6 Sales Prospecting Mistakes Beginners Make

6 Sales Prospecting Mistakes Beginners Make

Sales Acceleration


Building a sales prospecting program from scratch is anything but easy.

While there are a lot of tools available to make things simpler, chances are you’ll still make a few mistakes along the way.

Here are 6 common mistakes from my experiences building a sales prospecting program and being on the receiving end of prospecting emails.

1. Buying Email Lists

For the small startup in a hurry to get a sales prospecting program up and running, buying an email list seems like a good idea.

In reality, buying a list can start your prospecting program in the wrong way.

Purchased email lists have a .01% to .1% open rate. On top of that, MailChimp’s research shows that the more your email list correlates to a purchased list, the more spam complaints you’ll get.

Simply put, buying email lists for sales prospecting is a complete waste of time.

2. Starting with Your Entire List

Once you build a list of prospects to contact, it can be tempting to just load up your email templates and send an email to your entire list.

When you’re first starting to build a sales prospecting program, this is the wrong approach.

At the early stages of a new sales prospecting program, you should be optimizing for learning.

A better approach is to send emails to a small part of your list and use the data to improve the next batch of emails.

3. Sending Emails from Marketing Automation Tools

What’s the fastest way to find out if that email you received came from a real person? By looking for a “via” in the sent line.

If an email comes from johndoe@gmail.com via randomsite.com, it’s most likely automated.

While sending emails from a marketing automation tool you already use can help you get started faster, it makes your prospecting emails look impersonal. This means that it’s much less likely to get a reply and more likely to trigger spam filters.

4. Giving Up After First Contact

When it comes to sales, relentless persistence pays off.

Every good salesperson knows that you should always follow up.

That’s why it’s important to write effective follow up emails for your sales prospecting program.

Don’t give up if the first email you send does not get a reply. Take the time to create emails that reengage unresponsive contacts without being spammy.

Remember: 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact

5. Not Segmenting Prospects 

In email marketing, segmented emails on average get almost a 15% higher open rate.

For sales prospecting emails, segmentation can lead to even greater improvements. And you don’t need any tools or a lot of time to segment your list.

All it takes is a few extra seconds of research for each prospect.

Let’s say you’re selling marketing services to local business. You can do a quick audit of the business’ online presence and segment your list by strong vs. week presence. Then you can send more target emails to each segment.

Whatever your target market is, look for a way to segment prospects using the data you already have to send more targeted and personalized emails. 


Image via https://www.emailonacid.com/

6. Only Using Email

Cold calling may or not be dead, but emailing and then calling prospects can do wonders for your sales prospecting program.

Adding a phone calls to your prospecting program can drive engagement up for one simple reason. Phone calls and voicemails have a much higher “open rate” then emails

An email coupled with a voicemail a few days later is more effective than just a series of emails.

Tools like power dialers and voicemail drop make it easy to add a calling cadence to your prospecting program.

Power dialers let you load up a list of prospects from your CRM and automatically call each one.

With voicemail drop, you can leave the same pre-recorded voicemail for each prospect.

The cold calling 2.0 model, based on Aaron Ross’ Predictable Revenue, can work for your sales teams.

Image via https://www.forentrepreneurs.com/

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