For many companies, relationship building is a huge challenge. This article is useful for companies who have an established inbound marketing strategy in place. Contributer Amanda Kruschack shares her experience with the customer journey and how to develop intelligent, healthy relationships with new prospects who will hopefully become clients.
OK, so marketing has nurtured the prospect. The prospect has hit as many activity points that have been set out to qualify outreach. Now what?
Before an Sales Development Rep (SDR) or anyone from your sales team picks up the phone or starts typing a killer introduction email to the prospect, in my experience, it’s most beneficial to get to know your prospect. Put down the phone, stop typing – full stop.
I know most us are part-time P.I.’s. Able to uncover information about people, places and things we are interested already so this should be easy to apply.
This is the time to go going beyond automated nurturing. With as fiercely competitive of an environment we are all working in (despite your vertical), you have to go the extra mile to know your prospect. Do your research. It’s 2017 and we have numerous tools at our disposal. Many of which are free! No need to bother management to spend more money on a sales tool.
Not unlike when you just Googled, “amazing sales and marketing blogs”, take a similar approach to your prospect. Spend a few minutes’ googling the company, search for news items. Take a look at their website, social media properties, LinkedIn profile, etc.
Throughout your research try to answer the following questions about the prospect:
- Any new business acquisitions?
- Have they just received a round of funding?
- Who are the decision makers?
- What tools are they currently using?
- What are particular team members responsible for? Team size?
- Who should I be talking to?
Most importantly …
- How can I help the prospect best achieve their goals?
Pro tip #1: Don’t lay out all of your research in the first communication. Not only will that come off as a stranger know it all, but to be frank, as a complete stalker. Rather, use what you’ve learned through your research to guide conversations, discover needs and fill in the blanks. Bringing it all back to how you can help them and deliver insights.
Pro tip #2: SDR’s, if you’re responsible for supporting an Account Executive. Share the knowledge. They’ll appreciate the extra mile you went to learn so much about a prospect. Your information could be what makes a cold prospect to a hot one.
Going beyond the automated data that every qualified prospect receives will allow you to transition the journey of your prospect to a customer that much more smoothly.
NB: I’ve received 2 separate sales calls in as many weeks from direct competitors. Had the sales rep taken the time to research myself, or the company I work for, they would have promptly unqualified me and moved on. Instead whatever marketing automation tool they use prompted them to “quality” me and he blindly called me without any other information. When I told “Ryan” what we do here his response was, “I guess it’ll be a hard sell then”. Yes, yes it will be Ryan.