We spoke previously about researching a prospect being the key difference between a sales call being a cold call or a warmer call.
That is all very well, of course, but where are you supposed to find the time to research your prospect before you go ahead and make the call?
How much research should you do beforehand?
We thought it may be useful if we mentioned a few of the tools that we use when we are researching a prospect.
Prospect Researching Tools
Your Company’s CRM
This really needs to be your first point of call in the research phase.
Providing you have one (if you don’t… you should. Find out more here) and providing you have been using it well, it will be a rich resource of:
- Previous Interactions
- Social Media Profiles
- Previous Communications
- How they have behaved on your website
Often, having just a 2-minute skim through the CRM and double-checking the most recent interactions with the prospect will be enough to ensure that your call will not be as cold.
The Prospects Website or Social Media
There are typically more companies that keep a website and blog than people, as we mentioned in a previous post.
This doesn’t however mean that this can only benefit B2B companies.
You can gain a great level of information from a prospect’s social media profiles.
Twitter is by far the most useful, as every tweet tends to be public, and they often come in more frequently.
Downsides to Twitter are that there are not as many users, and the users they do have often do not engage as much with the platform as other social media users.
Facebook can be great, but has some very strict privacy guidelines on most profiles, which can limit the amount of information you can glean from them.
LinkedIn can be a great way of seeing someone’s professional life and digital resume laid out.
For a business site or a profile you want to be checking up on:
- Size of the company and team
- How long they have been operating
- What field they operate in
- Their corporate message and about us areas
- Any announcements they have about their business
You then want to try and see how much of this aligns with your particular product and service.
For a consumer, you want to be checking:
- How influential they are, how many friends and followers etc
- What they post about most frequently
- What life stages they are currently in (working, studying, traveling, having a family etc.)
Sidekick for Business
This handy tool will keep track of who has been opening your emails, when they have been opening your emails (every time they open it), what companies have been visiting your website and so much more!
If you would like to find out more about sidekick for business, drop us a line.
How Long Should It Take?
This really depends on quite a few factors.
If it is the first time you have researched this particular prospect, you should allow yourself a good 30 minutes. Anything shorter and you are just skimming the available information, and anything longer, and you are probably over doing it.
It also depends on whether you are a marketer or a salesperson, as each will have a different amount of information available, and each has different needs from the researching phase.