New research by CSO Insights shows that 42% of salespeople don’t feel like they have the right information before calling prospects. This is especially true of inside sales reps who are handed a list of leads to call. Many reps who find themselves in this situation simply call down the list, hoping for the best.
It doesn’t have to be this way. With the right tools and a focus on the critical pre-call research information, you can exponentially increase your odds of success.
Scan Your List For Patterns And Prepare Accordingly
A sales colleague recently told me that every time he’s given a call list, the first thing he does is look for a common thread. Are all the leads on the list marketers? Are they all from a specific industry? Did they all interact with a specific piece of content, or download a specific type of app? If a common thread can be identified, then a bit of research can then add value to every call.
For example, if I was handed a list of leads that all worked at behavioral healthcare companies, then I’d quickly try to examine which pain points in that industry my product could solve, and work that into my pitch or list of questions.
Recent Contact History from Marketing or Sales
The most important thing to ascertain is whether or not your company’s marketing or sales team has been in contact with the lead recently, and how they responded. All this information should be captured in your company’s CRM, or delivered contextually through a product like Revenue.io. This not only gives you historical context of your relationship with the contact, but it also gives you something to talk about. For example: “I’m following up on the email we sent last week announcing our new product release.”
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Hit Key LinkedInData
If you’re in B2B sales and you’re not looking up your leads on LinkedIn before making calls, then you’ve already fallen behind the curve. By quickly perusing a lead’s LinkedIn profile, you can:
The most important piece may be the first one – checking out a leads’ content feeds on LinkedIn. By viewing the content a lead shares on LinkedIn, you can gain insight into what she currently finds important. After all, most people share job-related content on the site. Referencing a lead’s content feed can be a great way to make sales calls sound less cold. That’s why Revenue.io’s inside sales apps automatically deliver a contacts’ content stream in the same app that reps use to make calls. This can help reps prepare for outbound calls quicker than ever before.
Research the Company
In addition to researching individual leads, it’s vital to quickly research companies. Sites like LinkedIn, Crunchbase, Wikipedia and AngelList can give you a bird’s eye view of a company. Revenue.io delivers breaking news about companies in its feeds. We also recommend Data.com (previously known as Jigsaw). It’s an online business directory that can be used to quickly gain information about companies and their employees. As with LinkedIn, premium subscribers get access to more granular data.
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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.