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You know those YouTube rabbit holes you go down? Twenty videos later you look up to see that hours have passed you by? Prospecting can feel pretty similar. 

Having more strategic workflows in place can ensure you’re spending your time on the right things without going too far off track.

Let’s learn more.

What is a prospecting workflow?

Prospecting workflows are established so that sales reps don’t spend their whole day looking for prospects. 

If we break it down, a workflow is an orchestrated and repeatable process of activity. Basically, it’s a routine. 

Typical prospecting workflows involve researching and then connecting to prospects via cold calls, cold emails, and beyond.

It’s usually a high-volume workflow, consisting of many interactions with a large number of contacts. These workflows also require quick and structured follow-ups, because, as we know, timing is everything. 

Workflow Pain Points

Nothing in life is perfect. Even with a well thought out prospecting workflow, you are bound to be confronted with obstacles.. Here are just a few common pain points associated with sales workflows. 

A Shortage of Time 

Sales reps often juggle multiple prospects at one time. Therefore their workflows should be easily repeatable for every single person they contact, rather than applying to only a specific kind of customer. 

How can they do that? By making quality data readily accessible. 

A Lack of Access to Data 

Speaking of data … research is the first step in the prospecting process, but it entails a lot more than just Googling someone’s name. 

A good mix of firmographic and technographic data, paired with intent information is the perfect recipe for determining prospects, and actually turning those prospects into qualified leads. 

An Unequal Workflow Distribution 

Prospecting isn’t the only thing on a sales rep’s to-do list. Their time is usually split between three different activities: 

  • Prospecting/qualifying leads.
  • Account planning and management.
  • Analyzing/optimizing won and lost deals. 

Each of these activities has their own workflow and rhythm, making it difficult to balance all of it at once. 

A Gap in Automation

Having an established workflow is important, but it doesn’t mean that every task within that workflow is being done as efficiently as it could be. 

Managing daily tasks and recording all activity with leads should be a part of your prospecting workflow, but if these things aren’t being automated, you’re wasting more time on that than actually prospecting. 

An Absence of Timely Action 

As we all know by now, timing is everything. A workflow doesn’t necessarily tell you when to do each step, only that you have to do that step at some point. 

For example, just because you have a prospecting workflow, doesn’t mean it’s integrated into your CRM. So once someone fills out a form on a landing page, you won’t know to reach out ASAP. 

How To Optimize Your Prospecting Workflow

To optimize your prospect workflow you need to be able to communicate with your prospects on different platforms quickly and effectively. As we’ve said before — in sales, timing is everything. 

Effective and timely communication will improve your response rates, increase customer engagement and ultimately help retain customers, and therefore increase the lifetime value of your customers. 

1. Use Data To Determine Your Target Audience

In order to efficiently prospect, we must turn to the data. When determining who your ideal customer is, referencing intent, technographic, and firmographic data of past customers is a great way to figure out who to target for future business.

Make sure the resource phase of your workflow involves data. But not just any data — up to date, accurate data.

2. Implement Workflow Triggers

Workflow triggers are essentially events that determine when a specific action will occur in a predetermined workflow, such as an email sequence. They automate and streamline repetitive tasks, and reduce the overall chance of error. 

Workflow triggers are incredibly helpful to salespeople because they notify them when an action has either automatically taken place, or needs to happen manually.  

3. Automate Daily Tasks 

I know, I know, automation seems like a given. It’s practically a solution for everything these days. But when it comes to your prospecting workflow, well thought out automation truly is key, and without proper integration, it can be causing you a lot of lost productivity. 

Things like lead scoring and personalized outreach templates should be automated into your sales CRM, making it a one-stop shop for everything your sales reps may need. 

4. Make Sure Your Workflow Is Adaptable and Measurable

A good workflow is one that can recognize change and quickly adapt to a new prospect. Additionally, you need to be able to measure the effectiveness of your workflow. 

Are your reps making more calls, closing more deals, saving more time? Sales task management is all about trial and error, and figuring out what works best for your team. Choose the metrics you most want to improve on, and adjust your workflow accordingly. 

How Does This Help You Close Deals Faster?

With streamlined prospecting workflows, you allow your sales team to focus on only the most valuable leads for your company, and sales reps will know what to look for in prospects moving forward. This saves them time, and makes more money in the long run. 

To truly optimize a prospecting workflow, you need the help of automation. Platforms like ZoomInfo Engage helps your sales team connect with more prospects, close more business, and capture every interaction that happens in between. So your sales team spends less time searching, and more time connecting. 

“As a sales manager, I can build sales flows [in Engage] for the entire team and edit them in one simple interface,” explains Morgan Anderson, platinum sales development representative manager at ZoomInfo.

“It’s really helpful to be able to clone these sales workflows, and it saves me lots of time and empowers my salespeople to do what they do best: sell.”

About the author

Reyna LaRiccia

Reyna LaRiccia is a Content Marketing Specialist at ZoomInfo, the leading B2B contact database and sales intelligence solution.

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