James Carbary

Founder at Sweet Fish Media

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Coffee Isn’t Just for Closers Anymore: 4 Things You Need to Know About Sales Prospecting

James Carbary

Founder at Sweet Fish Media

Full Profile »

Does your prospecting process involve cold calling a long list of leads and hoping for the best?

If so, it’s time to stop taking sales tips from Glengarry Glen Ross, and get strategic in your approach.

We talked with Scott Tretsky, VP of sales at MobileCause, a fundraising and communication software for nonprofits, about their systemized process of prospecting and the techniques they use to stand out.

Here’s how to turn your lead list into a steady stream of customers.

Reach Out On Multiple Platforms

The days of coming into the office, sitting at a desk, and solely making phone calls are over.

Sales folks have more communication channels than they can get their hands on, and it’s important to diversify outreach across multiple platforms.

Managing the different platforms can be overwhelming, so Scott shared a best practice his team uses:

Their team creates a 10-15 day timeline of when to reach out to each prospect and on which platform.

For example:

Day 1: Tweet

Day 3: LinkedIn message

Day 5: Email

Day 7: Phone Call/Voicemail

Day 10: Email

Day 15: Phone Call/Voicemail

Since this method crosses multiple platforms, measuring KPIs can be confusing. Scott’s team tracks the number of substantive conversations engaged in and how many of those are turning into opportunities.

Do Your Research

Just like any good student, sales reps need to do research on their prospects.

Understanding their business and the problems they face will put reps in a great position to present relevant solutions. Prospects should feel like the caller has done their research and can add value to what they’re doing.

Never Use The Phrase “Calling To Touch Base”

“Calling to touch base” basically tells a prospect there is no real reason for reaching out, therefore offering no value to them.“Calling to touch base” basically tells a prospect there is no real reason for calling.


Reps should always have a reason for the call, even if to simply say “I’m following up on an email I sent earlier this week.”

Having this litmus test guides reps to be thoughtful in their outreach, which leads to more quality conversations.

Reps need to reach out with intention.

Know Your Audience

When your reps make cold calls, do they use a tailor-made message or a one-size-fits-all script?

Before closing a deal, they might talk to 5-10 decision-makers, so it’s important they know the proper language to use for each contact.

The priorities of a CEO are vastly different than those of an end user, and the language used in sales conversation should reflect that.

For example, a Chief Technology Officer may ask questions like, “Can this connect to our existing SalesForce data?” or “Can you speak to the security of this product?”

Then, if you speak to the VP of Sales, he or she is going to be interested in an entirely different set of criteria.

Understanding the product from all angles will help your reps feel comfortable molding their pitch to whomever they talk to.


Effective prospecting is simple.

It’s all boils down to understanding your prospects and how to reach out to them.

If you integrate the tactics from this post, your team will be having product conversations and closing accounts in no time.

This post is based on an interview with Scott Tretsky of MobileCause[email protected]

You can find this interview, and many more, by subscribing to the B2B Growth Show on iTunes. If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode by clicking here.