Successful canvassing: everything you need to know


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Commercial canvassing has undergone many changes.

Commercial solicitation is easily associated with telephone calls. However, cold calling is a completely outdated method, both in B2B and B2C: its conversion rate does not exceed 1 % !

However, with the right sales techniques in place, a phone call can be a pleasure for a salesperson.

For example, emailing can generate 40 times more leads than social networks according to McKinsey: 1 € invested generates on average 35 € (in B2B). And other techniques, such as canvassing on LinkedIn, can bring extraordinary results !

What are the best practices for successful canvassing? We explain everything in this article.

Definition of commercial solicitation

Commercial canvassing consists of offering a commercial service to cold prospects. This is the commercial work that goes hand in hand with outbound marketing (getting leads). Generally, the prospect is not aware of the existence of the proposed offer (or is not too interested in it).

The objective of commercial canvassing is to arouse this interest. It can be done :

  • By email
  • On social networks
  • By mail
  • In person, in a certain context (a trade show for example)
  • By phone and with automatic voice messages

Why do commercial canvassing?

The commercial canvassing is a mandatory step if you want to make your products or services known to your targets: it allows you to know your target better and to develop your clientele.

But without precise targeting and without knowing your persona (your ideal customer), you will have disappointing results.

To increase the sales

This is the first objective of commercial canvassing: to acquire new customers to generate sales.

Commercial canvassing allows you to know your targets

When you create a product, you already define your targets: you establish a list of typical prospects.

Canvassing helps you define your potential prospects and build a more accurate database. You will then refine your offers according to their needs.

For example, you have (among others) 2 targets for your new service:

  1. SMEs with between 10 and 50 employees in the industrial sectors.
  2. Larger companies (50 to 250 employees) in the same sector.

This is a fairly new market for you. You have little experience. Either you do inbound marketing and have to wait for months before you get the first results to compare, or you approach.

When canvassing, you get the following results:


Intermediate size

Customer acquisition cost

500 €

2 500 €

Conversion rate

3,5 %

1 %

Medium basket

7 000 €

9 000 €

In view of these results, you notice that your best target is the first one: the commercial canvassing has given you the first returns from the market.

Diversify your sources of income

Some companies don’t spend much time prospecting anymore: new customers come in through inbound strategies, and existing customers stay loyal.

However, it is in your interest to continue to approach a minimum number of prospects: you should not put all your eggs in the same basket. If tomorrow word-of-mouth does not work as well, or if the loyalty of your customers decreases, you will have to set up emergency canvassing campaigns.

How to do commercial canvassing in 5 steps?

Once you have identified your leads, you will need to establish an action plan to convert them into customers. Here are the steps to follow to prospect for new customers:

  1. Information gathering
  2. The approach
  3. The presentation
  4. The proposal
  5. The recovery

1. The collection of information

Before approaching your prospects, you need to collect as much information about them as possible. This not only allows you to identify their needs, but also to facilitate contact.

While collecting information, you can categorize it. This way, you choose a personalized conversion tunnel for each of them.

Don’t collect just any contact: stay true to your personas. In In this article, we explain how to use LinkedIn events to get qualified contacts . You can also use the LinkedIn news feed .

With some scrapping tools like you can get the email addresses of your targets. With LinkedIn Sales Navigator you can also find contacts according to very specific criteria.

2. The approach and the hook

Don’t go headlong with your phone! You will waste your time: the vast majority of customers do not appreciate cold calling.

The approach is mostly to get in touch with customers: prefer email or LinkedIn connection requests. Thanks to information retrieval, you know the most effective way to get in touch with your prospect: you can personalize your messages.

With a tool like Twilead, you can create automated sales tunnels that differ by prospect category:

Twilead multi-channel sales tunnel

Personalization helps improve your conversion rates: 71 % of Internet users are frustrated when their buying journey is not personalized.

For example, with a personalized email subject line, open rates increase on average by 50%. . Twilead allows you to contact your leads automatically and in a personalized way by email.

3. The presentation

That’s it, you’ve got an appointment with your prospect! Now, you’ll have to find the right approach to hold his attention sufficiently. Thus, the interview must be prepared with care. You can introduce yourself in 3 points:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Present your company
  • Present your products and services

But don’t just talk about yourself! At least 80% of the speaking time should be for the prospect: ask questions to learn more about their issues. They will feel heard and you will get new information to make a better proposal.

4. The commercial proposal

The sales proposal should only be made when the prospect shows sufficient interest and you have a clear understanding of their needs. If you put it out there too early, the prospect will feel like you didn’t listen to them (and they’ll probably be right).

5. The recovery

Generally, a prospect does not respond directly to your proposal. He gives himself time to reflect. In order not to forget you, don’t hesitate to contact him regularly.

Do not hesitate to make several reminders: according to a Yesware study According to a study, the response rate of reminder emails remains interesting, even after many reminders: there is always 7% of responses after the 10th email!

Here are the results they got (in response rate):

results Yesware study response rate email reminder

The 4 different types of commercial canvassing

With the development of digital technology, several types of commercial canvassing have appeared. Others have disappeared completely. To help you, here are the trends in commercial canvassing.

1. Commercial door-to-door canvassing

Canvassing at home is an old practice, often inconclusive, time-consuming and unappreciated by prospects (like cold calling).

Especially since since May 2022, the practice is even more regulated .

However, it can be effective for certain specific sectors: for example, the feedback from Matera (an application to manage one’s condominium in a cooperative), which has obtained interesting results.

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2. Telephone canvassing

Again: avoid cold calling, and implement smart calling. Select, sort and prepare your leads with an upstream sales tunnel.

If you want more information about smart calling, feel free to read the book “Predictable Revenue which covers the subject very well.

3. Approach on LinkedIn

LinkedIn allows you to get in touch with selected prospects. With a strategy similar to emailing, you can generate appointments.

4. Targeted, personalized and automated cold emailing

L’ emailing is one of the most effective canvassing strategies: 90 % of Internet users check their email every day.

To be effective, you need the right tool. Rather than using one tool for LinkedIn and another for emailing, Leadin allows you to run multi-channel campaigns through email and on LinkedIn .

5 mistakes to avoid when approaching B2B

If you want to get a convincing result in B2B prospecting, there are some mistakes you should not make.

1. Not respecting the RGPD rules

To gain the trust of your prospects, you need to comply with RGPD rules. For your prospecting, use quality files with reliable data on your prospects.

2. Contacting prospects at the wrong time

Your prospects have their own rhythms. During the canvassing process, you need to know when to follow up with a prospect to avoid scaring them away and increase your chances of conversion.

A/B test your emails and follow-up messages to compare results (open and conversion rates) and try calling your prospects at different times. Depending on their profile, trends may emerge.

3. Propose a non-personalized offer

Prospects will not always give you all their information. It’s up to you to do the research and ask the right questions. When you know them well enough, you can create a customized offer that fits their needs. If you botch your research, you may not be successful with your offer.

4. Do not use other channels than canvassing

Again: consider diversifying. Implement multiple lead and customer acquisition strategies: affiliate, direct contact, SEA, etc.

If 100% of your customers come from canvassing, ask yourself questions. It may be that your offer is not generating traction.

There are several possible reasons: the product does not correspond to the needs of the market, your customers are detractors of your services, you are not targeting the right people, etc.

5. Insist if results are poor

If you don’t get good results, your acquisition cost will skyrocket. Do not insist and try to do it differently. And again, maybe your canvassing is good, but your product is not.

How to succeed in B2B canvassing?

To be successful in your business canvassing, you must:

  • Prioritize your marketing efforts
  • Learn how to handle objections
  • Automatically send voice messages by phone
  • Create a structured pipeline for each persona

Prioritize your marketing efforts

The basis of a good marketing strategy is segmentation and targeting. To avoid creating a bottleneck, feed your commercial pipe regularly. This is important to avoid a problem of stock or availability of your sales teams.

For example, don’t send 10,000 emails that will generate 200 appointments, if you can only manage 20 this week!

Learn how to handle customer objections

You need to master how to respond to the most common objections. For example, set up standard responses for each objection.

Automatically send voice messages by phone

To avoid disturbing your prospects without giving the impression of ignoring them, send automatic voice messages. Some CRM like Twilead allow you to do this .

Create a structured pipeline for each persona

The success of your marketing campaign depends largely on the approach you take with your target customer.

With an effective CRM, you have the ability to create a structured and personalized pipeline for each prospect. Above all, it must meet its needs. The creation of structured pipelines is one of the features of Twilead .

Twilead is an all-in-one CRM that replaces many other tools (website creation, emailing, contact management, sales tunnels and workflows, etc.).

You can now request a demonstration of the tool .

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