Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and what people call the “new normal,” many technical sales engineers struggle with technical sales prospecting. The big problem is that many salespeople in industrial sales cannot do their usual techniques of technical sales prospecting, such as trade shows, setting up face-to-face meetings, and cold calling offices.
To continue moving forward in 2022, here are some essential and practical technical sales tips in prospecting for new revenue. Read these technical sales training tips that will help you prospect more customers in the coming new year.
Step 1: Look at Your Existing Customers
First, take a look at your current customers. Many people in industrial sales overlook this group and don’t spend enough time working with their existing customers. One way to continue technical sales prospecting with this group is to upsell your business to them, suggest new products and services, and inquire about new customer projects.
You can offer them new products your company has come up with recently, and check if they have any new projects that might need your services. Reconnect to get a better understanding of how you can upsell to them and work with them again.
You may not be dealing directly with this group of customers anymore. Depending on your company structure, maybe the customer has been transferred to a project manager or another sales person within your company. However, you need to get in touch with them again and realize that you should always keep this group on your technical sales prospecting list.
Step 2: Sell the “unsold”
Next, look at the “unsold”. These are the people you tried to sell to but were unable to close the deal. Maybe the timing wasn’t right, they didn’t need your product at the time, or it wasn’t the right service. If you’re new to the company, look at the company’s database of prospects. If you’ve been working in the company for a while, go back two, three, even four worth of unsold customers.
The good thing about technical sales prospecting this group is that you, or a previous technical sales engineer, have already done half the work. When you re-connect with them, remind them that you talked to them a few years ago, and you are reaching out to see if they have any new needs you might be able to help them with. It’s not a completely cold call or cold email. You can consider it warm because you went as far as sending them pricing before.
One crucial technical sales tip is not to take anyone’s opinion or advice on whether that company has potential or not. Someone might tell you that the company has no interest, but take that advice with a grain of salt. Do your due diligence and talk to the company directly. Again, it’s all about timing. Maybe they have a need today that they didn’t need two years ago. Don’t make the mistake of overlooking this group.
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Step 3: Look at your current customer’s competitors
One important technical sales tip is to look at the competitors of your current customers. Whether you’re in automotive or aerospace, everybody has competitors. This is a good way to get a new source of revenue.
Set up a meeting with them and inform them that you do a lot of business with their competitor (your current customer). Ask them if they need the same products as well, and that you would love to talk to them.
If they tell you that they have high standards, stringent gatekeeping criteria, and the like, tell them that you already work with their competitors and have the highest product ratings. This will not be a conflict of interest with your current customers as long as you have all your ducks in a row, like NDAs as needed.
There are two ways to identify companies you want to go after. You can use a service like Zoominfo that helps you discover buyers and potential customers. However, services like this can be pricey. You can also use Google and LinkedIn to research. For example, look at your competitor’s website, identify their particular industry, and start researching online for their competitors.
Step 4: Utilize LinkedIn from an industry standpoint
One technical sales prospecting technique is to maximize LinkedIn. You can reverse search industries through companies you already know about. Use additional filters like staff size. Once you have come up with an initial list from your LinkedIn research, cross check your information with the company’s website and page to confirm its industry.
If you’re using Sales Navigator, you can do more in-depth research on companies and customers that you can target and prospect. Look for five industries that you want to target and then filter out the industries. Sales Navigator will allow you also to put in more filters like company size. Then you can start looking for matches and export them into a spreadsheet.
Gone are the days when you could drive into an industrial park to look for possible companies to work with on a sale or project. The Internet and LinkedIn have allowed technical sales engineers to prospect from home or the office. Maximize this opportunity and do your technical sales prospecting from anywhere.
Step 5: Look at your competitor’s customers
This technical sales tip involved looking at your competitor’s website and seeing if they include any companies they work with. You are not necessarily going after their clients, but you want to find out who are the other companies and industries in this space. This is a good jumping-off point to look for prospects.
There are other technical sales tips and training tools that you can do to prospect for new revenue in 2022. These are just the top five things you can do right now to quickly build out your prospect lists and keep your sales pipeline full.
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