Advanced Sales Prospecting (ASP) is a methodology for helping sales professionals to identify and create qualified opportunities and build healthy sales pipelines.

Solution Prospecting

This methodology introduces sophisticated methods and skills for developing sales pipelines of sufficient volume and quality, to ensure achievement of goals and maintain consistently high levels of performance.

While the essential principles and methods for effective prospecting are included in the Solution Selling in the Collaborative Era program, ASP introduces more advanced prospecting skills. As a result, ASP is ideal for sellers for whom continuous business development is a critical success factor.

ASP focuses entirely on practical prospecting methods. It is not a territory or account planning program, but it is entirely complementary to those sales planning methodologies.

ASP is based on a repeatable process which includes practical methods and tools for developing sellers’ prospecting skills:

Effective Business Development Process

Effective Business Development Process

Intended Audiences

ASP is designed for any sales professional who must develop and maintain a significant volume of sales prospects, in order to achieve sales goals and ensure consistent levels of performance over time. Specifically, ASP is well suited for:

  • Salespeople (account managers, consultants, etc.) – ASP provides value to anyone in a direct sales role, regardless of what products or services they are selling.
  • Sales management – First- and second-line sales managers will find value in ASP, as it will provide options for helping sellers to build their sales pipelines and to enable them to coach sellers more effectively about prospecting issues.

What is included in the Advanced Sales Prospecting program?

Program Objectives

Designed to provide a repeatable methodology for building sufficient sales pipeline volume and quality, ASP enables sales professionals to:

  • Use advanced prospecting methods to find and create new sales opportunities, including micro-marketing, social selling, and personal brand development
  • Improve prospect targeting and messaging for business development
  • Improve initial opportunity qualification and disqualification
  • Increase consideration rate and qualified opportunities in the pipeline
  • Increase the efficiency in the use of company resources for prospecting

Multiple Delivery Modality Options

ASP can be learned through live instructor-led training (ILT) workshops or via virtual instructor-led training (vILT) sessions, either supported by complementary online eLearning content. We find that incorporating a mix of delivery modalities produces the best results for methods mastery and skill development.

For ILT and vILT delivery, each SPI instructor has been certified to rigorous standards, and they each bring at least 15 years of sales or sales management experience to ensure their credibility and enhance facilitated discussions. Alternatively, SPI can certify client instructors for in-house delivery and coaching, at the client’s option.

Workshop Topical Agenda

ASP is a modular program, designed to be tailored to the unique requirements of each client. The standard instructor-led ASP workshop is a one-day, highly interactive program, and incorporates online eLearning and in-classroom application tools. The standard workshop includes:

Business Development Key Concepts

  • Objectives
    • Describe the importance that business development plays in their organization
    • Articulate the importance of create opportunities instead of responding to active ones
    • Describe the steps of an effective business development process

Planning for the Business Development Strategy

  • Objectives
    • Employee best practices around pre-call planning
    • Answer: How much prospecting do I need to do to reach my goal
    • Identify what they need to know in order to effectively target prospects
    • Leverage specific sources to conduct customer research
    • Identify and define a prospect’s pain, how it flows throughout their organization, and how this can help with targeting
  • Exercises
    • Create an account profile and build a Pain Chain® (showing organizational interdependence of critical business issues)

Prepare the Business Development Strategy

  • Objectives
    • Describe the keys to effective business development and elements to avoid when prospecting
    • Describe best practices for executing sales-driven and marketing-driven business development strategies
    • Discuss the 4 key components of a sound business development strategy
    • Use specific job aids to attempt to stimulate interest with prospective buyers including: Business development letters and prompters, reference stories, and value propositions
  • Exercises
    • Build a reference story
    • Construct a targeted value proposition
    • Develop a business development strategy

Practice Executing the Strategy and Addressing Road Blocks

  • Objectives
    • Explore tactics for addressing roadblocks in their plan such as:
      • How to get out of “voicemail jail”
      • How to address gatekeepers
      • How to leverage influencers and referrals
    • Practice executing the “stimulating interest” component of their business development strategy
  • Exercises
    • Road block best practices
    • Executing components of the business development strategy
      Prepare use of a prompter– part 1
    • Executing components of the business development strategy
      Role-play use of a prompter and reference story – part 2

Perform the Business Development Strategy

  • Objectives
    • Identify the key decisions prospective buyers make during a first call or meeting
    • Articulate tactics for aligning with prospective buyers leading to the admission of pain
    • Use specific job aids to assist in navigating the steps of a first call or meeting
  • Exercises
    • Call introduction and get pain admitted role-play

Follow-Up

  • Objectives
    • Clearly articulate what customer information needs to be provided when “handing off” an opportunity
    • Develop a Lead Letter documenting business issue (pain) reasons and next steps back to the prospect
    • Getting started

ASP is a hands-on workshop, designed to apply lessons to a target account and opportunity, so that the participant leaves with a business development plan (opportunity-focused) aimed at stimulating interest with a live, real world prospect.

Instructional Materials

The ASP workshop is designed with adult learning principles in mind. The program’s instructional materials facilitate participant understanding by using a mix of media to transmit and reinforce key learning points. SPI provides full-color training content in electronic interactive workbooks, for use on participants’ mobile devices or laptop computers, as well as color reference charts, animated presentations, and video content, where appropriate.

Useful Sales Prospecting Tools and Job Aids

As participants complete the in-workshop exercises, they capture the results in useful tools. After the ASP workshop, sellers can use the tools on an ongoing basis for application in their own territories and accounts.

The tools and job aids provided in the ASP program toolkit include:

  • Pipeline Analysis Worksheet – a tool for analyzing potential productivity gaps in a sales pipeline and determining the amount of business development required
  • Account Profile – a document that captures key criteria for a target company, including the likely challenges they are facing
  • Key Players List – a listing by industry of important job titles along with the likely critical business issues which each job title will likely face
  • Pain Chain™ – a graphical depiction of the cause-and-effect relationship of critical business issues (“pains”) inside an organization
  • Business Development Tools – targeted scripts/prompters used to increase a seller’s success rate at stimulating buyer curiosity and interest
  • Results Story – provides a seller with compelling business insights that build credibility with a buyer, and illustrates how the seller can provide value to the buyer
  • Initial Value Proposition – a statement which projects the potential quantified benefit (value) a client could realize through the implementation of a specific capability or solution.
  • Business Development Strategy Worksheet – a tool for developing the most effective messaging for stimulating a prospect’s interest and identifying the best vehicles for transmission of the messages
  • Sales Conversation Prompter (also known as the Situational Fluency Prompter®) – guides sellers through effective, insightful, and collaborative conversations with buyers
  • Follow-up Communications – templates for post-meeting messages sent by the seller which document and confirm buyer visions in the purchasing organization
  • 30/60/90-Day Implementation Plan – a planning tool for getting started with advanced sales prospecting principles successfully

Strategic Value

Advanced Sales Prospecting provides sales professionals with a repeatable and practical methodology and skills for generating a higher volume and quality of sales opportunities. The outcomes of this methodology are higher levels of revenues, increased sales goal attainment rate, more efficient use of business development resources, and more predictable future revenues.

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