When it comes to prospect targeting, trying to go after everyone is equivalent to getting no one. Nearly every sales team learns this the hard way — by being too ambitious and setting potential market boundaries too wide, only to scale them down later.
However, done well, prospect targeting can deliver much better results than the typical “spray and pray” strategy. For this to become reality, targeting should not just be a standalone consideration but inform all parts of your sales strategy.
Let’s see how you can quickly implement prospect targeting the right way.
Note: Let AI do the prospect targeting for you. Try Lift AI and see how it can identify the buyer intent of every single website visitor (even if they are anonymous) and connect them directly to your BDRs through chat (or other marketing tools).
The benefits of focused prospect targeting
With aggressive sales targets coming up, talking to everyone who lands on your website, opens your email, or downloads your ebook seems like the right move. More activity brings more results.
That is until you think back to the basics — what actually matters in sales. Closed deals.
All that time you spend interacting with people who have no intention to buy is not being spent on getting closer to your goal. Opportunity cost matters, and the end of the quarter is coming up.
When you focus on potential customers who are more likely to buy:
- You spend more time with each lead, getting to know them and their problems better
- You identify more immediate and long-term opportunities
- You start off the relationship in a personal way
- You improve close rate
Top-level prospect targeting is about reducing the noise and elevating conversations that actually matter.
So, how do you do that?
The best targeting tactics to use today
While more personal prospect targeting sounds great, how can sales teams actually incorporate it in their day-to-day work? Here are five useful tactics anyone can integrate into their sales to boost results.
1. Focus on messaging for true prospects
It’s easy to add entire companies to your target market just based on where they are located or how many employees they’ve got, and then have your BDRs chase after the largest potential customers on the list.
This approach, however, doesn’t tell you anything about what these companies are looking for and what kind of challenges they are facing.
Instead, prop up your prospecting list by reviewing what your best customers have in common. In fact, reach out and ask them what’s the number one problem you’ve helped them solve.
After you get to know your existing customers better, you can build a new customer persona based on what you actually excel at. Leverage this persona to create new messaging and only then apply it to your prospecting list.
2. Invert the funnel
Traditional wisdom says you should get as many leads into the sales funnel as possible and convert them step by step. The more leads come in, the more customers you have in the end.
As an experiment, instead of starting with 1,000 leads to get 10 customers, start with 50 (selected based on step one above), but spend all of your energy and attention on them. You might find that you’re able to close 15 or 20 of them, converting far more than casting the net wider at the top of the funnel.
There’s a smart way to do this — identify website visitors who are showing a strong likelihood to convert right now, then engage them in real-time using chat to convert them (see step 5).
3. Measure the process, not the steps
Sales teams love to break down the process into quantifiable tasks, such as the number of calls or demos done in a day. While it keeps the momentum going, the danger lies in forgetting that your team’s actual goal is to close sales, not simply do sales-related actions.
Instead of tracking a bunch of KPIs, make sure every BDR and account executive is holistically moving the sales process along. Did they send 20 instead of 50 emails because they were on a two-hour call with a potential client? Prioritizing quality over quantity when working a curated list of prospects is one of the best ways to improve sales results.
Your sales team will be even more happy if they could just find a way to speak with ready-to-convert leads, rather than chasing dead-ends — there’s an AI that can help with this (again, see step 5).
4. Customize messaging based on source
You’ve already customized your message based on the prospects in step one. Now, with a high volume of leads coming through various channels, from website to email to ads, it’s easy for BDRs to start replying to everyone in the same way. The same goes for doing outreach.
While writing a well-crafted email every time might not be feasible, it pays to create a few messaging templates based on where your leads are coming from and what their primary issue might be. The same is true for online chat playbooks.
If you’ve done the work outlined above, you already know your customers quite well. Now simply analyze every major channel for inquiries and create a few personalized templates your BDRs can rely on.
5. Know which leads are ready to buy with AI
Most of the prospect targeting tactics we’ve discussed so far are really about knowing your audience and prioritizing those who are more likely to buy from you.
How about letting the AI do all that work for you?
AI tools can analyze near-unlimited sets of data, 24/7, and improve as they go. AI might, for example, know which leads are ready to buy before you’ve even had a chance to interact with them, let alone identify if they’re in your prospect list.
Too good to be true? Just look at Lift AI.
Lift AI is a real-time buyer intent solution, which works with any marketing tool to identify conversion potential of every website visitor in real-time.
Featuring a unique machine-learning model trained on billions of data points, Lift AI can recognize and analyze even the smallest behavioral signals, assigning each visitor accurate buyer intent scores.
You can integrate Lift AI with your live chat software (e.g. Drift) to create custom playbooks for each level of visitor intent (high, medium, low). Lift AI would then automatically connect the highest-scoring leads directly with your BDRs, while showing a self-help guide or a nurturing bot to others.
Just imagine your BDRs only chatting with the highest-scoring leads all day long.
In fact, no need to imagine. Based on previous customer experience, it takes Lift AI just around 90 days to improve chat conversions anywhere from two to 10 times. For example, Formstack increased conversions by 420%. PointClickCare — by 400%, attributing over $1M in incremental revenue to Lift AI in the first year.
Try Lift AI free for 30 days. No credit card required. Just add a small Lift AI snippet to your website and it will auto-configure itself.
Follow the prospect targeting tactics above, together with Lift AI, for at least a month, and see what kind of results you can get without any major changes to your overall sales strategy. This is how personalization and automation can really work together.