Trying to unlock new ways to up your B2B prospecting game?
Want to fill your pipeline faster and get more conversions from the leads you already have? Want a prospecting strategy that helps you revive cold opportunities? Good news—you’re in the right place.
Sales prospecting is a skill that takes time to master. There is no magic recipe for success, but there are tried-and-true prospecting strategies that work well in most situations.
As a full-cycle Account Executive (AE) at UserGems, I’m in a unique position where I own all stages of the sales cycle— from the initial email or call to closing the deal. This allows me to try out different prospecting playbooks and monitor the impact on the various stages of my sales funnel.
In this post, I’ll be sharing my best-performing prospecting strategy. If you find it useful, it’s all yours.
Quantity vs. quality: what’s more important
When it comes to marketing, the quality of prospects is almost always more valuable than the quantity.
Well, most of the time.
While it’s easy to get a hundred people to look at your newsletter, it’s more difficult, yet much more valuable, to convert those prospects into paying customers. It’s a classic marketing problem: how do you get small numbers of highly qualified leads rather than speaking to more significant numbers of vaguely interested folks?
It’s also one of the most common questions among B2B salespeople.
“How can I get more quality prospects through my pipeline without increasing the number of leads I’m prospecting?”
When I first started as a Sales Development Rep (SDR) back in 2017, you’d send out 500 emails per day, nothing personalized. We’d get back about 50 responses and maybe three demos.
It’s easy to get caught up in the number of prospects you have, but that won’t always translate to the number of deals you close. Typically, leadership wants the teams on the ground to be “prospecting like crazy” — the more leads coming in, the better.
Intuitively, most reps know this method of prospecting isn’t sustainable. It’s the old spray and pray tactic.
The answer to this problem seems obvious. A single high-quality lead (warm or cold) is worth far more to your business than a thousand low-quality leads.
Now, here’s the thing.
If you’re after the whales, it’s tempting to discard the need to be selective in your outreach—especially if you’re competing with aggressive sales teams at other companies.
Or maybe not.
How a combination of quality and quantity takes your B2B prospecting strategy to the next level
It’s not an “either or” conversation.
The binary nature of humankind (this helps us make sense of a complicated world) means we often prefer to think about B2B prospecting through the lens of either quality or quantity, with nothing in between. But I beg to differ.
At UserGems, we believe it comes down to a three-pronged approach:
2. Cold calls (yes, calling still works)
3. Personalization + buyer intent.
Let’s look at how they work together.
The customer job change trigger
20% of your customers change their jobs each year.
These are your lowest-hanging fruit, and we have an ALWAYS-ON engine that makes sure we take advantage of these hot leads.
How am I automating this process, you ask? UserGems!
Okay, so I’m biased since joining the team here, but I have to say - this is the best prospecting tool I’ve seen in years. I no longer have to think about tracking our champions; they’re automatically served up each month with triggered emails in Outreach.
We drink our champagne here. Whenever a customer of ours leaves to join a new company, each AE gets a notification with all their latest contact info in our CRM, which then triggers an automated outreach message.
Check out some of these stats: an 89% open rate and almost 30% response rate.
We don’t just track our buyers (Director, Head, VP of Sales and Demand Generation); we also track our end-users (sales reps, operations managers) - anyone who has ever interacted with our software.
When that user leaves, we’re immediately introduced to their new company and go at the new opportunity from a bottom-up approach. You’ve already won these customers’ hearts over once (hopefully); why not have them champion for you again at their next company?
Roughly a quarter of my pipeline comes from hitting the phones. I will be forever grateful and indebted to Josh Braun here. If you’re not already following him on LinkedIn - do that first!
His approach has helped me with this opener:
“Hi X, this is Blaise Bev with UserGems. We’ve never met, but could I have 20 seconds to tell you why I’m giving you a buzz and we can either continue or part ways as friends.”
Most of the time, the response I get is, “Alright go.”
I’ll make about 250 calls per week, and here’s the secret sauce—ConnectAndSell.
This auto-dialing tool is another critical component in our stack. You upload a list of 100 contacts, and you can get through 50 dials in 20 minutes. I aim to have two or three conversations each session. And a massive part of this is thanks to automation.
I remember my first BDR role, where I’d painstakingly dial 50 people in the morning and 50 people in the afternoon. ConnectAndSell - you are a life changer☺️
Personalization + intent
If you take away anything from this article, the most critical thing in today's world of business development and sales is personalization.
There are probably many people out there who’d disagree, but I’m sticking to my guns here. Of course, you need other aspects to gauge people’s interest, such as following up, multi-channel touch points, and providing value with each message.
But the main thing here is to BE HUMAN!
We have 3 seconds to gauge interest, and if your message starts as:
“We at X company do ABC…” - your message is getting thrown in the trash.
Kyle Coleman is the master at setting intention with his cold outreach, and this email (inspired by Kyle’s email template) landed me a demo with a key stakeholder:
There’s something to be said about taking the time to research and write a well-thought-out message.
Why, because here’s the thing:
It’s way more human and leads to more meaningful conversations. Does it take longer - yes? Way longer.
But you’ll end up with more top of funnel convos to keep you motivated to keep the intentional outreach going.
Ready to close more deals
This was a little taste or a high-level snapshot, if you will, of the three ways as a full sales cycle rep, I’m staying busy.
It’s a blended mix of cold calls, personalization, and our UserGems leads engine that keeps our calendars full. If you’re looking to get deeper into the nitty-gritty, I’d be happy to answer any questions over a Zoom coffee.
Hit me up, folks! (email@example.com)