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The Evolution of B2B Prospecting

MarketLauncher turned fourteen this month! As we celebrate this milestone, we are mindful not to turn into one of those teenagers who think they know everything and have nothing left to learn. Quite the opposite! Let’s face it, prospecting tools and methods are evolving rapidly and we don’t see this evolution slowing anytime soon. It is our job to evaluate the changing landscape, test new methods for effective prospecting and then apply best practices to drive better sales performance for our clients.

Ring, Ring . . .

Remember when the telephone was the only tool for B2B prospecting? In those days, we focused on creating the perfect voicemail message, one compelling enough for an executive to listen all the way through and return our call.

One of our early success stories involved a CEO saving a voicemail he received from an ML team member and bringing it with him to a conference where he was sitting on a panel discussion about how to prospect to C-level executives. He played the recording and pointed out the various details that made the message a best-practice example. We found this out when that same CEO later hired our firm – hearing that story that was a proud moment for our team.

You’ve Got Mail

By the mid-2000’s email had become so widely adopted as a form of business communication that it was fully integrated it into all MarketLauncher campaigns. Eventually, after extensive tracking, we established a best practice sequence of outreach that included: phone call, email, 2nd call, 2nd email, 3rd email. Consistently we received the highest response after that 3rd email (5th touch point). But as a standalone, email was not effective. Whenever we attempted to shortcut the process by eliminating the phone calls, response to our email outreach plummeted.

In more recent years, many of our clients have adopted a robust digital strategy that includes email automation and optimizing website traffic. By leveraging SEO and using tools like Hubspot, Eloqua and Marketo, clients are able to funnel leads to their MarketLauncher team for immediate vetting. This allows clients to maximize their return on investment by turning incoming leads into prequalified prospects and shortening the sales cycle.

Don’t Be Antisocial

While marketing automation started heating up, other forms of online communication began to bleed over into business dialogue. LinkedIn in particular has begun playing a prominent role in aiding B2B prospecting activity by making it easier to find executives by subject matter. One way that LinkedIn has made a major impact on our firm’s outreach efforts is by allowing our team to follow executives from one company to the next. For many of our clients, the decision makers move from place to place, but as long as their functional area of responsibility remains similar, they are still a potential buyer.

Hello, Is this Thing on?

How we communicate with each other in the business world continues to evolve, and the next big trend is the elimination of company voicemail systems entirely.

While this news is just starting to make headlines, we had a strong sense it was coming as our team began encountering messages instructing callers to “please find an alternate means to reach your party.” Companies as diverse as Coca-Cola and Boehringer Ingelheim are on the forefront of this trend. Our job is to stay on the leading edge of outreach techniques in order to continue to effectively communicate on our clients’ behalf. In response to this, the ML team is testing various alternate means to reach executives.

Ultimately our focus is always on finding the best way to engage with decision makers. Our B2B sales and marketing programs are designed to accelerate growth. We are constantly looking for new ways to help our clients find and get in front of more qualified prospects. And through the various means of interaction, we also help our clients know more about their market and what is on the minds of their key decision makers.

The Brave New World of B2B Prospecting

And so the evolution continues. Imagine a company establishing a core competency (leaving the perfect message on an executive’s direct office line) only to find it irrelevant 14 years later (mobile phones require altered strategies), and yet experiencing year over year exponential growth based on their ability to constantly evolve with the times. You don’t have to imagine it. We’re right here. And we’d love to talk to you.

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Lara S. Triozzi
Lara S. Triozzi
As the CEO of MarketLauncher, Lara is the visionary who gets clients and team members excited about what can be and then finds ways to make it happen. Lara has always had a talent for designing new business strategies, from the fledgling start-up ad agency she joined right out of college to an opportunity to help launch Inc. Magazine’s CEO peer groups on a national scale.

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