Imagine you’re an inside sales rep who is given a list of outbound leads to call down. It can be tempting to just dial down the list cold, in hopes of initiating as many conversations as possible. But think how much more successful you could be if you had access to contextually relevant information about each lead.
You may be thinking, “Sounds great, but who has time for that?” You do, thanks to sales acceleration technology.
Whereas acquiring contextual data about prospects may have once been time-prohibitive, sales acceleration technology now makes it easier and quicker than ever to find out relevant details about prospects prior to reaching out. Our sales acceleration platform reveals vital information about prospects from Salesforce, marketing automation and social media platforms within the context of calls. Reps can therefore enjoy smarter conversations while minimizing the time they spend researching prospects.
Here are the five most important things B2B sales reps should know about prospects before reaching out.
The first thing that you need to know about a lead is whether another rep at your company has spoken to this prospect (or another prospect at their company) before. As long your reps are doing a good job of logging call details in Salesforce, it should be easy to access this information. However, the reality is that most companies don’t log enough call data in their CRM (if they’re logging call data at all). That’s why it can help to utilize a tool that automatically logs calls in Salesforce. And for really important leads, you may even want to take the time to drill down and listen to call recordings, if they’re available.
Even if there is no record of communications with a prospect, it doesn’t mean that they’re unfamiliar with your brand. If your company is using a marketing automation tool like Marketo, Eloqua or Pardot, you can keep a record of when a lead visited your site, what content they downloaded, which blog posts they read and which ads they clicked. This data is perhaps just as important for sales reps to see as marketers since it gives reps quick visibility into which offerings or messages resonate with a lead. For example, if a lead downloaded our eBook on optimizing sales voicemails I’d be sure to work the fact that Revenue.io helps reps maximize responses from sales voicemails into my pitch.
If you don’t take the time to quickly discover what a prospect’s company does, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Before calling any prospect take a quick trip to their website and company page on LinkedIn. If their industry is completely alien to you, it can pay to do some quick research on Wikipedia or elsewhere to at least attempt to understand what their company does and how you can help them to do it better.
It can pay to look up a lead in LinkedIn. Knowing where a prospect has worked or has gone to school can help you establish common ground. I also like to see how long a prospect has been working at their company. Leads that are relatively new in their position often tend to be hot. New hires are often given a mandate to deliver changes and a budget to do so. Searching LinkedIn for possible mutual connection is also important. If you can get a referral, or even drop the name of a mutual acquaintance, it can vastly accelerate a deal.
Has your prospect’s company just closed a funding round, hired a new top executive, or been featured in a major publication? Showing your prospects that you’ve done your homework is a great way to not only position yourself as being knowledgeable, but.also win respect from prospects. I know that the smarter and informed a sales rep, the more likely I’ll be to want to buy from her.
Want to learn more about accelerating your outbound sales efforts? Check out our eBook How to Fast-Track Revenue with a Dedicated Sales Development Team.
Jesse WestDirector of Lifecycle MarketingRevenue.io
Jesse Davis West is Director of Lifecycle Marketing at Revenue.io, focusing on improving the experience and maximizing the lifetime value for customers across their entire journey. Drawing on 11 years of B2B marketing experience, Jesse is passionate about communication, branding and strategic marketing. He also plays a mean lead guitar and can throw down at karaoke.