Prospecting Plan Template to Build Your Dream Pipeline

min read
June 25, 2024

You've tried every prospecting technique in the book: cold calls, social media outreach, and endless networking events. But are you still struggling to generate qualified leads? 

The truth is even the most effective tactics fall flat without a strategic plan.

I’ve put together a Sales Prospecting Plan Template based on real-world sales best practices. It’ll help you: 

  • Get started 
  • Stay focused and organized 
  • Tailor your outreach
  • Discover essential KPIs 

Download the template now (No sign-up required!)

But just don’t stop at the template. Read this article to know how you can make the most of it!

What Is a Sales Prospecting Plan? 

Think of it as your prospecting roadmap. It outlines the strategies, tactics, and tools you'll use to find and connect with potential customers who are a perfect fit for your product or service.

Why do you need one? Because without a plan, you may:

  • Waste time chasing unqualified leads.
  • Miss out on valuable sales opportunities.
  • Feel lost and unsure of what steps to take next.

How to Create a Sales Prospecting Plan? 

1. Set clear achievable goals 

Sure, the ultimate goal is to build a solid pipeline but that's too broad.

A better approach would be to break it down into specific, achievable steps that guide your daily actions. Here’s how I do it: 

Say you need to add 50 high-quality leads to your pipeline within a month. 

Reverse Engineer Your Success:

  1. Conversion Rates: Historically, what's your conversion rate for turning conversations with prospects into qualified leads? Let's assume it's 10% (meaning 10 conversations = 1 qualified lead).
  2. Conversations Needed: To get 50 qualified leads, you'll need to have 50 qualified leads / 10% conversion rate = 500 conversations with potential customers.
  3. Daily Conversations: There are 4 weeks in a month, with an average of 20 business days per month (4 weeks * 5 business days/week = 20 business days). This means you need to have an average of 500 conversations / 20 business days = 25 conversations per business day.
  4. Actionable Goals: Now, translate conversations into daily prospecting activities based on your experience.

For example, If your average call conversion rate to a conversation is 20% (meaning 1 out of 5 calls leads to a conversation), you'd need to make 25 conversations / 20% call conversion rate = 125 calls per day.

You don’t just have to rely on cold calls (we’ll talk more about that below). My point is your conversion rates, and prospecting methods will vary. 

The key is to use your own historical data to set realistic, activity-based goals that will keep you consistently filling your pipeline with high-quality leads.

2. Create a Prospect Profile  

Who are you trying to reach? Understanding your ideal prospect's demographics, challenges, and buying behavior is key. This will help you tailor your message for maximum impact.

Here's what to consider when creating a sales prospect profile:

  1. Demographics: Industry, company size, job title
  2. Challenges: Their pain points and what keeps them up at night
  3. Solutions: How your product or service addresses those challenges
  4. Buying Behavior: How they make purchasing decisions
  5. Value Proposition: Why should they choose you over the competition?

3. Find target accounts

You can use trial sign-ups, MQLs, referrals, leads you get from attending events or hosting webinars, G2 data, and a lot more to find target accounts. 

Here’s how you can decide what prospecting methods you need to pursue: 

  1. Check historical data to see what has worked in the past. 
  2. Follow the 80/20 rule. Spend 80% of your time on tried and tested channels, but also reserve 20% of your time for experimenting with new channels.  

For example: Historical data shows that conducting webinars, asking for referrals, using G2 buyer intent data, or LinkedIn Sales Navigator has given you promising leads. You can definitely double down your efforts there. But don’t shy away from trying new approaches like:

  • Creating a social media presence 
  • Creating thought leadership content 
  • Embedding demos on high-intent website pages like homepage, support docs, ad landing pages, etc. 

Our data shows that 90% of these demo viewers book a meeting, and these are all high-intent leads. 

4. Create an Outreach Strategy

Select the communication channels and platforms where your target audience is most active and receptive to your messages.

Once you nail down the platforms, focus on personalizing your outreach. 

Just adding the prospect’s name in the subject line won’t help. You need to understand what the prospect desires and reach out accordingly. 

Check out their latest industry news, their social media activity (LinkedIn, Twitter, industry forums), and any recent company announcements.

Now create a personalized email, talk-track, or LinkedIn message template and add it to your prospect plan. 

5. Finalize a Follow-up Cadence 

Don't let your outreach efforts fizzle out after one message! 

Create a strategic follow-up cadence to ensure you stay top-of-mind and secure a conversation. Here’s an example: 

Day 1: Email your initial outreach

Day 3: Follow up on a different channel, like  LinkedIn. Reference your shared connection or a relevant comment on a recent post.

Day 5: Send a second email with a fresh perspective. Briefly mention your previous outreach and offer a value-prop, like a relevant case study, industry report, or a micro-demo. 

Day 7: If no response, consider a final email expressing your appreciation for their time and offering a free downloadable resource related to the article's theme. State your availability for a call. 

Pro tip: Use engagement data to prioritize and refine your outreach strategy. For example:

If you emailed 25 prospects:

  • 5 opened the email
  • 3 opened and clicked a link in the email
  • 2 opened, clicked a link, and accepted a LinkedIn connection request

The last two prospects show higher intent and should be prioritized. Consider:

  • Multi-threading: Reach out to multiple stakeholders within the same organization
  • Multi-channeling: Use cold calling after day 7, armed with the engagement history

6. Finalize KPIs

Prospecting success goes beyond just the number of leads generated. 

Some key performance indicators (KPIs) that often get overlooked but can provide valuable insights are:

  • Emails - Open rates, Reply rates and CTRs
  • LinkedIn - Connection requests sent vs accepted, reply rates
  • Cold calls - Connect through rates, response rates

The idea is to set up KPIs that measure lead quality, engagement, cost of acquisition, and conversion rates. 

7. Select Prospecting Tools 

While the exact mix will vary depending on your specific needs and budget, here are some prospecting tools most sales teams use. 

  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management): HubSpot CRM, Salesforce, Zoho CRM
  • Lead Database & Enrichment: ZoomInfo, LeadGenius,
  • Product Demo & Presentation Tools: Storylane, Saleo, Demoboost
  • Market Research: G2 Crowd, Gartner Peer Insights, Forrester Research
  • Social Selling: LinkedIn Sales Navigator,
  • Email Outreach & Sequencing:, Yesware,
  • Cold Calling Tools: Aircall, RingCentral, Close

8. Fine-tune Your Plan 

Prospecting isn't a one-and-done deal. It's a continuous process of learning and improvement. With each call, email, and outreach attempt, you gather valuable data. Use this intel to:

  • Refine your ideal customer profile (ICP): Are you targeting the right audience?
  • Optimize your messaging: What resonates with your prospects?
  • Identify the best outreach channels: Where are you getting the most traction?
  • Adjust your follow-up cadence: How many touches are ideal?
  • Improve your lead qualification process: Are you attracting high-quality leads?

If you’re a sales manager, use the KPIs and learnings to also identify areas where reps might need coaching. 

Here are 9 sales coaching techniques that really work

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are some effective sales prospecting methods beyond cold calling and emailing? 

While cold calling and emailing are common, consider these additional prospecting methods:

  • Social selling on platforms like LinkedIn
  • Hosting webinars or virtual events
  • Creating valuable content to attract inbound leads
  • Leveraging referral programs
  • Attending industry trade shows and conferences
  • Using chatbots on your website for lead qualification

2. How often should I update my sales prospecting plan? 

It's best to review and update your plan quarterly. However, be prepared to make adjustments more frequently if you notice significant changes in your market or if your current strategies aren't yielding the desired results.

3. What's the ideal number of touches before giving up on a prospect? 

While this can vary depending on your industry and target audience, most sales experts recommend between 6-8 touches across multiple channels before moving on. 

However, always prioritize quality over quantity in your outreach efforts.

4. What should I do if my prospecting efforts aren't yielding results? 

First, review your data to identify where in the process you're losing prospects. 

Then, consider A/B testing different elements of your strategy – such as your messaging, outreach channels, or target audience definition. Don't be afraid to seek feedback from prospects who didn't convert to gain valuable insights.

5. What are signs that I need to review my sales prospecting plan? 

Look out for these indicators:

  • Consistently failing to meet your prospecting goals
  • High lead acquisition costs with low conversion rates
  • Significant changes in your target market or industry
  • Feedback from your sales team about difficulties in reaching or engaging prospects
  • A sudden drop in your pipeline quality or quantity
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"Previously, there was scope for error and we’ve gone from a process that could be time consuming and painful to a process that’s super quick."

"Previously, there was scope for error and we’ve gone from a process that could be time consuming and painful to a process that’s super quick."


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