There’s no such thing as TMI when it comes to doing business research. Today, we’ve got access to data at our fingertips, and even on our wrists, about everything from market trends and industry performance, to products and services.
When you’re looking at research from the sales perspective, it becomes a uniquely personal search. A successful salesperson gathers that critical business data, and also works to make a personal connection with his/her customer by finding what makes that customer tick.
While I’m not suggesting you creep on your prospect’s Instagram, I am saying that a little effort to get personal goes a long way. Finding out more about your prospect on both a business and personal level can help you align your products or services to better provide value. By leading with that targeted, personalized value proposition, your communication instantly becomes more approachable and authentic. And when accompanied with diligent industry and product/service research, it gives you the advantage that can help close the sale.
To help you get started, I’ll paraphrase a HubSpot article that provides a list of resources for conducting comprehensive customer research.
Find details about your prospect’s job responsibilities or duties, past employment history, and learn of any shared connections. Also click through to their groups to see what’s being talked about; and review what content they’ve shared recently.
Use his/her personal page to get a sense of interests or to identify trends. Also check on the company’s page to understand how they present their brand.
The Company’s Website: Press Page
Scroll through recent news and do the same for that of their competitors.
Read what your buyer reads and read what your buyer writes.
Pick up personal information or identify shared friends or organizations.
Your Marketing Automation System
Search the prospect’s name in your system to turn up existing contact records. Maybe they’ve contacted you? If this buyer is already familiar with your product/service, tailor your approach to their current stage in the buying process.
If another team member has reached out in the past—use the existing data profile to your benefit.
Search in Google for the prospect and the company to uncover additional details that might not have turned up in other searches.
Use Quora to understand what your prospect is hoping to learn or if there are any issues he/she is currently facing.
Find out about the company’s culture. If they’re hiring new employees in a division related to your product, that’s a good sign.
Datanyze offers a free Chrome Extension that you can click while on the prospect’s website to see which technology tools they’re currently using.
Crunchbase gives you information on acquisition history, investors, customers, and more.
If your prospect works directly with consumers browsing their Yelp page is a great way to learn more about their strengths and weaknesses.
Is there any tool that you use that’s not on my list? Please share with me on LinkedIn.