The sales prospecting requires much more effort and time to do the research than it used to. You cannot give your prospect a call totally cold, which means you always have to do research on your prospects before your sales call. If you start your call without gathering enough background information, you will end up losing big chances to sell products or to set up a follow-up meeting. The worst could be to be hung up at mid-sentence.
The more relevant background information you have, the longer your prospects are going to talk to you. Here are our recommended places for you to gather information more efficiently and quickly.
LinkedIn is the most helpful source for you to do research on prospects. On LinkedIn – the largest network platform for professionals, you can check basic information about your key contacts including education, employment history, and recent activities etc. When finding your prospect’s profile, remember to check out the following points about your prospects.
• Position and experience at their current job: you will know their primary job tasks and their authority in the current position. This will help you get a sense of what areas falling under their jurisdiction. You can know how your key contacts can influence in making decision.
• Their former jobs: so you will know more about their experiences and knowledge about the field. You will know how they will consider your offer.
• Shared connections: If you have mutual connection with them, don’t forget to bring it up during your call and ask how they know that person. This is your referral opportunity.
• Activity: Check their recent activities to know more about their current concerns, interests and problems they’re facing.
2) Google the Prospect and Company
Of course, you can’t forget Google. Search for any information about the company to see any news stories and recent activities. Also, check the company’s press release to see whether there is any major change in recent time such as product release, financial statement, leadership change, etc.
Searching for any information about your prospect is also advisable. Google with your buyer’s name in quotes to get any other information about them.
If your prospect has a Twitter account, you should check his/ her Twitter account to get a sense of what your prospect is mostly interested in. You can spot any major trends in their interests by skimming through their recent activities.
Besides, you should also check the company’s Twitter account to see the type of content and messages the company wants to promote. From Twitter content, you can also know how the company wants to engage their target audience, and from that you can relate how your product/ service help the company engage their target audience or improve their product quality.
4) Your network
Check with your sales team member to see whether anyone reached the prospect in the past. If possible, find out what happened between this sales colleague and the prospect. Their sharing will be extremely helpful to your prospecting.
Besides,there are other sources for you to have a look if you have extra time such as prospects' blogs, Facebook accounts, or even Yelp.
What is your secret to doing research on your prospects? Share with us in the comment!