Five Crucial Tips for Effective Prospect Research

By - December 5, 2012

Phone calls are the main interaction platform between customers and businesses. Over 92% of the average customers report that they interact with businesses mainly through phone calls. However, 85% of them claim to be dissatisfied with the phone calls. So how can sales reps prepare their calls to get better customer responses?

Determine the Call Objective
Make sure every call you make has a specific and concrete desired outcome. Going into a call hoping to close a sale down the road will leave you floundering and rambling on the phone. Prepare a specific goal for each communication with a prospect. Your goal could be as simple as scheduling a next meeting, getting the email address of the decision maker.

Keep the Research Simple
Before you start looking for information, determine what you want to find. A lot of irrelevant information can complicate your research, and you may spend quite a lot of time analyzing information that does not pertain to the sales process.

Create – and Follow – a Process
Creating a process is especially important for reps that have to research a high volume of prospects each day. A scattered process will confuse you. Organize your pre-call planning according to the priority of information you need to find. Get in the habit of finding the most important information first. You probably won’t need to know what your prospect says on Twitter until you know that he or she is the right prospect, and a good sales fit.

Always Take Notes
Regardless of the number of prospects you call, you should always record all your pre-call findings. Even if you spend just 30 seconds looking into a prospect’s background, put the notes in your CRM. If you do your research right before you make a call and fail to write anything down, you’ll end up going back and doing the same research again. Furthermore, you can’t always be sure that you’ll be the rep to close the sale you started. Territories change and customer needs shift. Taking notes should be a company-wide pre-call practice.

By: Lisa Fugere, Inside View – the leader in Sales Intelligence

Inside View is a guest blogger of Dynamics CRM Pros.

Lisa Fugere is the content marketing strategist and writer at InsideView. She’s responsible for creating all InsideView branded content, and specializes in SaaS sales and marketing expertise. She has a background in creative writing, and is a key contributor to InsideView’s marketing team.

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