Developing a Sales Prospecting Strategy for Food Manufacturers

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There are over 40,000 food manufacturing facilities in North America that cater to countless stores, hotels, and restaurants. As a food manufacturer, standing out in this sea of competitors can be the difference between obtaining lucrative deals and struggling to close sales.

This is the reason why it’s essential for food manufacturers to have a solid sales prospecting strategy. In this article, we’ll go over the steps needed to build a strong B2B sales prospecting plan that will attract new business and ultimately build long-term relationships with valuable clients.

Defining a Sales Prospecting Strategy in Foodservice

Before delving any deeper, let’s take a moment to define prospects and the process of prospecting in this context. Prospects are individuals who have the potential to become clients, but have not yet moved down from the top of the funnel. In the sales funnel, prospects become leads when nurtured, which sets them up to become clients.

This concept works exactly the same in B2B models. Simply put, B2B companies evaluate their prospects before deciding if they have the potential to become leads. The big difference is that B2B sales are significantly more valuable, so the number of prospects and leads that these companies work with is smaller than for businesses that serve consumers (B2C).

Why Sales Prospecting is Important for Food Manufacturers

As most salespeople already know, having detailed information about prospects is important to closing more sales. The reason for this is that prospects don’t often reveal their pain points directly to their potential providers. To overcome this obstacle, restaurant data analytics for sales prospecting can help you create personalized outreach messages for each potential customer. This can enable you to:

Increase the Number of Sales

Sales prospecting is a powerful tool that gives you hard data on the challenges your potential clients are facing when trying to attract customers. As long as you get the right people involved and contact decision-makers within the businesses you’re targeting, having a prospecting strategy for every company you pitch will help your objection handling and cold email marketing. By reaching the right decision-maker with an organized strategy, you’ll have the ability to influence their buying decisions at the right time.

Create More Predictable Projections

Prospecting is necessary to drive sales and boost closing rates. At the same time, having a large volume of predictable sales improves your projections, so you can start creating more detailed plans of what you’ll do once you close the clients you have in your sales funnel. This may even come in handy while applying for a loan, as this is the type of information that financial institutions use to make decisions around loan risk.

Cater to Audiences that Are More Profitable

Perhaps most importantly, prospecting helps ensure that you’re targeting the right audience. In traditional consumer-facing businesses, it’s possible to do prospecting for entire segments. B2B companies see more benefits when they take a hybrid approach. That is, marketing to large segments and then focusing on more profitable segments, which can be defined by region, type of client, or another category.

If you’re in the initial stages of prospecting, it’s best to analyze entire regions at a time. In other words, you should evaluate several potential clients in the same location at once. After defining the area of the segment you’re going after, try narrowing down your list of prospects into individual industries or companies. That way, you can focus your efforts on the potential clients with the highest profit margin.

What is the Process of Developing a Sales Prospecting Strategy for Food Manufacturers?

A great prospecting strategy goes beyond furnishing your sales team with a food industry database platform. Instead, a solid prospecting plan should be an extension of your sales strategy, and designed to entice your target audience. Your sales reps need to be involved in the creation of your prospecting plan because there are some details that only they are familiar with. That said, you also need to take control of this process and analyze all the relevant data analytics for food and beverage manufacturers. This will help you implement marketing campaigns that help your sales professionals achieve success.

Plan Your Sales Pipeline or Funnel

Before making a cold call or initiating contact, you need to have a plan. Therefore, you need to analyze your sales funnel and determine where each potential prospect will enter and how each lead will move down the funnel.

Research Your Prospects

Building relationships with new prospects is tough, especially in the early stages. You need to research each brand before you reach out with a personalized message. A good starting point is to check the prospect’s company value proposition, along with key industry trends, and find a link between them.

Categorize and Prioritize Individuals

Sales teams tend to deliver better performance when they get comprehensive information. So take the time to analyze each company, categorize it based on factors like industry and pain points, and determine which marketing techniques work best. You should also bring in And be sure to fully engage your marketing resources throughout this process, as their insight will be crucial in helping you find prospecting strategies that increase sales.

Create a Pitch Strategy

The next step is planning your pitch. Take a clue from existing customers, discuss engagement strategies in your sales meetings, and make sure your social media accounts are spruced up as prospects will use them as a first point of call.

Engage the Prospect and Nurture Until Prospects Become Leads

It’s now time for your sales professionals to engage with your target audience. This process looks different for every company; just remember that the relationship that develops will be based on the first interaction. Once a line of communication has been established, you need to carefully nurture your prospects until they become leads.

Close the Sale

Last but certainly not least, the final stage in the sales process is to close the lead and transform it into a paying, recurring client.


Food manufacturers serve a wide range of companies, from restaurants and hotels to schools and hospitals. To effectively approach and build relationships with these B2B clients, food manufacturers need to have a solid prospecting plan designed specifically for their target audience.

To learn how to beef up your prospecting and boost sales using foodservice analytics, explore Brizo Foodmetrics and start your free trial today.