B2B Prospecting is the first step of a sales cycle.
B2B Prospecting is the first step of a sales cycle.

B2B Prospecting: 6 Proven Approaches to Increase Sales

Raquel Teng

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get the latest news from Sapiengraph

B2B Prospecting is the first step of a sales cycle. It refers to the process of identifying the potential customers (prospects) within the B2B domain. B2B prospecting is undoubtedly the most crucial phase in the sales cycle. Only after identifying potential customers can one proceed to the next steps, whether it’s making a phone call or sending an email.

How to start B2B prospecting

Imagine you are an account executive at Stripe, a software-as-a-service company that offers online payment to any business size. You are responsible for the US market. You only have 24 hours a day like everyone else, so identifying prospects with higher buying potential to work on is the very first step.

You’ve decided that the ICPs, or prospects, are startups. Since startups may not have built well-functioning payment systems and have lower opportunity costs to replace their current ones, they will be more open to new payment solutions. And a startup with enough funding would probably have more buying power. This is the target you want to work on. How do you find out the prospects that match the criteria?

This is where B2B prospecting tools come in. With B2B prospecting tools, you can either enrich the data of your existing prospects to identify if they are startups that recently closed a round of funding. You can also use B2B prospecting tools to source prospects that are not currently in your database.

How to identify prospects that match your criteria

Let’s use Sapiengraph to help you filter the prospects to work on. In case you haven’t heard of Sapiengraph, it’s a Google Sheets add-on that offers custom formulas for users to pull and enrich B2B data. This is the tool that can help you do B2B prospecting properly.

To get started, sign up for an account and you will get 100 free trial credits (the credits are for pulling data, as one piece of data costs one credit). Then you need to install the Google Sheets add-on and the browser extension. That’s all, you are all set. You can start finding the prospects.

As an account executive at Stripe responsible for the US market, you want to find out the companies that are based in the US. As mentioned earlier in the article, you want to target startups that recently closed a round of funding because they will likely have the need and money to invest in building a payment system.

To get this list, we can use this company search formula:


US is the country. 10 is the number of companies returned. “2021-12-31” means the companies that closed the round of funding in 2022 and onward. 1000000 is the fund raised (in USD). And 2019 is the companies that were founded after 2019.


See, you get a list of companies that match your criteria.


Now you want to reach out to the people who are more likely the decision-makers for using Stripe. Stripe requires website integration, it will involve engineers. And since startups are usually small companies, the CTOs can be the ones who evaluate new system implementations. From the list, we want to find out who the CTO is at KAID Health. We can use the lookup formula:

=SG_LOOKUP_ROLE("cto","KAID Health")

You know whom to reach out to.



You have learned how to source prospects and enrich the data of prospects, let’s learn some methods for better B2B prospecting to increase your sales. We cover six proven approaches you can adopt.

Account-based selling

Decision-making in the B2B purchase process is usually complicated and involves multiple stakeholders. It’s important to do account-based selling, rather than just focus on one person.

For example, to implement a payment system like Stripe, the CTO at a startup may be the key decision-maker as he or she has to ensure the system can be seamlessly integrated with the website. However, the principal engineer can be the one who will do the hands-on work of implementation. You might not want to miss the person. The CEO could also be another important stakeholder, because the CEO manages the budget, and has the final word on the purchase.

Identify all the decision-makers in the process, and try to understand their pain points, concerns, and goals respectively. With a comprehensive understanding, you will have a clear picture of what your target company wants, and provide a more customized pitch and solution accordingly.

Bonus tip: use Sapiengraph to find out all the employees in the target company

Yes, Sapiengraph is a powerful data enrichment tool to help B2B prospecting in many dimensions. To identify the different stakeholders within the KAID Health, you can use the formula below:




There you go. You get a list of the current employees. Next, you can use the job title formula to identify their positions and contact those who might be involved in the purchase process.

=SG_PERSON_WORK("LinkedIn Profile URL", "title")

Customize email

B2B prospecting is all about understanding the prospects you want to work on. Thus when you reach out to prospects through email, personalize the content instead of sending a sample email to everyone.

For example, what might be the pain point of this specific prospect? Is there any big news related to the prospect’s business or industry? And of course, always include your prospect’s name. Creating personalized email content can make the prospects feel more understood, and are more likely to build a relationship with you.

Bonus tip: how to find a prospect’s email address

You have a list of prospects you want to reach out to, only to find out that you don’t have their email addresses or the email addresses are not updated. What should you do?

Don’t give up at this stage. Sapiengraph can do this for you too. You can utilize this formula:




And you get the email addresses of prospects to continue the outreach!

Cold call

Cold calling is when a salesperson reaches out to potential customers who have not interacted with the company or product offered. Cold calling can be challenging, but there are some ways to help you increase the success rate.

Keep it short and sweet

Since you’re a stranger to the prospects, they may not have the patience to talk for too long. Get to the point quickly.

Research and customize the script

A script can help you be fluent and confident. But just like writing an email, instead of using a template script, try to research the prospect and adjust the script accordingly. This will make your phone call more personalized, rather than spamming random people.

Listen to the prospects

If the prospect is willing to talk, let them explain their pain points and what they are looking for. This will not only build the relationship between both parties but also help you identify if your products or services align with their need.

Bonus tip: use Sapiengraph to find phone numbers

Yes, Sapinegraph can also find your prospects’ phone numbers if it’s not in your database. This is the formula you can use:




Develop a presence on LinkedIn

You might wonder about the correlation between your LinkedIn presence and B2B prospecting. Here’s the thing: sales thrive on trust, and LinkedIn is a great social media platform to build your authority and credibility in your professional domains, especially in the products or services you work for. Those who engage with your sharing are more likely to have a genuine interest in your product or service. So when you reach out to them, they may already heard of you, or be familiar with what you are offering. It will be easier for you to continue the conversation.

Work with marketing team

Sometimes, the leads in your company are generated from marketing campaigns, so aligning with the marketing team is crucial. Working closely with the marketing team to ensure the marketing campaigns target the right audience and the content is tailored to the pain points of ICPs. The alignment can get more quality leads to smoother B2B prospecting.

Manage your prospects properly

You’ve identified the prospects to work on. You are putting your effort into nurturing them. But work is not done here. You need to organize the data and track them structurally. That’s where the CRM tool comes in handy.

With a proper CRM tool, you can store all the data and remarks from prospect interactions in one place. The data will provide insights into how you work on the prospects, the better approach to adopt, and the customized solutions you can offer.

There are many CRM tools available in the market, but we want to introduce Sapiengraph’s Google Sheets template here. First, it’s completely free. Second, it’s integrated with the data enrichment functionality of Sapiengraph, so you can find prospects' data and track them in one place.

To get started, open and make a copy of this spreadsheet

In the tab “Add New Lead”, add the prospect’s LinkedIn profile URL you want to enrich and press the button “add to CRM”. The data will show in the tab “Leads CRM”.

Now here’s the most fun part. In the tab “Leads CRM”, tick the box in column B and click the button “enrich”. And see, you get all the information about the prospects you need.

Of course, you can customize the Google Sheets template to tailor your needs. You can also read the full guides on how to use this Google Sheets template.

B2B Prospecting: a rewarding journey

As the purchase in B2B typically takes longer time, the prospecting process could be long and sometimes frustrating. But the bigger the deal, the more accomplished you'll feel. With the proper prospecting methods, you can enhance the success rate of sealing deals. Sapiengraph is here to support you in this journey. Try it for yourself, and start with better approaches to B2B prospecting!

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get the latest news from Sapiengraph

Raquel Teng

Latest Articles

Here’s what we’ve been up to recently.