6 creative B2B prospecting methods AEs & SDRs have used to land meetings

6 B2B prospecting methods you should try that are recommended by experts. We'll show you how to close more deals without annoying prospects.
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Between pressure from management to difficult prospects and constant rejections, B2B sales prospecting can be challenging and, at times, even demotivating.

Fortunately, creative B2B prospecting methods will improve business prospecting for you by helping you stand out in ways that prospects appreciate and respond to.

The 5 common types of prospecting methods

When it comes to searching for high-quality leads there are a few common types of prospecting methods sales teams use. These include:

  • Referrals
  • Networking
  • Content marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Phone calls

But what sets a good salesperson apart from the rest is the creativity they add to these prospecting methods. So what exactly are the B2B prospecting tips that you should try today to close more deals? Here are six B2B prospecting ideas experts use and recommend you try:

1. Identify the prospect’s preferred communication channel

2. Develop and follow a sales prospecting process

3. Build meaningful relationships

4. Create bite-sized videos to connect with prospects 

5. Use humor where you can

6. Follow-up and make sure you give it your all

Let's get into the meat and potatoes. Did that make you hungry?

6 creative B2B prospecting methods

There’s a ton of advice out there about how to prospect efficiently and effectively, but it’s hard to know which prospecting methods are the most likely to get you the results you want. 

Each of these B2B prospecting strategies comes straight from an expert who’s already spent time figuring out the best (and worst) approaches to help you decide what’s worth trying.

B2B sales prospecting strategies

1. Identify the prospect's preferred communication channel

This is perhaps the most important step in business prospecting. After all, it’s hard to engage and convert a prospect if you don’t know how they prefer to communicate.

Senior Account Development Representative at UserGems, Taylor Vo, points out, “You can put your all into the best-personalized email (ever) — but that won’t mean a thing if someone prefers a call or DM.”

The solution? Vo advises reaching out to prospects on three different channels in one day. 

For example, Vo shares these steps as part of this “triple threat” B2B prospecting method:

  • Personalized E-Mail + Lunch invitation
  • LinkedIn + Vidyard or VIDU (Gif) redirecting to her email
  • Call + Leave a [voicemail] redirecting them to her email with the following copy: ‘No need to give me a callback, sent over an email with the subject line >SUBJECT< -- and would like to hear your feedback.’ 

By taking this approach, you can identify which communication method a prospect prefers.

“It’s also important to not make every message the same,” Vo adds. “If you’re hitting all three channels in one day, mix it up with different types of messaging (i.e., voice notes, personalized gifs, or video). See what sticks, and even if you don’t get a meeting right away — you’ll figure out which channel’s best for that prospect.” 

2. Develop and follow a B2B sales prospecting process

“When you pick up the phone and call some random prospects, then the chances are that you will soon hit the wall,” notes David Reid, the Sales Director at VEM Tooling.

“Many managers in the businesses do this without any plans. If the prospects do not know who you are, they won’t invest themselves in building up conversations with you.” 

It’s why Reid recommends building an organized B2B prospecting process. Start off with identifying who your ideal buyer is and create buyer personas. As you decide to reach out to prospects, make sure you contact only those who align with your buyer personas.

Remember: “The more targeted the prospects, the less time it takes to refine these prospects for your business deals,” says Reid.

And while you’re at it, use the right B2B prospecting tools to find out who to target. UserGems’ Senior Account Development Rep, Leah Zissimopulos, for example, used Drift and LinkedIn.

“I used software (Drift) at [the] last company [I worked at] to monitor what IP domains were on our website. As I figured, in some cases, someone from that company was on the website because they had an interest in our software. Then I went to LinkedIn to find ICP profiles and contact info,” Zissimopulos explains.

“Sometimes Drift would say where the person was located so I could narrow down who MIGHT have been on the website based off their locations on LinkedIn — this got me A TON of demos.”

You can also increase your odds of closing the deal by contacting someone in the target account who you already know. Or reaching out to a prospect who’s ready to invest in new tools after their fresh promotion or new job by tracking customer job changes.

Not sure where to find ready-to-convert leads? UserGems can help.

3. Build meaningful relationships

Relationship building helps you understand a prospect’s business challenges and goals better and increases your odds of converting them.

There are lots of ways to build strong relationships though. For example, joining referral networking programs, front-loading the value you offer, and giving gifts.

Leah Zissimopulos shares, “At another company I was at, we targeted marketers, from 1-person agencies to large agencies. I was also independently part of a referral networking program called BNI (business network international) that had a lot of digital marketers in the group — all in the US, Canada, UK, etc. So I used this common ground to make connections with marketers and book meetings.”

Another good way to build relationships is by connecting with prospects on LinkedIn and offering them value.

UserGems’ Enterprise Account Executive, Blaise Bevilacqua, shares, “I've written love letters to some of my favorite brands on LinkedIn about my website experience and how they could improve their UX. Talked about my customer journey throughout the site and areas where the experience could have been a bit more smoother. [By doing so, I] landed a meeting with the Chief Product Officer.”

Joe Jarvie, Senior Account Executive at UserGems, recommends yet another creative B2B prospecting method. “Write an e-book (relationship triggers for UserGems for example) and then self-publish on Amazon.com. Then buy prospects copies of that e-book as a gift using their email. And prospects get an email from Amazon saying Joe Jarvie just sent you an e-book.”

4. Create bite-sized videos to connect with prospects

Speaking of B2B sales prospecting strategies, Brian Thompson, the Head of Sales at Molten says, “One creative method I have used to sell is leveraging video recording plugins for Google chrome to create short, customized videos for my clients.

It works great in enterprise sales as often you will speak with non-decision-making stakeholders within a company as you scout out the ones who will make the final decision.” 

Video in B2B prospecting doesn’t just drive results for Thompson though. Reps who use video as part of their B2B prospecting and sales email see a 16% and 26% increase in their open rates and replies, respectively. Emails with videos also see 4x the click-through rate than emails without video.

video prospecting

Convinced you need to try video for business prospecting? Thompson suggests you start with uncovering information about the client company that qualifies them for the sale.

“Once you understand the issues the company is dealing with you can create a short 60-second video which, if needed, can include screen sharing of your computer for visuals.

When combined with a targeted email send to a company you position yourself to go ‘viral’ as recipients of your video forward it to all relevant stakeholders for feedback.

The result is that you receive highly qualified meetings, with multiple decision-makers who understand the problem you solve and know what you sell. You also build credibility through the psychological impact of being in a video which is forwarded via your buyer’s colleague’s claiming you can help their business.”

5. Use humor where you can

Leah Zissimopulos, Senior Account Development Rep at UserGems also commends using humor as part of your B2B prospecting methods. 

“I’ve been playing around with being funny, self-deprecating on my cold calls and have gotten a lot of positive feedback. Lots of people have said ‘I normally hang up, but that was a very creative opener,” Zissimopulos explains.

Sharing another instance where humor helped, Zissimopulos writes, “As a demo reminder, I did dress up as a squirrel and send a gif of me in costume to remind people that their demo was upcoming. This got a lot of positive replies.” 

Be aware though, humor can be tricky to execute. After all, you don’t want your jokes to offend prospects. Sticking to self-deprecation works best for this reason.

6. Follow-up and make sure you give it your all

Lastly, it’s uber important to follow up with prospects. In fact, ADR Manager at UserGems, Sara Angell notes most of her meetings are booked through follow-ups.

 Angell shares, “One thing that’s worked for me is sending a strong follow-up after initial contact. By strong I mean pull out all the ammunition you’ve got. Research them on LinkedIn, PERSONALIZE, and include a video with a quick thank you, and a recap of what you spoke about. Give them all the information they asked for, but don’t overwhelm them. This hasn’t just worked for me once but has and will continue to be my go-to method for getting that first ‘yes.’”

Angell continues, “The idea is that everyone learns in different ways, so cover your basis and give your prospect choices. Include a cup of coffee or something along those lines thanking them for their consideration with no ask.”

This sales prospecting method works for a handful of reasons. For one, prospects may not be ready to buy right away. Or, two, they might need a little more convincing about how your product can benefit them, which explains why 50% of sales happen after the fifth contact.

What’s more, “people appreciate you taking the time to do your research, and even more, they appreciate being heard,” adds Angell.

The key, however, is to pay attention to the initial conversation that you have with a prospect. 

“If you really listen in that initial conversation, you can put together a creative and thoughtful follow-up … that will not only land you the meeting but will set your AE up for success and set the tone of your prospect's experience with your company.” 

Ready to try new B2B prospecting methods today?

Effective business prospecting boils down to research and relationship building. Prospects appreciate it when you study their needs and pain points and reach out with a relevant offer.

It’s why having a defined B2B prospecting process is key. It ensures you aren’t reaching out to just anyone. Instead, it gives you an opportunity to connect with target accounts aligned with your buyer persona.

Want a head start on sales prospecting? Sign up for UserGems today to identify new buyers in your target accounts and start contacting ready-to-convert leads.

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