5 types of prospecting (and how to use them to book more meetings)

In today’s newsletter, I’ll share 5 types of prospecting you can use every day to book more meetings. Salespeople often confuse prospecting with cold outreach. They believe they should only book meetings with total strangers, who have never heard of them or their solution. Focusing on cold outreach only is a recipe for disaster in 2024.

That’s why you should mix different types of prospecting, so you don’t loose your motivation. If you can integrate these types of prospecting in your daily Power Hour, you’ll start more conversations, book more meetings, and build a healthier pipeline as a result.

Let’s dive in:

Inbound prospecting

Inbound prospecting is the easiest way to book meetings. You receive a request for a demo or a call from a prospect, and your job is to be quick enough to book the meeting. It’s the type of meeting we all love booking, but here are few challenges:

  • You can’t control how many inbound leads you receive
  • When they come inbound, they are typically already speaking with other vendors
  • Most of inbound leads do not make decisions, and sales processes tend to be longer

However, if you can get some inbound leads on a regular basis, you’ll book a good amount of meetings, and you may reach your sales targets on these meetings alone (but the flow of leads could stop at any time).

Discovery prospecting

Discovery prospecting is a great type of prospecting when you’re opening a new market, or when you don’t have a product-market fit. Your goal when using this kind of prospecting is to get the prospects to join an interview so you can learn more about their problems.

It works so well because it helps salespeople go from pitching their solution to asking questions about the prospect. Here’s a simple tactic you can use to do some discovery prospecting.

Nearbound prospecting

Nearbound prospecting is all about using your network to get some introductions. It’s incredibly powerful because prospects tend to be more receptive to introductions from people they know, compared to purely cold outbound. Door-to-door salespeople use these tactics all the time, and there’s a lot we can learn from them.

For example, you can create a list of existing customers and ask for introductions to people they know. You can also create a list of inactive customers, opportunities that didn’t close, or partners and ask for introductions.

Trigger-based prospecting

This is my favorite type of prospecting. Trigger-based prospecting uses the digital footprint of your prospects to start a conversation with them. For example, if a prospect engages with a post about a problem they have on LinkedIn, you can use their engagement as an excuse to start a conversation with them.

I wrote a full guide to doing exactly that on LinkedIn.

Account-based prospecting

Finally, a lot of Enterprise SDRs are hired to do some Account-based prospecting. With this type of prospecting, you have to book meetings with prospects in designated accounts. This can be extremely challenging because some designated accounts may not have a problem you can help them solve.

However, I found this tactic to be really helpful when focusing on opening a key account.

And these are 5 types of prospecting you can use to book meetings. The secret relies on mixing them to stay motivated. If you have a target of 20 meetings per month, having zero conversations because everyone ignores your cold outreach is hard to sustain. Find some low-hanging fruits, get some easy meetings in, and everything will be easier.

Hope this helps.


Thibaut Souyris

P.S. When you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:

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