In Part 1 of “Building a Successful Inside Sales Process” we discussed what makes up a successful inside sales process, examining how important it is to collect good data, keep top of mind awareness and ultimately set face to face meetings. In the upcoming blogs, we will break these elements down to show you how to do each one.
The first step in data collection is deciding what companies you want to call on and what data you would like to collect. You should build a “client profile” around what your current best customers look like. Where are they located geographically, what industries are they in, how many employees do they have, are they private or public, etc.
There are many data sources available to locate the companies that meet the profile above, both paid and unpaid. Google is always a good, free resource. But probably the best free source is LinkedIn which is an excellent resource for finding information. Some paid data resources are Hoovers, Salesgenie, Data.com. An additional excellent source is your local chamber of commerce which will typically release an annual list of the top industries, including contact information.
Next, you need to decide where and how you are going to store this data, or what type of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform you will use. There are several to choose from. You can go as simple as keeping all of your data in an Excel spreadsheet to much more sophisticated systems such as Salesforce, Oracle, Netsuite, Act and many more.
Finally, you will want to determine what information to collect on your prospects that will help you build a profile on each prospect that you would like to do business with. This should include the basics like correct company name, address, key decision maker’s name, direct phone, cell phone, and email. Then you will want to collect more detailed data such as who their current provider is for the product or service you are selling, how long they have been with them, do they have a contract, how many locations do they have, what is the gatekeeper’s name and any other information that will help you know more about your prospect. All of this data will allow you to have a better conversation when the time arises.
In the next blog, we will explore how to design a word track for when you do get ahold of a key decision maker.