8 Ways to Improve Your Team’s Prospecting

29 Apr 24

Prospecting is a numbers game with a high rejection rate, so it is easy for reps to get discouraged. Here's how to avoid these pitfalls and get your team to do more prospecting.

Prospecting is a numbers game with a high rejection rate, so it is easy for reps to get discouraged. Just asking your reps to make more calls can produce a vicious cycle of poor results, discouraging reps with less prospecting and obtaining even worse results. Compounding this problem is that sales reps are busy managing existing sales opportunities and customers. Here is how to avoid these pitfalls and get your team to do more prospecting.

#1 Set Goals That Tie to Your Sales Goals

Successful prospecting starts with setting specific and realistic prospecting goals. A great way of doing this is to “reverse engineer” your sales goals into prospecting productivity levels.

For example, if your reps carry a $1,000,000 annual quota, calculate how many new deals they need to close. Let’s assume that the rep has no recurring revenue and must go out and find $1,000,000 of new business. If your average deal size is $40,000, then your rep will need to close 25 deals annually to meet the sales goal of $1,000,000.

Twenty-five deals a year, or about two deals per month, sounds easy enough, but now you must translate that into actionable productivity levels. That means analyzing data from your CRM system to determine the following pipeline ratios:

  • What is your proposal to close the ratio?
  • How many qualified opportunities result in proposals?
  • What about meetings and opportunities?
  • How many calls do you need to make?

#2 Customize Your Message

One of the downsides of prospecting automation is that prospects today are inundated with generic-sounding calls and emails. At the same time, automation will help your team maintain high productivity levels but won’t guarantee great prospecting results.

If you want to improve prospecting results, your reps need to offer prospects compelling reasons to meet. You do this by sharing insights, ideas on how to solve problems, success stories, or other relevant information that’s tailored to the needs of the prospect.

#3 Target Ideal Prospects

A common trap that is easy for sales organizations to fall into is trying to “boil the ocean” when prospecting. That means when in doubt, call everyone. While this strategy maintains high call volume, it doesn’t necessarily produce great.

A more productive strategy is to narrow your prospecting efforts to prospects with the same demographics as your ideal customers. While having a more focused prospecting list may produce fewer appointments, the appointments will likely be more valuable.

#4 Coach for Sales Skills

The most well-thought-out prospecting strategy won’t work unless your team has the requisite skills to execute your plan.

Does your team know how to quickly engage with prospects, manage resistance, or request appointments? Listen to your team’s prospecting calls and assess their skill levels. If you hear too many unproductive calls, you may want to consider sales training for your team.

#5 Create a Culture of Discipline

Salespeople are incredibly busy and so it’s easy for even the best-intended salesperson to put off prospecting. Successful prospecting is like exercising: it requires incredible discipline to achieve peak fitness. As a manager of a high performing sales team, you should regularly schedule dedicated prospecting time. This can take the form, for example, of a half-day “prospecting blitz” where your entire team focuses only on setting appointments with new accounts.

#6 Batch Activities

Group similar prospecting productivity together for maximum efficiency. For example, dedicate a morning block to cold calls and an afternoon for crafting personalized email outreach. This prevents context switching and keeps your reps in the prospecting zone.

#7 Utilize Tools and Templates

Use CRM systems to track progress, manage contact information, and schedule follow-ups. Leverage email templates for personalization without starting from scratch each time.

#8 Track and Measure Results

Encourage your reps to track their prospecting activities – calls, emails, and meetings booked. Regularly analyze these metrics to identify what is working and what needs tweaking. This data-driven approach helps you continuously refine your prospecting strategy for optimal results.


Boosting your sales team's prospecting productivity isn't just about a temporary burst of enthusiasm; it is about building a well-oiled engine that consistently generates qualified leads and fuels sales growth.

By implementing the eight key steps outlined in this article, you can transform your team into a focused, efficient, and ultimately successful prospecting machine.

Sales Training Research Report by Sales Readiness Group


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