In a perfect world of teleprospecting, every call would result in success, every assistant would be helpful, and every list would contain nothing but accurate, relevant information. Sadly, we don’t live in that world, but with a little work and the right tools, we have the ability to start building it. Resourcefulness while prospecting and making smarter dials and emails is crucial to inside sales success.Finding The Path To The Perfect World Of Prospecting
Use the company’s information
If you have a list of contacts for a target company, the easiest place to start is with calling those names. Each person you contact within a target company isn’t going to be part of the decision-making process, but it’s likely that they’ll have some information about who is, or what solution is already in place. Try to get at least one piece of information out of every person you get live so that your next call will be even stronger.
If you’re unable to reach anyone live at a company, another tactic is to press 0# after leaving a voicemail to talk to the operator or admin. At the very least, the correct contact can often be verified so you know where to direct your efforts. Pressing 0# can be useful, but more and more organizations are only providing their operators with a list of names without departments or titles. It’s worth trying 0# with a company once or twice, but once you’ve gotten stonewalled it’s time to try another tactic.
The company’s website can also be a good resource for finding contacts. Sometimes companies will have a Management Team page, or even a full directory. Once you find a C- or VP-level contact in the department you’re targeting, the administrative assistant will often be able to tell you who specifically oversees your area of interest.
So you couldn’t reach anyone live, the operator couldn’t confirm any titles, and the company website doesn’t have a Management page? Don’t worry; you’re only just getting started. A quick search within your company’s CRM or even a search engine can frequently get you the contacts you need.
Once you’ve been prospecting for awhile, you should accumulate quite a few contacts within your internal database. It’s important to make sure your team never deletes a contact, even if it’s someone they can’t work with on their specific project. Keeping these contacts in the database allows them to be accessed in the future. Utilizing the “search” or “find duplicates” feature within your CRM should offer all known contacts within a target company.
Search engines such as Google or Bing can also be useful prospecting tools when used correctly. A search with a company name and a target title or keywords can produce a contact, and a search with a contact’s first and last name with a company can help verify that person’s title.
Online Data Sources
There are organizations such as NetProspex and Data.com (formerly Jigsaw) who offer free accounts to use their crowd sourced databases. Any user is able to update titles and contact information for prospects within organizations, which results in a fairly high accuracy rate for the information. These databases can be used to find alternate contacts, build lists, and to find prospects’ direct emails or phone numbers.
LinkedIn and other social media sites are being more widely used than ever before to connect with and verify prospect information. On the surface, LinkedIn provides an extremely accurate search feature to confirm prospect information or find contacts within a target company. On a deeper level, LinkedIn allows users to join groups and participate in discussions relevant to their target industries and even connect and engage with prospects directly. There have been books written on the topic of using social media for prospecting and sales, so I’m only touching on it lightly here. LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media sites can become powerful resources for your inside team if they are trained in how to effectively use them.
Resourcefulness is a crucial part of being successful in inside sales, and there are plenty of tools just waiting to be used. Our just released guide, Inside Sales Managers Guide to Resourcefulness, examines each tool in greater depth, and also provides a few more resources to get your team going. Above all else, it’s important to emphasize the importance of making smart dials, and not just “going down the list.”
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