22 AI Sales and Prospecting Prompts For Building Qualified Pipeline

It can be hard to know where to get started with AI, let alone how to effectively incorporate it into your tried-and-tested prospecting workflow. If you're feeling a bit lost, consider these 22 sales and prospecting prompts your jumping off point into the wild world of AI in sales.

Dan Moran
2024-04-04

AI has taken the B2B sales world by storm.

With all the acronyms and algorithms, GPTs and NLP, and large language models called LLaMA and Claude, understanding artificial intelligence is understandably perplexing.

But like any complicated thing, the best way to learn it and apply it is to use it. Thankfully, some of the most powerful AI tools out there are available to use for free or very little cost.

There’s a ton of information out there about using AI in sales. Some of it is useful. A lot of it is not.

The goal of this article is to provide you with a starting point—in the form of 17 AI sales and prospecting prompts—to experiment with how AI can help increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your own prospecting activities.

These prompts have all been specially engineered to assist in a critical prospecting task, like reaching a prospect or writing a cold email, with the goal of removing the manual work so you and your team can spend more time selling.

Intro to prompting for sales & prospecting

Prompting for sales and prospecting involves creating specific requests or demands (the input) that guide generative AI tools to produce useful outputs for sales-related tasks.

It leverages AI's ability to analyze customer data, understand context, and produce content that can help accelerate manual prospecting tasks. Learning how to leverage these AI tools and become a better prompter can lead to more efficient prospecting and more qualified leads in the pipeline.

For a detailed guide on how to use AI to its full potential, check out our ultimate guide to prompt engineering for salespeople.

Why sales teams should use AI tools

Outbound sales is broken.

Costs are going up. Results are going down.

Prospects have switched off after years of being bombarded with generic spam, and the ROI of outbound sales programs is getting harder and harder to justify.

The major bottleneck in the sales process holding outbound sales back is that 80% of the work required to run prospecting campaigns is manual. This is where AI comes in.

AI automates all of the tedious manual work slowing sales and marketing teams down.

By leveraging generative AI’s superhuman capabilities, sales reps can delegate repetitive tasks like finding leads, researching prospects, and sales and marketing efforts and creating outreach messaging to AI and instead focus on high-value activities that move the needle.

By integrating AI into workflow and sales processes, sales teams and sales reps stand to benefit from huge productivity and efficiency gains.  This approach not only boosts revenue but also reinstates outbound sales as a dependable go-to-market channel, making AI an indispensable asset for modern sales operations.

How to write effective prompts

You can’t expect a generative AI tool to produce the perfect output without first giving it clear and specific instructions and appropriate context.

Effective prompting requires telling the AI exactly what you want it to do. This requires four things:

  1. Instruction
  2. Context
  3. Roles
  4. Rules

Let’s dig into each.

Instruction

The thing you want the AI to do, such as write a sales prospecting email.

To write effective prompts, clarity and specificity are key. Start by clearly defining the action you want the AI to perform, such as crafting a specific type of communication. This instruction should be straightforward and direct, laying out the exact task at hand without ambiguity.

Context

Context enriches your prompt by providing AI with the necessary background information, setting the stage for more nuanced and targeted responses.

It includes details about the recipient, such as their job title and company, as well as their challenges and needs. This additional layer of information helps the AI tailor its output more effectively, ensuring the responses are relevant and resonate with the intended audience. Providing context transforms a generic task into a personalized and impactful communication.

Roles

Assigning roles in your prompt directs the AI to adopt a specific perspective or persona, like a CEO after a major acquisition.

This technique fine-tunes the AI's output, making it reflect the expertise, tone, and authority appropriate to that role. It's a strategic way to ensure the responses not only provide relevant information but also match the desired communication style, enhancing the overall effectiveness of the interaction.

Rules

Setting rules for your prompt is about establishing clear guidelines on how the AI should format its response.

This includes specifying language style, sentence length, and the use of technical jargon or simpler terms. By dictating these rules, you ensure the AI's output aligns with your communication goals, whether you're aiming for brevity, clarity, or a particular tone.

This step is crucial for customizing the AI's output to your specific needs, making it an indispensable part of creating effective prompts.

AI Prompts for sales discovery & research

The first step of prospecting and sales process is identifying potential target accounts to go after.

Here are the generative AI sales prompts that can greatly speed up the account and sales discovery process.

AI prompts for locating target accounts

The following prompts are designed for use with generative AI to assist in the initial phase of prospecting. They help to identify potential accounts by leveraging AI's ability to analyze market & customer data and trends.

Prompts:

"List top industry players in [target industry] with a focus on [specific region or characteristic]."

"Show me companies that have recently expanded in [specific field or location]."

"Generate a list of [target market] companies facing [specific problem or challenge]."

AI prompt for qualifying accounts

The decision whether or not to target a certain account is often as simple as yes or no. However, gathering and processing the information and data required to make that call is far from easy. This prompt can be used to get a generative AI tool to help you speed it up. It searches a potential target account’s website for keywords related to your business. If the keywords are present, you can conclude that this account is likely a good fit. If not, you can disqualify and move on.

Prompt:

Act like a sales professional. Your task is to identify whether or not [Company] is an ideal customer or potential client for [Your Company].

Read their website [link to target company site] and check for keywords related to:

[Keyword #1]

[Keyword #2]

[Keyword #3]

Are these keywords or close matches present on this website? Provide a yes or no answer.

AI prompt for company research

Research is essential to understanding what a company does so you can best tailor your outreach. The problem with research is it takes time to do correctly. This prompt can help speed it up.

Prompt:

Learn about [company] using up-to- date information then answer the following questions:

  • What does [company] do?
  • Who are [company]’s ideal customers?
  • How does [company]’s product work?
  • What is the one big problem [company] solves for their customers?

RELATED READING: How To Use AI To Understand What Any Company Does

AI prompt for researching open roles

Job descriptions are an underused & underrated source of prospecting intel. They clearly and concisely summarize what the company does, a major pain they’re experiencing, and the KPIs needed to solve this pain. When target companies are hiring, generative AI can help extract this intel to use in your outreach.

Prompt:

Use the inputs below to determine why the company is hiring for this role.

Identify key needs & pain points implied by the open role and infer how making this hire will help solve these problems.

Inputs:

Company description input: [Insert company description]

Job description input: [Insert job description]

Your task:

Use the above inputs provided to complete this output using simple language, no prose, and a maximum of two sentences:

Noticed you’re looking to hire a/an [job title]. In my experience, companies look to bring on this role to [solve the primary challenge inferred by the job description].

AI prompt to find recent company news

Newsworthy events can act as a trigger for your outreach, a reason for you to reach out. For example, if a company hires a new executive, completes an acquisition, or wins an award, you can use these events to make your outreach timely and relevant. This prompt greatly speeds up finding such events.

Prompt:

Search for recent news about [Company]. Identify notable and newsworthy events, including but not limited to:

  • Fundraising
  • New product launches
  • Senior leadership hires/promotions

Summarize these events in concise bullets.

AI prompts to research a company’s CEO

To understand a target audience or company's priorities and challenges, it's beneficial to follow the CEO's public communications across various platforms, such as interviews and blogs. This strategy enables the gathering of insights directly from the top, facilitating personalized and informed outreach marketing efforts. Here’s a prompt to automate it:

Prompt:

Find the CEO of [Company]. List recent podcasts, interviews, articles or any other media or content that they have either written or been featured in. Extract relevant insights and list them below.

AI prompt to tap website intent

There are few clearer signs of interest than when someone from a target account visits your website. Technology to track ICP visits is common nowadays. What’s not so common is a fast and targeted follow up that strikes while the iron is hot. This prompt speeds up the creation of messages that tap into that intent without being creepy.

Prompt:

Someone from an ICP company recently visited the following key pages on my website but didn’t convert:

- [Link to visited page 1]

- [Link to visited page 2]

- [Link to visited page 3]

Visit these pages and, in table format, summarize the main pain points in one column and the associated value proposition in another.

Your task is to craft a concise first line for a prospecting email to this ICP company visitor, subtly reflecting their website activity without mentioning specifics, focusing on their challenges in a casual yet professional tone, avoiding product mentions, and ensuring brevity and relevance within 25 words.

AI prompt to research a prospect’s LinkedIn profile

Now we’re getting into researching individual prospects. And there’s no better place to start than someone’s LinkedIn profile. Often there are nuggets of information around their experience, skills, responsibilities, or backgrounds that can be used to create highly personalized messaging. This prompt is engineered to automatically extract them.

Prompt:

Read and summarize [prospect]‘s LinkedIn profile: [copy/paste prospect’s LinkedIn profile]

💡Tip: ChatGPT is unable to directly access LinkedIn profiles. Copy and paste profile data instead.

AI prompt to research prospect on company website

Company websites often contain bios, blurbs, and even articles written by your prospect. Rather than scroll through hundreds of sites, use this prompt to find relevant mentions of your prospect.

Prompt:

Search for any mentions of [prospect] on the [Company] website: [paste URL].

Generate a short biography that summarizes [prospect]’s main responsibilities, plus pain points and challenges they’re likely to face in this role.

💡Tip: Combine this prompt with the LinkedIn profile one above to generate an even better summary of your prospect.

AI prompt to summarize a prospect’s LinkedIn posts

Just as someone’s profile is a great source of prospecting intel, so too are their social media posts. Obviously the effectiveness of this tactic is directly proportional to the frequency at which your prospect posts. But even plugging a handful of posts for generative AI to read and summarize can pull out some useful information you can use in your outreach.

Prompt:

Using 12 words or less, summarize [prospect]’s LinkedIn post. Here is the post:

[Insert post]

Complete the following output, using specific keywords from the post:

“I noticed your recent post about…”

Prompts for messaging & cold email outreach

With the account and prospect research taken care of, let’s turn our attention to generative AI prompts engineered to craft outreach messaging that stands out and gets responses.

RELATED READING: Cold Email Copywriting: How to Write Sales Emails That Convert

AI prompt for entire cold email

If you’re looking for a one shot cold email prompt, this is it. This prompt will generate a personalized first-touch prospecting email structured based on cold email best practices. It works best when provided generated by the prompts above for context.

Prompt:

Write a prospecting email to [prospect]. Use the above information for context and personalization.

Follow these strict rules:

  • Output must not be longer than 75 words—make every word count
  • Use simple and direct language, no fluff words or jargon
  • Use short sentences and paragraphs
  • Use a paragraph break between each of the lines to ensure there is plenty of white space, so the email is easy to digest for the reader.

Follow this structure:

Hi [prospect],

Line 1 – Highlight an interesting observation about [prospect] from the information above. This may be related specifically to [prospect] or [prospect’s company].

Line 2 - Tie this observation to a broader pain point [prospect] is likely experiencing.

Line 3 – Select a relevant value proposition from earlier in this chat and use it to explain how [your company] can help solve this pain point.

Line 4 – Offer a call-to-action phrased as an open-ended question starting with “Does this resonate…” or “Are you interested…” or something similar. The purpose of this call to action is to prompt [prospect] to respond.

Line 5 – Sign off exactly as follows:

Best,

[your name]

Line 6 – Add a short P.S. that is personal and relevant to [prospect]. It could be a past personal or professional achievement, a promotion, or other relevant and interesting detail from their background. Use a casual and conversational tone.

AI prompt for follow-up email

No act of prospecting should sit in isolation. Following up is everything. According to data from Belkins, follow-up emails can increase response rates from 49% to a whopping 220%. That said, your follow-up needs to stand on its own—it needs to provide value. This prompt generates a follow-up email that includes a case study to demonstrate how you’ve helped potential customers to achieve their goals.

Prompt:

Write a follow-up email to [prospect]. This is my first email: [Insert first email]

And this is the response: [Insert response. If no response, state the email wasn’t responded to.]

Adhere to the same structure, length, and tone of my original email. In line three, explain how we helped [customer] solve [pain point] using language from this case study: [insert case study].

Include a call to action asking whether this is of interest to [prospect].

AI prompt for cold email subject line

Your subject line is everything. Of all the factors that determine whether your email is opened, this is the most important. You can use generative AI to help you craft subject lines that stand out and get your emails opened. Here’s a prompt to do just that.

Prompt:

Craft 10 subject lines for the following sales prospecting email: [insert your email]

Follow these strict rules:

  • Limit subject lines to roughly 40 characters, or 1-5 words
  • Make the subject lines look like they’re internal emails instead of sales emails, for example “low reply rates” and “Q2 outbound strategy”
  • Avoid spammy and salesy words and excessive punctuation

AI prompt for a personalized opening line

After the subject line, the very first line of the email is the most important. It’s often visible from the inbox, and can play a significant role in getting your email opened. Personalization here is critical because your prospect is scanning for signs to determine whether reading your note is worth their time.

💡Tip: This prompt is most effective when used in conjunction with the research prompts above.

Prompt:

Select 5 interesting points from the information above about [prospect] or [prospect’s company] that I can use to personalize my sales pitch and prospecting email. These points should be personal and relevant to [prospect].

Then complete the output:

“Noticed that [interesting point]. In my experience, that usually means [outcome of interesting point]”

Example:

“Noticed that [company] is hiring SDRs. In my experience, that usually means outbound sales teams have hit capacity and the only way to scale is to increase headcount.”

AI prompts for personalizing P.S. Lines

Adding a P.S. to cold emails can greatly increase responses. It’s a chance to give your message a human touch and show you’ve done your homework. Here are 4 prompts for creating P.S. lines with generative AI.

  • “Write a short P.S. referencing a recent publication, LinkedIn post, or accomplishment.”
  • “Write a one-line P.S. posed as a question that reframes the prospect’s challenges and gets them to think differently.”
  • “Add a short P.S. that references a relevant or interesting insight from my prospect’s background.”
  • “Add a P.S. commenting on recent news you found on the company. Remember, [prospect] works for this company so you will likely know this information already so you are not educating them, merely commenting that you found it interesting.”

AI prompt for calls to action (CTAs)

Including a CTA in a cold email is crucial because it provides a clear direction for the prospect on what to do next. It’s how you convert interest and attention into action. A good CTA can have a massive impact on the number of leads in the pipeline and meetings you book. Generative AI is a great creative partner to brainstorm some different approaches. Here’s a prompt to get you started.

Prompt:

Create 5 calls to action (CTAs) for this prospecting email: [insert your email]. The goal of the call to action is to get a positive response without coming off as pushy or salesy. Keep each CTA brief, and use a friendly yet confident tone.

AI prompt for webinar follow-up emails

Most salespeople write off webinar leads as non-starters. That’s because sales scripts for most SDRs go straight for the pitch, which 99.9% of webinars aren’t ready to hear. This prompt is specifically engineered to generate interest in your product or service off the back of the webinar without directly pitching it.

💡Tip: All of the context needed for this email can usually be found on the webinar registration page.

Prompt:

Write a follow-up email to [contact’s name] who registered for a webinar that my company, [company name], [organized/sponsored].

[Prospect] [attended/did not attend] the webinar. Details of the webinar:

Title: [webinar title]

Speakers:

Topic:

Key points:

1.

2.

3.

Follow this structure & rules when writing the email.

Limit your the word count to 100 words

Use simple, direct language. No fluff.

Maintain a light & conversational tone.

Begin the email with a relevant insight about the topic, speakers, or key points, or a combination.

Continue by mentioning a relevant pain point this insight can lead to.

Explain how [company] solves this pain point by [insert your value proposition].

Finish by asking if this is something [prospect] is interested in.

Sign off, and add a short P.S. that’s relevant to the topic or content of the webinar.

Put AI to work with OneShot.ai

As AI continues to take the B2B sales world by storm, the teams and the individuals who embrace it and integrate it into their sales process are poised to dominate the AI-powered future of selling.

Imagine all of your manual prospecting tasks are gone. Automated away and accomplished in the background with AI in superhuman speed.

That’s OneShot.ai.

Our AI-powered prospecting platform eliminates the tedious busywork of prospecting so you can focus on activities that move the needle and generate more revenue.

With OneShot.ai you can use the power of AI to put your prospecting on autopilot.

Want to see how it works? Let us show you in a 1-1 demo.

About
Dan Moran
:

Related posts

How to Transform 3 Common Intent Signals Into Opportunities with AI

Revealing intent is one thing. Actioning it is another. In this post we'll explain how to use take three common intent signals and use them to create hyper relevant and personalized outreach.
Gautam Rishi
2023-12-08

How to Hire Sales Development Representatives (SDRs)

Creating a top-performing sales team begins with selecting the right Sales Development Representatives (SDRs). These individuals are essential to your sales process, tasked with identifying and qualifying potential leads. Hiring SDRs is an investment in the future success of your sales organization. Exceptional SDRs can uncover new business opportunities and maintain a robust sales funnel filled with interested prospects. Here’s how to effectively hire sales development representatives, from understanding their role to refining the hiring process and beyond.
Ezzedine Cherif
2024-06-25

2024 Guide to Cold Calling Lead Generation

Cold calling lead generation is a critical component of a successful outbound sales strategy. This guide will explain how and why cold calling complements a multichannel prospecting approach that appeals to modern buyers.
Dan Moran
2023-12-13

Ready to put your outbound on autopilot?