Prospecting is a Waste of Your Time

The average salesperson spends a mere one-quarter of their day actually selling your product or service. The rest is spent on tasks like prospecting. What if we told you this never-ending prospecting battlefield was a waste of your time?
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As a business, you need a steady stream of purchase-hungry decision-makers in your pipeline. For every new conversion that your sales team happily secures, you need an avalanche of leads to continue the profit-bearing train of goodness. But prospecting isn’t always easy. Forty percent of salespeople believe that prospecting is the single most challenging part of their jobs. And for good reason. Prospecting is a time-consuming, resource-intensive, and tedious process. You have to pour through target audiences, scour every available decision-maker for fit, desire, and intent, and discover which audiences generate the most consistent and valuable leads. It’s a handful.

So where does that leave sales objectives like, well…selling?

Often, by the wayside. The average salesperson spends a mere one-quarter of their day actually selling your product or service. The rest is spent on tasks like prospecting. What if we told you this never-ending prospecting battlefield was a waste of your time? In fact, the very last thing your salespeople should be focused on is prospecting. And here’s why.

The Importance of Prospecting

Get this: 72 percent of companies with fewer than 50 new opportunities each month failed to meet their revenue goals.

When companies reach over 50 opportunities, that chance of failure shrinks to 15%. And once you hit 100 or more opportunities, you have a 96% chance of meeting revenue goals. In other words, prospecting is the first step to meeting your sales quoata. 

But not all prospecting is done equally. Dozens of new prospects in your sales funnel are ultimately worthless if they’re the wrong targets. It’s not only vital that you generate leads, you need to generate qualified leads. Quality lead generation targets the right people with the most effective strategy, optimizing conversions and setting your sales team up for success. 

So if prospecting is key to meeting revenue goals, why are so many companies failing to win at prospecting? And why are salespeople tearing their hair out in an effort to chase down the right lead?

Prospecting: The Great Time Sink

When we look at the time commitment prospecting requires, it’s mind-boggling. Before your salespeople can even begin the prospecting journey, you need an arsenal of tools, including:

  • Buyers’ personas
  • Target audiences
  • Segmentation data
  • Lead enrichment tools
  • Sales enablement tools
  • etc.

Once you’ve spent a good chunk of blood, sweat, and tears developing these materials, you need to leverage your data and tools to find the right prospects at the right place and time. Your strategy will naturally vary from person to person, from persona-to-persona, and it takes time to get it right. For example, 80 percent of prospects want to talk to you via email, 50 percent want to talk on the phone, 34 percent like industry events, 21 percent want to chat over LinkedIn, 21 percent are open to text messages, and 18 percent love alternative social channels. Where does your audience fall?

Where you connect with your audience matters, but so does your timing. Around 20 percent want to connect during the awareness stage, and 60 percent want to connect during the consideration phase. The final 20 percent waits until the decision stage to finally connect. In other words, 80 percent of prospects want to talk to you during the nurturing phase. All the while, it takes around 18 calls to connect with a prospect. Worse yet, even with the best-possible sales enablement tools and a world-class segmentation strategy, around 50 percent of your prospects are going to be a poor fit. 

So, now you need to spend time weeding out poor fit prospects and refilling the pipeline with promising leads. Keep in mind that all of these are rolling tasks; everyday, the clock resets. And here’s the scary part: prospecting is only one part of your salespeoples’ jobs. They also have to close. What often happens is that salespeople burn themselves out on prospecting, forcing them to miss actual sales. Or, salespeople ignore prospecting duties in favor of conversions, minimizing incoming leads in the pipeline.

It’s a problem—a big one. Prospecting is crucially important. But it’s also a massive time sink. So what’s the alternative?

The Role of Sales Development Reps for Prospecting

Your sales people should be able to focus on doing what they do best : selling.

Does it really make sense to salespeople burn through their resources on lead generation? Sales development representatives (SDRs) are reps that focus specifically on prospecting and lead qualification. They research prospects, build robust targeting lists, create sales-driven content, manage enablement tools, and perform prospect outreach. SDR’s have one objective in mind – to send hyper-qualified leads directly to your sales team.

In other words, SDRs handle prospecting and pass qualified leads down to close-ready salespeople — letting salespeople focus on sales. Obviously, most small and mid-market companies can’t afford SDRs. The cost of onboarding, training, supplying tech, and creating new systems is massive. So, they rely on salespeople to handle both jobs — continuing the cycle of distracted sales cycles. But there’s another way.

Introducing Sapper Bionic SDR 

Are you struggling to get in front of the right prospects? Is your sales team spread too thin? Despite having a team of high performers, are you missing your sales quotas? We can help.

Sappers’ Bionic SDR solution provides world-class SDRs for your business, on-demand. Our amazing SDRs research prospects, identify the right traits and behaviors for targeted lists, create effective and sales-worthy content, and manage the entire prospecting tech stack. Our SDRs manage your sales funnel to provide consistent, qualified leads for your salesteam. 

Not only is our SDR solution far more cost-effective than in-house onboarding and training, but we bring best-in-class strategies and renowned skills to your business — regardless of your size or industry. In fact, we cater each SDR team to your unique sales ecosystem, focusing on your ideal prospects and industry-specific obstacles.

Don’t waste your resources finding leads; spend time converting them. Let us handle the repetitious and highly manual prospecting process. Are you ready to bolster your sales ecosystem? Contact us to learn more about our Sapper Bionic service.

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About The Author

About Sapper Consulting

Sapper's sales prospecting team becomes a natural extension of your existing sales efforts, helping you find new leads that are a great fit for your business.

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