How to Choose the Best Sales Prospecting Tools for Your Business

By Holly Zoba, Owner, Scout Simply

Hotel sales reps need to be using the best tools available to prospect for new business. In this article, we will explore tools sales reps can use to find prospects, share content and build their pipeline.

When trying to find prospects, any of these tools will allow you to create filters to help you pinpoint your ideal audience:

  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator
  • Hoover’s
  • ZoomInfo

Before you sign up for any of those services though, you want to ask (and answer) a few key questions such as: What are you planning on doing with this list? Will you call them? Email them? Mail them a letter? All these approaches can work well, but my advice would be to connect with them on LinkedIn. If you call, email or reach out via snail mail, you are sort of one-and-done. If you can make them a part of your LinkedIn network, you can start a long-term relationship with them.

Does that mean you should bombard their LinkedIn inbox with sales pitches? Absolutely not. (Please don’t — I am literally begging you.) Even if you are a hotel in the middle of Kansas with meeting space that can accommodate 4,000 people, and you connect with someone who has a need for a meeting space in the middle of Kansas for 4,000 — if you connect and sell, you still won’t get their business because they will think you are obnoxious.

Instead, connect and if you must send them a note, thank them for the connection and tell them you hope they find it beneficial. And that is it.

You can still get their attention, but in a far less pesky salesperson sort of way. Your goal is to be beneficial to your prospects — of value. A great resource, their go-to person. You are much more likely to find and close the business if your prospecting goals include positioning yourself in this light.

How can you do that? By posting valuable content that matters to your prospects. How can you find this content? There are tools for that too:

  • SparkToro
  • BuzzSumo
  • ContentGems

These tools work in different ways, but they are all helpful. Sparktoro tells you what people in any particular industry are talking about, including what websites they look at and what social sites they visit. It is a great way to get a lightning-fast education on a new industry you are trying to learn.

Buzzsumo and ContentGems both focus on sharing articles and videos that have been published, along with how popular they have been. For example, I could look up sales prospecting, find hundreds of articles on the topic and see the ones that have gotten the most attention. Those articles would probably be worth sharing. Make sure you read them first and ensure they provide content that will be appealing to your audience.

Next, write a compelling intro to the content you are sharing. Don’t just share an article and think because you posted it, everyone will read it. Give them a reason to read it. If you have multiple client types in your network, make sure your intro begins with the audience that might benefit. Here is an example:

For all of my meeting planner friends, here is a great article about avoiding mistakes when planning a hybrid meeting.

Clear, simple, and compelling.

Before you share that link though, here is one more tool I recommend: Sniply.

Similar to Bitly, Sniply creates a unique link so you can track how many people click on your article. But my favorite part is the pop-up call to action that allows you to lead your audience back to your website or landing page. You can change the photo, text, and link, but here is what it might look like:

Sniply also tracks how many people click on your link so you can test and see what content and what call to action gets you the most conversions.

Once you have established something of a relationship with your prospects, then you send them a message, and I never do that until I consult my favorite prospecting tool, Crystal Knows. It is a little bit like magic, but it is really just a little modern technology. Crystal Knows is an app that will research prospects for you and give you helpful advice about how to sell to them, based on their personality type.

Here is a sample of how Crystal Knows suggests you sell to me:

Crystal Knows will also give you advice on how to open an email, subject line, body, and closing, and even what call to action might work best.

These are some of the best tools available to hotel sales reps for prospecting. With these, you will be able to find new leads and increase your business pipeline.

To learn more about these tools as well as the best strategies for how to use them, register for HSMAI’s Hotel Digital Sales Essentials, a six-week class led by Holly Zoba.

Categories: Sales
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