B2B prospecting is the process of identifying potential buyers (known as prospects), outreaching to them and converting them into customers. Outreach is conducted via a number of different B2B sales and marketing activities, including cold calling, outbound email, content marketing and PPC.
This knowledge hub contains a number of resources that will help to explain the importance of B2B prospecting, and provide practical advice for getting it started at your business today. Use the links below to navigate around this page.
In 90 seconds: what is B2B prospecting? | Why is B2B prospecting important? | What are B2B prospects? | Who conducts B2B prospecting? | What are the different methods of B2B prospecting? | The importance of data in B2B prospecting | What technology can help with B2B prospecting? | More B2B prospecting resources from Cognism | Further reading, links and resources | Contact Cognism today
B2B prospecting explained in 90 seconds 👇
B2B prospecting is fundamental to the success of a business. We have identified several factors that demonstrate the importance of B2B prospecting for sales and marketing teams, as well as the wider business. We have set them out here 👇
A B2B prospect is any person or organisation who fits your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), but hasn’t yet expressed an interest in your company. It is the job of sales and marketing to make the B2B prospect aware of your product or service and guide them towards becoming a customer.
There are 2 types of B2B prospects:
Sales prospects are those people or organisations who match your ICP and are deemed suitable for further outreach.
This group includes:
Marketing prospects are those people or organisations who have expressed an interest in your company by engaging with content produced by the marketing team.
B2B prospecting is a process managed by sales and marketing professionals. They may work alone or but more usually in teams.
The B2B prospecting process works most effectively when both the sales and marketing teams are closely aligned. Alignment is a great driver of success. Sometimes, the 2 teams can be combined to form a larger revenue team.
A sales team focused on B2B prospecting is often split into 2 groups. These groups perform separate tasks as part of the wider sales strategy.
The 2 groups are:
There are several benefits to this approach:
In general, there are 3 categories of marketers who manage B2B prospecting. The categories are:
What links these groups together is the belief that data and performance should be at the heart of decision-making. They demonstrate a capacity to use innovative strategies to drive growth and engagement. 💥
B2B prospecting is conducted through a variety of sales and marketing activities. In this section, we provide definitions for the most popular ones.
In sales, B2B prospecting is carried out through a process called outbound prospecting. This process includes:
For marketers, B2B prospecting is managed through a process called inbound marketing. These are the main inbound marketing channels for B2B prospecting:
The goal of these activities is to generate opportunities and feed qualified prospects to the sales team. They will then take over the final stages of the B2B prospecting process, such as conducting sales demos and closing deals. ♻️
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Data is vital to the success of B2B prospecting. It is the bedrock upon which every sales and marketing prospecting activity is built.
SDRs require accurate prospect lists to make cold calls, send outbound emails and contact leads on social media. BDMs require up-to-date B2B data in order to gain insights on their prospects, conduct successful demos and close business.
Data is also necessary for inbound marketing. Performance, content and campaign marketers use data to research, optimise and analyse their work. A clear focus on data across the team creates a data driven marketing mindset and leads to improved results.
An important area of data in B2B prospecting is Total Addressable Market, or TAM. This is a calculation of the total number of prospects that are available in your target market. There are several methods for computing TAM. Once it has been defined, the TAM can be segmented into smaller lists of prospects. These segments can then be targeted through the sales and marketing prospecting methods listed above.
If you would like to learn more about B2B data, we have created a library of resources. Please see the links below 👇
Technology is an excellent driver of B2B prospecting. Sales activities such as cold calling, outbound emails, social selling and sales cadences can be automated. Marketing activities such as PPC, content marketing and email marketing are all dependent on technology. Without technology, B2B prospecting would not be nearly as effective, if not impossible.
Technology can also be used to measure, optimise and report on B2B prospecting activities. The insights that B2B prospecting tools can give to sales and marketing teams are often invaluable.
In recent years, there has been a significant growth in sales and marketing technology, especially in the B2B sector. Many tools and solutions are now available and can assist with almost any B2B prospecting task. A high percentage of these tools are delivered by the software as a service, or SaaS, model. There are also many powerful sales and marketing tools which are free to use.
We have published several resources on the topic of B2B technology. You will find the links below 👇
The ultimate B2B sales tech stack | The ultimate B2B marketing tech stack | What are the benefits of a B2B technology stack? | How to buy B2B tech the right way | 20 awesome - and free - B2B marketing tools
We have collated our B2B sales and marketing webinars, whitepapers, playbooks and eBooks. Scroll down for more 👇
Find out how to keep outbound sales going during challenging economic times. Senior members of Cognism Sales share their advice.
How can you step up your cold calling game? We discussed this with 3 experts in our 2020 cold calling masterclass.
A sales guidebook specifically for SaaS. Learn 3 simple steps to help you formulate a winning sales strategy and outsell the competition.
The demand generation process, broken down into 7 easy strategies. An unmissable handbook for data-driven B2B/SaaS marketers.
The ultimate content marketing playbook, written in collaboration with some of the world's leading B2B/SaaS content marketers.
Go beyond the hype and gain clear, practical advice for advancing your ABM efforts. Written in collaboration with a world-class team of ABM specialists.
Learn the demand generation strategies as used by the world's best B2B SaaS businesses. Our eBook will help you drive, nurture and retain key prospects.
What goes into building and scaling B2B outbound? In this guide, we open our vault and share our tactics for successful sales.
B2B data is a vital component for fuelling business growth. This eBook will tell you everything you need to know about business data.
What benefits can you expect to see from B2B sales and marketing tech stacks? We explain how to select and optimise technology for scaling and growth.
If you would like to see how Cognism can power your B2B prospecting strategy with globally-compliant data and a proprietary all-in-one platform, get in touch with us today. Simply register your interest at the link below 👇