Develop a Contact Strategy

Learning Objectives

After completing this module, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify how to segment prospect accounts.
  • Understand messaging for specific contacts.

When using a strategic approach to prospecting, it’s important to understand which people and companies to target. There is a big difference between reaching out to as many people as possible in the hopes that a small percentage of them respond positively and creating a much smaller list of prospects that have a greater potential to be interested in what is offered.

Segment Your Accounts

It isn’t possible to give everyone the same level of attention. The Salesforce teams segment their prospect accounts into three tiers.

  • Tier 1 are those most likely to be interested and actually purchase. They are the ones you'll likely want to focus on with a high-touch approach.
  • Tier 2 are those that may not be ready for that level of engagement, but can be developed with a little effort.
  • Tier 3 are the larger pool of prospects that definitely require nurturing before they’re ready to enter the sales pipeline.

Having accounts segmented into these three categories helps with prioritizing, focusing time, and customizing the approach.

“Identify 5 Tier 1 accounts that you want to get into each month and spend the first day of each month researching each account and developing a customized 5+ touch contact strategy for each of them.”

—John Barrows, owner of JBarrows Sales Training

Develop Your Messages

Reaching out to prospective customers is never a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Customers are more knowledgeable than ever, and are looking for salespeople to understand them and their businesses. This gives them confidence that you can provide an effective solution that is customized both to them and their customers. When creating messages, look at who to target. Don't just focus on one level. Look at all levels of the company you're targeting to ensure the right people are engaged in the process. Personas can be developed by looking at your existing customers, identifying who is most frequently engaged in the buying process, for example, IT directors, VPs of sales, and VPs of marketing at medium-sized technology companies.

Pen writing on paperWith an understanding of the three roles critical to this example, you start by developing the right messages for each role. Messages that grab attention are:

  • Short
  • Specific
  • Results-driven
  • Conversational
  • Positive (both in their message and energy)
  • Inspiring
  • Unique (demonstrate the benefits of doing business with you)
  • Beneficial to the prospect (address “What’s in it for me?”)

There’s a lot of advice out there on how to develop messaging, most of it great. Just make sure the messaging you develop is something you’d respond to personally. If you wouldn’t respond to your own message, your prospects certainly won’t. Now that you have a better contact strategy, in the next unit we talk about when and how to reach out.


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