Review Your CRM Platform: 3 Minutes
If a prospect shares their phone number with you, there’s a good chance they’re pretty far along in your sales funnel. In fact, the average B2B buyer is already 57 per cent through their purchasing journey when they hop on their first call with a sales rep. Thanks to search engines, forums, review sites, knowledge bases, white papers, social media, and an overwhelming amount of data and information available online, your customers and clients are educating themselves as much as they can first, then turning to your company to learn more.
That means marketing needs to be on top of their game, guiding prospects through the upper sections of the funnel. But it also means salespeople are just moments away from critical information about the person on the other end of the call — as long as their CRM platform has been used to collect and organize all your customer data, including every opportunity and every interaction.
Your CRM software will tell you how many touchpoints a prospect has had so far, what those touchpoints were, what prompted the lead to get in touch, and which products or services they’ve researched or are interested in. The CRM software pulls up this information quickly and visually. You shouldn’t have to spend more than a few minutes understanding this person’s relationship with your company.
Research the Contact and Their Company: 7 Minutes
Your CRM platform can tell you nearly everything you need to know about a prospect and their relationship to your company, but your prospect has yet to share their full story and that of their own company. This is where experienced sales reps need to rely on their own research skills.
Statistically, the success rate for qualifying leads with cold calling is minuscule. Warm calling, on the other hand, generally provides a conversion rate of around 30 per cent. Sales, to some extent, is a numbers game: Not only do your chances of closing a deal increase the more you can prequalify a lead, but you’ll make more sales overall by increasing the time you spend actually speaking with prospects.
That means pre-call research needs to happen fast. It also means you can’t let yourself get pulled into the rabbit hole and invest hours looking into a prospect that may not convert. Luckily, there are three sources that can quickly give you a better understanding of your prospect. Just be sure to limit your total research time to a few well-spent minutes.
Begin your research with social media. Find out which networks the majority of your prospects are on, and keep those links handy. Become familiar with how to quickly look up people and companies so finding the right profiles and pages takes very little time. Reps who do this often develop a habit of moving their eyeballs to the same places on each profile without having to think too much. Here are a few places that should tell you a lot in just a few seconds:
About Page/Self Summary
These pages give you a quick overview of people and companies.
These will tell you where else you can connect with them and get a fuller picture of who a person is.
Here, you can often learn about any changes, current struggles, or successes that can help you understand where your prospect is right now.
As you scan, jot down a few notes. Specifically, look for:
- Interests or people you have in common. These can make great icebreakers.
- Language and tone. You can build trust by mirroring these.
As you wrap up your social media research, quickly scan for links to a company website. Social media profiles can give you a few quick details about a company, but if you still have unanswered questions, their website can help fill in the blanks. Look for these pages that nearly every company website has: home, products and services, and an about page.
The Basics of What You Should Know About a Lead’s Company
- Its demographics
- Its strengths
- What is their mission?
- Do they list their values?
- Its financial health
- Do they have an “Investor Relations” tab?
- Get a feeling for the future of their company.
- The field and their competitors
- Where does the company fit into the bigger picture?
- What challenges are they facing?