Social Selling Tips of the Week: Your Guide to Prospect Research

Learn how today’s social media tools and platforms can supercharge your prospecting research with a few simple tips, tricks, and social selling best practices.

November 4, 2016

  • guide-to-prospect-research

With Halloween in the rearview mirror and Thanksgiving on the horizon, now is the perfect time to shake off the sugar high of quick-fix sales solutions and focus on the meat and potatoes of a healthy sales pipeline—research-driven prospecting.

It’s not glamorous, but research is what guides your engagement strategy and informs your sales discussions. Without diligent buyer research your sales team will waste countless hours on unqualified leads. Luckily, thanks to social selling, researching prospects has never been easier.

5 Clever Prospect Research Strategies

Sometimes your traditional research channels and carefully crafted social notifications don’t yield results. Don’t sweat it. Aja Frost at HubSpot points out a few clever research tips and tricks to discover relevant, timely information about potential prospects.

Frost recommends reading a company’s jobs page and combining search term to look for strategic announcements and press releases on third-party sites. She also suggests using Google’s reverse image search to connect with individual company personnel on social media before reaching out with your first message.

“The more salespeople know about their prospects, the more credible and trustworthy they’ll seem,” Frost says. “It’s also much easier for well-informed reps to pitch their product to buyers’ needs than clueless ones.” Effective prospecting research combines information from every social channel available.

12 Prospecting Tools Designed for Social Selling

Disruptive change is constant in today’s social selling landscape. Marketing Manager James Meincke at CloserIQ outlines a dozen current social selling prospecting tools that every sales leader and marketing manager should have in their arsenal.

Meincke’s list includes apps and digital tools for building an up-to-date prospect list, automating and tracking email outreach, and tools like Rapportive and Discover.ly to find and research prospects on social media.

“Connecting with prospects via social media increases your chances of making a sale,” concludes Meincke. Use this wealth of tools to fuel your social research and prospecting.

10 Old Habits Ruining Sales from the Start

The sales funnel has evolved, so why are you still researching prospects the same old way? Stop sabotaging your sales pipeline at the start with outdated research tools and habits.

Amanda Nelson at Salesforce, highlights the importance of lead qualification through research. “Much like cold calling, flying blind when reaching out to customers will often fall short.” Nelson goes on to stress habits like social listening, adaptive personalized sales strategies, and stressing a “customer-centric, personalize approach.”

Researching prospects and qualifying leads with their concerns at the forefront of your sales strategy makes all the difference. Do the research before you reach out with your initial message.

Back to Basics

The future of sales may be automation and ever-changing sales cycles with multiple points of contact. However, every sale begins with good buyer research.

Research powered by social selling tools will let your sales team engage qualified leads with the kind of meaningful interactions that close deals and foster long-term trust. Unlock the hidden power of social selling. Personalize your prospect research and reap the benefits of a solid sales foundation.

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