In today’s world prospecting is a manual task requiring time-consuming personalization to stand a chance of getting a positive response from a prospect. But it doesn’t have to be - AI is changing the way we connect with others and providing efficiencies to dramatically improve your prospecting efforts.
Finding & connecting with prospects
Unless you’re new to sales you probably have an established way of finding and connecting with new prospects that goes something like this.
Your ideal customer profile First, you should be considering what your ideal customer profile looks like in order to know who to be targeting. You’re likely looking at your CRM data or reports from your Sales Ops team to know your top industries and customers to target their competitors.
Finding your perfect prospect From there, your organization may have invested in an external database, or you’re using Sales Navigator to find your ideal prospects. Once you’ve sourced the contact details for a promising contact using a tool like Hunter.io, or simply guessing the likely email address, it’s time to craft the all-important first stage email via LinkedIn or a multi-stage contact tool such as Outreach.
Manual activity checking Not too fast there. There is a little step in between to check activity in Salesforce to ensure there’s no activity against the contact already. We’ve all been there - after all the research you think you’ve found the perfect lead only to discover another territory manager has already staked their claim. If the lead is clear then it’s safe to move on to the next step.
Crafting the perfect email You’ll likely be personalizing your email with information you’ve gleaned about your prospect online - such as what they studied or where they went to school. Something to make a personal connection and establish some rapport. Or, perhaps you’re using a cadence tool like Salesloft or Outreach so you add them to an existing sequence with slightly more generic information that you can send out at scale. If it’s a particularly hot prospect perhaps you spend a little more time researching and personalizing the email to reference a recent news article or financial results of their organization. The problem is your competitors are doing the same so it’s no longer a differentiator - your prospect is likely getting several of these a day.
And there you have it - a typical end-to-end prospecting journey. Clunky and manual, and it sometimes feels like sales leadership just doesn’t understand how much effort needs to go into this phase of the sales journey, often with low yielding results. Does “you just need to prospect more” or “it’s a numbers game” sound familiar?
Key challenges associated with prospecting
While there are certainly a few shortcuts formed over the years the prospecting process is simply a time consuming and manual task that let’s face it, is no one’s favourite activity.
Low response rate or worse - the dreaded unsubscribe request!
Switching between multiple applications from Salesforce to Google to Sales Navigator and Outreach
Lack of data and insight - the only real intel comes from years of practice and learning what works
The bouncebackability to do this every day with a fresh determination
If you’ve worked in sales for long, I expect you’re nodding your head as you read through the list.
What is AI personalization and why does it matter?
Simply put, AI personalization is the categorization of sets of data to extract valuable insights from them. In a sales prospecting context, an AI solution will help you identify your best-fit accounts, identify new contacts, and personalize your outreach.
AI personalization can deliver value through:
Delivering rich insights from multiple sources to auto-personalize your message for every contact
Automatically pulling in your relevant reference customers or case studies
Use of sentiment analysis to measures readiness to buy
Saving time without the need to switch between multiple applications - discover, target and reach the right leads within one tool
Imagine the perfect, well-researched message for each individual contact. Half a days work all done for you with the click of a button.
How AI can transform prospecting
In short, AI deployed correctly in personalization can address the quantity versus quality dichotomy. Prospecting can be a bit of a numbers game but the thought and insight required to personalize messaging greatly restrict the number of messages that can be sent and in turn, the number of connects made. So where’s the trade-off?
With AI personalization there doesn’t need to be a trade-off. This is one of the key issues in prospecting that OneShot.ai set out to fix - delivering personalization at scale.