The 5 Best Places to Learn About Sales Prospects

In sales prospecting, it is crucially important to head into calls and meetings with knowledge of the buyer. These presearch tips will set you up for success.

July 12, 2017

  • sales-preresearch

With all the resources now available to learn about buyers and their companies, salespeople should never enter a call or meeting without some understanding of the person on the other end.

Pre-research, or “presearch,” is one of the most vital activities for the modern sales pro. When you know where to look, researching prospects ahead of time doesn’t need to be difficult or time-consuming. With the proper knowledge logged away, sparking conversations that are relevant and productive can become free and easy.

Here are the five best places for sales presearch, and what you should look for ahead of your voyage.

1. LinkedIn Profile

Not to seem self-serving, but LinkedIn truly is the best and easiest place to find details that matter. Nearly every professional out there has a profile, and is inherently motivated to keep it up-to-date and accurate. With a quick glance at a member’s page, you can find job history, mutual connections, featured skills and endorsements, interests, and more.

2. Prospect’s and Company’s Twitter Accounts

Not everyone has a Twitter account, but most companies do. These feeds provide a snapshot of topics and trends that are of interest to the individual and organization. Find out what they’re saying, and who they’re saying it to. Click into “Tweets & Replies” to get a look at who they are engaging with, and how.

3. Company Website and Blog

A company’s website is its carefully crafted public-facing image. The content you find here is reflective of how an organization wishes to be perceived. Knowing this, you can pick up important cues and topics for discussion. A prospect is bound to be impressed if you are citing her distinct business objectives, or customizing your offer around his latest focal initiative.

Company blogs are also helpful and timely. Scroll through the five most recent posts to get a read on where the business is currently setting its gaze. Leaving a thoughtful comment or two is another way to build subtle familiarity.

4. CRM/MAS

Even if you haven’t had past interactions with a prospect or their company, it’s possible someone else on your team has. Searching through your internal Customer Relationship Management or Marketing Automation Systems for any record of past contact or engagements is an imperative step. If there is a history, it could indicate that the buyer or organization already knows a few things about your product or service. Your database also may hold some illuminating insights to take with you.

5. Google

Google can help you learn about everything that impacts your prospect, their company, and their industry. In particular, I recommend using Google News to find recent events or happenings you can factor into your pitch. For bonus points, identify and research their top competitors, so as to clearly outline how your offering will provide an edge.

Now, Set Forth and Presearch

Sales prospecting is all about creating opportunities. Completing the proper research ahead of time can not only help filter and qualify leads, but also greatly enrich your initial interactions. By developing an effective and consistent routine, you can collect all the information you need in a matter of minutes.

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