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How to prospect?

How to prospect?

What is prospecting ?

Prospecting has become a must for companies and their teams. Sales, marketers and many others use it with one and the same objective: CONVERT!

But how to prospect efficiently?

Let's begin with the leads search (qualified, please!) that you will then target with your prospecting plan. For example, you can use scraping software (discover our top 10 scraping tools in 2023) to get the contact information of professionals in your sector.

Clearly, these software are able to retrieve a large amount of data in a totally automated way, great no? 😉 What a time saver!

To make sure you are collecting data from prospects that match your offer, remember to :

  • Define your target: decision-makers are the priority in your research because they are the ones who will evaluate the value of your product
  • Find out about their activity: you will not sell a prospecting solution to a graphic designer!
  • Identify their needs: the size of the company (is it an SME or a large company?), what are their requirements for quality (standard or premium?)

After identifying and scraping your valuable leads, don't forget to enter their contact information in your CRM (Dropcontact enrich and update your database in just a few minutes!)

The next step is to get in touch with your selected prospects: by phone, by email, by mail, there are many ways to reach your prospects. One thing is certain, the chances of converting on the first contact are unlikely 😣

You've found your prospects... what's next? It's time to choose how to contact them! And for that, we'll introduce you to the different prospecting channels 🚀

Prospecting channels

Cold Calling prospecting

Did you know that 47% of French companies prefer cold calling to other prospecting channels? (source: Statista 2018)

But is Cold-Calling the best prospecting alternative for you

The advantages of Cold-Calling

  • Direct contact with the customer: an efficient and friendly approach will be a positive point for the rest of the sales process
  • Get a quick answer: in case your prospect picks up the phone, this allows you to be sure about his interest (or not) in your product!
  • Adapt your speech: by having your prospect on the phone, you can easily adapt your speech and talk to your prospect naturally

The disadvantages of cold-calling

  • Time-consuming practice: it requires a lot of perseverance
  • It's expensive: Cold-Calling requires monopolizing one or more sales representatives for several hours that your Sales team could spend closing deals
  • Hard to reach your prospect: getting a prospect on the phone can sometimes require a dozen attempts!

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Prospecting through Cold-Emailing

Cold Emailing is a very popular method because it's faster and less expensive than Cold-Calling. Many platforms such as lemlist, Sendinblue, or Mailchimp allow you to send personalized mailings to your database.

What if you don't have your prospect's email? Dropcontact's algorithms generate it for you in a few minutes!

The advantages of Cold-Emailing

  • Cheap: emailing platforms allow you to send several tens, even hundreds, and thousands of emails at the same time, at a lower cost!
  • Combine the sendings to reach several prospects at the same time 🔥 be careful to segment your target to adapt your speech

There is a multitude of ways to approach your prospects to best fit your recipient. You can for example use the AIDA method, an acronym for Attention, Interest, Action, and Desire, which aims at soliciting these 4 factors to close your sale.

The disadvantages of Cold-Emailing

  • The response rate changes according to the recipients (some will never open your emails)
  • Be careful to set up your email domain to avoid spamming your prospect and damaging your domain's reputation! We show you how to do it here
  • It can be difficult to stand out among other companies that practice Cold-Email
  • Be careful to respect the rules imposed by the CNIL concerning the RGPD, we will introduce them later!

If you (still) have a doubt about which prospecting technique to use, discover our Cold-Emailing VS Cold-Calling comparison

Prospecting by mail

To give a "vintage" aspect to your prospecting, you can choose the "paper" support as mail, flyer, or any other physical communication to arouse the curiosity of your targets.

The benefits of prospecting by mail

  • Being creative: you have the ability to create multiple types of mail 💌
  • The mail read rate is significantly higher than emails (the mail read rate is 90%!)
  • Writing a letter is more likely to establish a close relationship between your prospect and you, they will feel "special" and will be more likely to contact you again later

The disadvantages of prospecting by mail

  • Very expensive alternative: count about 1€ for the printing and sending of a professional mail
  • Sending a mail pollutes (printing, transport, etc.) at a time when mentalities are changing: the green is the order of the day 🌳
  • It is sometimes difficult to obtain the postal address of a prospect, failing that, you can address your mail in the offices of the company

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Innovative prospecting: using Inbound Marketing

Finally, you can prospect by using Inbound Marketing through the creation of high-value-added content that will bring prospects directly to you. By publishing articles on your blog or posting rich and impactful content on your social networks, you can build an engaged community while generating traffic to your website.

Note that a hot prospect (i.e. one who shows a significant interest in your product), will be more likely to consult your content and subscribe to your news compared to a cold prospect, who will have to be motivated to buy because he has no (or little) knowledge of your product.

Also, a social network like LinkedIn offers its Sales Navigator tool that allows you to prospect directly on Linkedin by sending direct messages in addition to an invitation to connect with several prospects.

You can also combine several channels like Linkedin and emailing to convert more easily. For example, we show you how to automate your prospecting flow by sending a Linkedin invitation after opening your cold-email

Optimize your prospecting with Dropcontact

Dropcontact: much more than an Email Finder 💚

Dropcontact is a data enrichment tool that allows you to update, enrich, deduplicate, verify, and clean your database via a Drag&Drop file system (csv or excel format).

With only the first and last name of your contact and the website of the company (if not the name of the company), the proprietary algorithms of Dropcontact will generate all the essential information for your prospecting. The delivered data are the following:

  • Prospect information (Email and business phone number, title, Linkedin profile, position, etc.)
  • Company information (Number of employees, NAF code, type of company, etc.)

In addition, Dropcontact harmonizes and standardizes the data in your database (Addition of capital letters, name-first name inversions, deletion of encoded characters, etc.)

Updating your data directly in your CRM is possible! 🚀

What if your database was kept up to date, cleaned, and deduplicated directly in your CRM?

Dropcontact does it for you by integrating natively with Pipedrive, HubSpot and Salesforce.

Say goodbye to duplicates, encoded characters, and obsolete emails thanks to Dropcontact algorithms! As a reminder, between 25% and 30% of the business contacts in your database become obsolete every year.

Learn more about native CRM integrations :

👉 Pipedrive

👉 HubSpot

👉 Salesforce

RGPD: there are some rules ❗️

Created on May 25, 2018, the RGPD (General Data Protection Regulation) imposes new rules on prospecting.

Before starting your prospecting, please note that it's forbidden to prospect with a B2C customer by email. The prospect must have given his consent before receiving any of your communications.

On the other hand, in B2B it's "recommended" to have the opt-in (aka consent) of your prospect. But you still have to respect some rules:

  • Your prospect must be in some way related to your business (selling computer devices to companies that use computers)
  • You must add an unsubscribe link in your email: this is mandatory in all your non-opt-in emails. It's up to you to find a way to make it more fun than the simple mention "unsubscribe"

Buying contact databases is forbidden (beware of solutions that try to sell you databases!).

Dropcontact is of course 100% RGPD compliant and does not store any databases 💡

If you plan to prospect by phone or mail: find out what rules apply regarding phone and mail prospecting 💌

Our little extras for more effective prospecting

  • Create and maintain strong links with your customers by keeping contact over the long term: sign them up for your newsletter and send them, for example, your product news
  • Find a solid subject line: attracting attention in one sentence can be tedious, so we help you send the perfect cold email ❤️
  • Adapt your message to your target: a tool like lemlist will allow you to use liquid language to personalize and generate your content
  • Be precise and know your product, you must know your offer by ❤️
  • Choose the right timing, days like Wednesday and Thursday are all the more favorable than Monday when your prospect will have many messages to process


Most frequently asked questions

What are the different prospecting channels?

In B2B, there are several acquisition channels that you can use for the same strategy:Cold Calling Cold Emailing Regular mail Social media: LinkedIn, Facebook, X (formerly Twitter)... Inbound Marketing and content creation Professional conventions Business networks ‍

What the GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation is a legal framework voted by the European Parliament in 2016 and implement in 2018.This legislation aims at protecting the personal data of European residents.

Cold Emailing or Cold Calling?

Prospecting by email and by phone are two different techniques. But Cold Emailing and Cold Calling share the same goal: personalizing your campaign as best as possible. You can achieve personalization thanks to reliable and updated data on your leads.Cold Emailing is scalable while Cold Calling isn't; Cold Calling can have a very low ROI; It's legally complicated to obtain the phone number of someone who never had any contact with your company.If you want to find out more about the differences between the two, check this out‍
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