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Prospecting def: what is prospecting? Definition and advice


Want to know more about prospecting ? Know all the workings of this essential component to the activity of many companies? So, read this article and learn more about the various and varied methods used by the greatest salespeople! Prospecting, simple definition and advice to take into account to improve your search for customers? It’s this way !

Prospecting is an essential business process for many companies. It corresponds to a search for potential customers with the aim of converting them into real customers. Here’s how you would define prospecting if you were asked to sum it up in one sentence. However, this is something much larger grouping together many characteristics. Before wanting to set up a prospecting strategy, it is essential for you to understand the terms and mechanisms that surround this process. From a contact to a purchase, your strategy must be mastered from A to Z.

You do not know where to start ? You have knocked on the right door! This article is here to answer all your questions and help you in your exploration around commercial prospecting. Read it to the end and discover at the end our ultimate tip for winning new BtoB customers.

Prospecting def: what is prospecting? Definition and advice

What is commercial prospecting?

Prospecting is a business process that professionals go through to find prospects in order to turn them into customers. This is an essential stage in the process of evolution of a company and in the search for the development of its market . Upstream, it requires the creation of a database and the targeting of a certain audience on which to rely. This then allows the implementation of a prospecting plan. Depending on your expectations and the targeting of your prospects, you can establish this plan by yourself, or delegate it to an expert.

Prospecting: definition

Now, discover the different means of prospecting used on a daily basis by salespeople, one of which, less well known, makes it possible to obtain conclusive results very quickly. Regarding the latter, it is presented to you at the end of the article. Read these texts made available to you completely and then discover our ultimate tip! From now on, take advantage of our expertise to help you develop your clientele.

What is the purpose of prospecting?

The objective of prospecting is to obtain new customers as well as their loyalty. To achieve this, prospecting must make it possible to:

  • define customer needs;
  • increase its notoriety with prospects;
  • make appointments;
  • collect opinions from its customers.
Customer survey

What are the different types of sales prospecting?

It’s time for you to study the different existing means of prospecting to use in your daily life. On the menu, the 4 most common types of commercial prospecting . Discover our definitions and advice around prospecting and following this presentation, read our ultimate tip for winning new BtoB customers.

1) The phoning

Telephone prospecting or phoning is one of the most popular practices with salespeople and also one of the most used on a daily basis by them. Why ? For the simple reason that it is very easy to set up and that it is moreover, an effective means of prospecting (if it is well mastered). It has the merit of allowing a certain proximity with the prospect without being in front of him. Discover now our definition of telephone prospecting.

a) Definition of telephone prospecting

Telephone prospecting corresponds to all marketing actions used to attract new customers through calls. This can be organized on a small as well as on a large scale. Indeed, it is in the first case for the commercial to contact the prospect himself and in the second to entrust this prospecting to a call center whose specialty is cold calling.

b) Benefits of phoning

As said before, phoning gives you direct contact with your prospect, thus allowing a more personalized interaction with the latter, ease of organization, as well as rapid results whether they are above or below your expectations, but that is not all! Direct exchanges make it possible to collect a maximum of feedback and information. This data is an interesting source for establishing an analysis in order to know what your areas for improvement are.

Telephone prospecting quickly identifies people interested in your product or service.

c) Disadvantages around phoning

Despite a significant number of qualities, However, telephone prospecting has some shortcomings:

  • telephone prospecting has bad press with prospects who are canvassed.
  • it has a time-consuming and off-putting character that can tire the sales people in charge of it.
  • this type of prospecting requires a trained person.

d) Our advice on phoning

To start, you need to create a database that can be used at any time to start your phoning, consult the directories available online to do this. Do you want to boost your prospecting by telephone? Read our telephone interview guide and discover our 10 tips to help you during your phoning. Using these techniques, you can optimize your prospecting by telephone and thus achieve your goals!

Here's why to do BtoB phoning

2) Emailing

E-mailing refers to the type of prospecting corresponding to the use of e-mails as a means of communication with the aim of converting targeted prospects into qualified customers . Salespeople regularly use it to present their services or products or as a loyalty tool.

a) Definition of e-mailing (or cold mailing)

An English term commonly used in commercial language, e-mailing is a method of direct marketing. As mentioned above, electronic mail or e-mail is the support tool for the advertising message used by salespeople to convince or retain a customer, but it can just as well make it possible to announce a large-scale promotional event or nice to promote a service.

The email campaign process is divided into four steps:

  1. The first is the development and writing of the electronic mail.
  2. the second is defining the target audience.
  3. the third is sending the mail.
  4. the last corresponds to the analysis of the results of the prospecting campaign.

b) The advantages of e-mailing

E-mailing has some significant benefits in your prospecting plan . First of all the cost, indeed e-mailing is one of the least expensive means of prospecting among the advertising media available on the market . This is largely due to the fact that this type of prospecting is entirely digital and therefore does not require printing. Among the other advantages that you can find, there is its flexibility, insofar as this support is very customizable in time and according to the targeted prospects.

It is also a type of prospecting that is easy to set up, since it does not require major resources to be created. Finally, e-mailing makes it possible to have analyzable results very quickly and also to reach a greater number of prospects.

Appointment reminder mail

c) The disadvantages of e-mailing

Before integrating e-mailing into your prospecting plan, you must be aware of the disadvantages that this method presents. First of all, e-mailing does not allow direct contact with your customer, which is why it may need to be coupled with another method in parallel in order to make it more effective . Then, your email may face “deliverability” problems, you must ensure that the majority of emails do indeed reach your recipients since most mailboxes today use anti-spam filters. Finally, the last defect is the following, once the email has been sent, it is impossible for you to modify it.

d) Our advice on e-mailing

Read our advice and set up an effective e-mailing prospecting campaign according to your means.

First of all, take care of the substance of your content as much as possible, it is absolutely necessary that the French language within your email be impeccable and that the content be clear, concise and concrete for your prospecting strategy to work. Bet on the AIDA method (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) for writing your emails.

Then, at the level of the form, do not hesitate to add line breaks in order to make your email pleasant to the eye, it is essential that it makes you want to be read. Also make sure to pique your prospect’s curiosity, include a strong and concise sentence in the subject of your email encouraging them to click on it.

Finally, an essential step, personalize your email according to the targeting of your prospects. Also use data analysis software for your prospecting campaign. You can thus judge the effectiveness of your e-mailing and readjust your strategy after each campaign.

3) Prospecting by post or mailing

Prospecting by post or mailing is a means commonly used by professionals. Just like e-mailing, it involves sending information and advertisements in bulk with the aim of converting prospects into customers. The distinction with e-mailing is made at the support level, in fact instead of using e-mail in this case, you use the mail sent by post to your customers in your prospecting strategy.

a) Definition of mailing

The mailing corresponds to the sending of a personalized mail in the mailbox of a prospect in order to convert him into a customer. Your objective is always the same, it is for you to create a call to action from your potential customer towards your product or service in order to push them to purchase.

Within a standard letter, you will generally find a presentation of the offer, the contact details so that the prospect can contact the professional or even a reply coupon to be returned to the sender.

cold emailing

b) The advantages of prospecting by post

There are several good reasons to opt for mailing in your prospecting plan. First of all, there are many possibilities for customizing your commercial support on the market. In addition, postal mailing is an even more effective type of prospecting than e-mailing, because it makes it easier to reach your potential customer. To do this, you must include clear and concise information in your email for your prospect to understand. To conclude, mail has a longer lifespan than e-mail since it is tangible and easy to store over time.

c) The disadvantages of postal mailing

Postal mailing is more expensive than other types of prospecting that you can find on the market . Indeed, the latter, due to the cost of the printing that it requires, requires a larger budget than e-mailing, for example. Add to that, it happens to be slower to send since it requires at least 24 hours before it can be received by your potential customer. Finally, printing, editing and other steps in the development of your mail make it take more time to set up.

d) Our advice on canvassing by post

It is advisable to have a sufficient database to launch your prospecting campaign with the aim of reaching a large enough market. Indeed, starting a mailing for only a few customers would be counterproductive. The effectiveness of good prospecting by post also depends on the number of letters you send to your potential customers.

Pay maximum attention to the content and form of the content of your prospecting letter, remember that it is the image of your company that you are conveying.

Finally, budget your postal mailing in advance. This allows you to know the number of prospects you need to convert into customers to make your action profitable.

4) Digital marketing

a) What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is a set of techniques that corresponds to the use of the web by a company in order to make itself known, to promote its services and to convert prospects into customers. It can be based on a multitude of media available on the internet, among these examples, you can find the website, the mobile application, the podcast, the online video, the blog or the social network.

b) How to set up prospecting based on digital marketing?

To succeed in your digital marketing strategy , you must take into account the different components of the digital world and see how to apply them to your business:

  • The definition of your content strategy using keywords and Internet searches.
  • The internet referencing (SEO) of your site is based on 3 pillars: the technical optimization of the site (loading speed, adaptability to mobiles, etc.), the quality of the content vis-à-vis the search engine and finally , the links (internal linking and backlinks which improve the Internet user’s navigation).
  • Inbound marketing , which consists of attracting customers (rather than picking them up).
  • Social selling, which allows each prospect to be supported throughout the sales process using social networks.
BTOB business digital marketing strategy

c) Why implement digital marketing?

The interest of integrating digital marketing for your business in your prospecting plan is multiple. First of all, it is a very malleable type of prospecting depending on the budget you want to allocate to it, the latter varies a lot from the development of a video to the creation of a website. Then, it allows you to reach a maximum of potential customers in record time! Indeed, more than 90% of French households have an internet connection. This therefore makes it a pool of exceptional potential customers to exploit.

In addition, there is a type of prospecting from digital marketing that can achieve impressive results in terms of converting prospects into customers. This is LinkedIn™ prospecting . LinkedIn™ prospecting is complex. It is therefore necessary to inquire beforehand to know how to master it. If you want to know more, discover now our training and support for specialized BtoB professionals ! Questions ? we take care of answering you!

The trick to landing new BtoB customers: LinkedIn™ prospecting

LinkedIn™ is the largest professional social network that allows you to:

  • to connect for free to an impressive pool of BtoB professionals;
  • to develop your notoriety and your image;
  • attract prospects to your pages;
  • to be visible and noticed by potential customers.

LinkedIn™ prospecting is done either:

Your business requires quality BtoB prospecting, but you still can’t make it effective? If this area is still a nightmare for you then don’t wait any longer, contact a Proinfluent expert, it’s right HERE !

Prospecting def, in conclusion

Definition: Prospecting corresponds to a search for potential customers with the aim of converting them into real customers.

Prospecting objectives:
  • define customer needs;
  • increase its notoriety with prospects;
  • make appointments;
  • collect opinions from its customers.
These objectives make it possible to achieve a main goal, obtaining new customers and their long-term loyalty.

The 4 main types of surveys commonly used by professionals are:
  • The phoning, which corresponds to all the marketing actions used to attract new customers through calls.
  • mailing, which is defined as the sending of personalized mail to a prospect’s mailbox.
  • e-mailing is the use of e-mails as a means of prospecting.
  • digital marketing, the use of the web to win new customers.

Prospecting def, to summarize in 7 questions

What is field prospecting?

Field prospecting is one of the direct prospecting methods used by professionals to meet their prospects in real life. This prospecting technique consists of going to meet individuals where they live, or even professionals where they work. From the small to the high street, the salesperson roams the sector in search of new customers. In field prospecting, the professional does not have the same approach depending on the geographical sector and his sector of activity.

What is the purpose of a market study in a prospecting plan?

A market study corresponds to an exploitation of data in order to determine the operation of the various forces at work within the framework of a market. It relies on the various data made available in order to establish a strategy. As part of the development of a prospecting plan, the market study is based on a certain number of data such as the definition of the target audience or the means of prospecting to be used.

How do you define prospecting?

Prospecting is a commercial process defined as a search for prospects by a professional. The goal of this professional is to use prospecting to convert the prospect into a client. This is an essential step in the development of a company seeking to develop its market.

What is the purpose of prospecting?

The main objective is obtaining new customers and retaining them. To achieve this objective, prospecting must make it possible to define customer needs, obtain appointments, collect opinions and finally, increase its notoriety among prospects.

What are the different types of prospecting?

The 4 most common types of prospecting are phoning, e-mailing, mailing and digital marketing.

Why do we prospect?

Prospecting is essential in the search for the development of a company. This is the reason why salespeople do prospecting, indeed it is a major issue in the evolution of a company.

Inbound marketing: What is it?

Inbound marketing, this English term refers to all prospecting methods aimed at bringing the prospect to the professional through a content marketing strategy developed upstream.

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