affordable and productive in generating leads again.

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