Two BIG Reasons Your Prospecting Isn’t Working

Your sales team doesn’t have time for efficiency blockers in a competitive, fast-paced market. Even if you’ve defined your ICP and created a targeted list of prospects, you may still find that your prospecting isn’t generating impactful results.

Stale data and lack of differentiation could be two major culprits. Learn how these factors impact your prospecting, and what you can do to yield better outcomes in sales.

#1: Your Prospect Data Isn’t Accurate

The Importance of Accurate Data in Prospecting

Whether you’re nurturing warm leads or reaching out to cold prospects, having access to accurate contact information is crucial. Poor-quality data costs businesses $700 billion a year, and the average customer’s contact database is 90% incomplete contacts (source).

Data Impacts Deliverability

If your team has invested time in a stellar marketing campaign, it can be disheartening for those messages to get flagged as spam or end up in dormant and nonexistent inboxes. Continuing to target outdated contact lists will negatively impact your sender score, but cleaning up your contact database with verified emails and accurate data points can improve deliverability and engagement.

Gmail’s New Spam Laws — What Sellers Need to Know

To keep inboxes safer and less cluttered, Google has rolled out new requirements for bulk email senders, which is any account that sends over 5,000 emails a day to Gmail accounts. These rules went into effect in February 2024 and could impact your deliverability. The new requirements include:

  • Email authentication for your domain. This includes setting up SPF (standard email authentication), DKIM (an encrypted digital signature for your emails), and DMARC (this prevents threat actors from impersonating your organization).
  • Enabling users to unsubscribe with one click. Marketing emails and subscribed messages need to offer one-click unsubscribe requests. These requests also need to be processed within two days.
  • An updated spam rate threshold. Senders need to ensure that spam rates (as reported in Gmail’s Postmaster Tools) are below 0.10% and never above 0.30%.

Marketing and advertising emails make up 36% (source) of all emails marked as spam. There are many reasons your emails could wind up in spam folders, but you can mitigate that risk by following best practices:

  • Build up your list of recipients organically rather than buying a list of contacts. Offer incentives and valuable content to ensure that subscribers stay engaged.
  • Focus on content that is relative to those recipients and avoid pitfalls like broken HTML, poor design, and spammy language.
  • Use Postmaster Tools to monitor your spam rate, IP reputation, and domain reputation.
  • Implement a “sunset policy” to remove inactive or unengaged subscribers and increase your open rate. Continually review your list of contacts to keep a balanced ratio of active and inactive users.
  • Make it easy for contacts to unsubscribe from your emails.

While these requirements make email safer for users, they can also be a boon to your sales strategy. With fewer spam messages to compete with, your campaigns have a better chance of standing out and reaching prospects who want to hear from you.

You can find the full list of requirements and how to comply on Google.

How to Ensure Data Accuracy

How can you ensure that your prospecting tools reflect accurate, up-to-date information?

  • Use multiple data sources, like LinkedIn combined with other social media platforms, which can validate each other.
  • Leverage email verification tools to validate leads, ideally one that integrates with your CRM.
  • Store data in a CRM so the sales team can review and update information regularly.

Consider an AI-Powered Prospecting Tool

Research and manual updates can be time-consuming for the sales team. Fortunately, AI-powered prospecting tools, like Wiza, can automate and streamline these tasks.

Wiza is a real-time prospecting tool that provides the most up-to-date data on your targeted list of prospects. By creating an advanced search filter on LinkedIn, you can source a list of contacts with relevant attributes, like role, location, and company size. Wiza allows you to export your search and build profiles on your prospects. The tool will then source up to 30 data points from live sources, including emails and phone numbers, and use SMTP verification for accurate results. The profiles can be exported as a .csv or synced directly to your CRM.

#2: Your Prospecting Lacks Differentiation

Leveraging differentiation can be a game-changer for engagement. By identifying your ICP and their needs, focusing on how your product meets their needs, and how it differs from other products in the market, you can craft more effective messaging. Unique positioning can help you stand out in a crowded marketplace, and tailoring that messaging to individual prospects will help generate a higher response rate.

Keep Your Messaging Relevant

Your targeted lists are businesses and people with varying needs and at different stages of the sales funnel. To improve prospecting, relevance is key. Become familiar with prospects’ needs, goals, and roles to craft messages that resonate, and don’t apply the same approach to every prospect.

Personalization can also be an effective tool, but if messages are not relevant to prospects, familiar greetings can fall flat. In a Gartner study (source), 86% of respondents said they’re open to some personalized communication from brands, but 55% were averse to communication that feels invasive, and 40% would stop doing business with those brands if the communication was irrelevant.

Strategies for Differentiating Your Approach

Data Segmentation

Data segmentation, or market segmentation, separates customers and prospects into different groups so they receive messages that are most relevant to them. You can create these segments for different buyer personas or based on their previous engagement with your product. Consider company size and revenue, use case, and whether they already use a similar product.

Lead Scoring

Lead scoring can help the sales team focus more energy on warm leads and boost conversion rates. Invest in a lead scoring tool to generate insights about your prospects to predict if they’re ready to buy based on engagement with your campaigns and whether they’re in-market.

Effective prospecting is no simple task, but accurate data and differentiation can help sales focus their efforts and see higher conversion rates. Staying mindful of marketing email compliance and using detailed data insights combined with personalization, can help your team target and reach the right prospects. Streamline workflows by leveraging automation tools to accelerate research and eliminate manual data entry.

Before helping found GTMfund, Scott spent 4 years at Outreach as Director of Strategic Engagement. He was in charge of aligning key relationships with VCs, BoDs, ecosystem partners and community members to drive revenue and strategic initiatives across Outreach. Scott initially ran revenue/partnerships for Sales Hacker (which was acquired by Outreach in 2018). Prior to Sales Hacker, he led and built outbound Business Development teams at Payfirma and MediaValet. Scott also advises for a number of high growth start-ups and is the host/author of The GTM Podcast and The GTM Newsletter. At GTMfund, Scott leads all fundraising efforts and runs the media arm of the firm. He’s also responsible for assessing investments, team management, LP/community relationships and GTM support for founders.

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