Despite all the discussions around potential of Saas products, it isn't easy as a founder or marketer to prospect for a Saas product. Among all tactics, cold prospecting, the practice of reaching out to potential customers who are unfamiliar with your product, is an effective but often misunderstood tactic. The ultimate objective of cold prospecting is to encourage the prospect to become a customer or client after setting up an initial meeting.
We will break down the cold prospecting process to help you improve your prospecting strategies and maximize sales.
Steps involved in Cold prospecting:
a) Determine your Ideal customer profile or ICP
This is the most important part which can make or break your business. The goal is to create an outline of the types of people who would benefit the most from your product(s) or campaigns. Keep in mind, the more detail and research you add during this stage, the better the outcome will be.
Consider industry types, geographies, technographics or even companies at certain stages (early stage, growth, pre-IPO, enterprise etc.) which can be better fitting with your product or solution scope. After you identify the company characteristics you’re targeting, think about if the contacts at those companies have a particular job title, or are in a certain department. The more specific you can be, the easier it will become to identify who has a higher chance of being interested in your product or solution.
Once you identify the ICP, you can acquire a list of prospects through Saasprospects or similar data provider or through your data acquisition team if you have one.
b) Research your prospects
Why would a prospect be interested in your product? At the research stage, you should gather as much intelligence about your likely buyers so it is easy for you to craft messaging and devise strategies optimized for conversion. In other words, it isn’t only about picking likely leads. You have to be knowledgeable about why your product is the best choice for every lead
c) Reaching out to prospects
It’s not enough to choose and contact likely leads. Most of the time, it will take multiple outreach steps and special tactics to convert a lead into a customer, which is why you also need to have a solid Saas prospect outreach automation and retargeting plan to adapt to any scenario. Your Saas prospect engagement and orchestration strategy should be flexible, malleable and easily adaptable to any situation thrown its way. If your targets are not responding to emails, adopt different messaging from their perspective. Include multiple channels as part of your outreach strategy - voice mails, LinkedIn and targeted ads are all effective. Double down on channels which shows more promise and keep a close watch on what works better and keep on optimizing messaging and channels. The right Saas prospecting strategy can open up different options for your leads to become customers.
How often should a prospect be contacted?
The short answer is: as many times as it takes. The long answer requires an understanding of the negative ways in which giving up too soon can be a waste of a potential customer.
What this tells us is nearly every time a sales rep gives up on a prospect, just one more voicemail, phone call and/or email could have secured the sale. There is a difference, however, in being too persistent and being pushy. Prospects are constantly being pestered with calls from all kinds of sellers so be sure to know when to draw the line and understand when a prospect is interested by paying attention to verbal and nonverbal buying signals.
What to include as part of your Cold prospecting outreach?
a) Reach out leveraging the right platform(s)
You can never be sure which type of communication a prospect is most likely to respond to, but based on best practices followed by most Saas marketers, prospects prefer to be contacted through email. However, you need to include multiple channels to learn about your prospects' specific preferences. Common channels are email, cold calls, LinkedIn, text messages, in-person and virtual events, voice mails, social ads etc.
There are some marketing platforms which help you to engage prospects from one single place. You can also take the help of a lead gen agency if you don't have resources or in-house expertise.
b) Be ready with the right offers and information
Prospective buyers will want ready made product information to understand why your solution is the right fit for their problems. It will be good to demonstrate why your product is worth trying out and eventually investing in. You need to be prepared to answer common questions as well as provide information about promos and/or offers. If your solution comes with demos or free trials, make sure your prospects are made aware of this. Being able to try the product out for free can be the last factor that pushes your prospect to that precious yes.
c) Measure every campaign
The best way to know how your cold prospecting strategy is performing is to gather relevant data. You can gather that data with tracking every campaign metric. By gathering data on the performance of your campaigns, you’ll know how well cold outreach is doing in terms of converting leads into customers.
You will also be able to see what draws people to your product. This is very helpful in showing sales reps which points they should emphasize; any factors that are particularly useful in creating conversions should be coming up as often as possible in calls.
What to do once you’ve hooked a prospect
Whether it happened through a cold email, targeted advertisement, or voicemail, you’ve managed to get a yes—now what?
The end goal is to turn prospects into customers. Once contact has been established, be sure to have your meeting schedule up to date and your contact information on hand, so you’re ready to schedule a meeting with the prospect right away–this saves time on both ends while making it clear that you’re well prepared.
By understanding the ins and outs of making cold prospecting work for your Saas business, you’ll know how to best optimize your process, help improve your cold prospecting strategies, maximize your SaaS sales, and eventually turn that no into a yes.