By Kate Kingston, President, Kingston Training Group
There is a big difference between calling upon a prospect to introduce yourself and a well-thought-out call from a sales executive who fully understands not only their own industry, but how the prospect will use business technology in their workplace. To make a well-prepared call, there are three variables to address when scheduling a net new meeting with the right person or buying committee:
1. Identifying the company and executive to meet with;
2. Building a short, persuasive argument as to why they should stop their business day to meet with you;
3. Identifying and discussing relevant content in the conversation during your first meeting that will persuade the prospect to allow for discovery or an assessment to be conducted.
The first step in prospecting is to always identify who you want to go after to schedule a net new meeting. Defining qualified prospects will help every sales executive refine their prospect lists and aid them in spending prospecting time with the most viable opportunities. In order to define a qualified prospect in business technology, you need to look at several characteristics:
Number of Employees – 25+: What you are really trying to determine is the number of workstations. Start with 25+ employees and identify those opportunities in your territory. You can find the “number of employees” from a company’s LinkedIn page. Findthecompany.com is another free resource that will give you employee count while Leadferret.com (also free) can help identify companies by size, industry, C-Level executive, and zip code.
Sales Volume – $4,000,000+: You want to look at a company that is financially healthy and does over $4 million in annual sales so as to be robust enough to possibly need technology infrastructure enhancements even prior to a copier lease end date.
Headquarter Location: Of course, we would prefer that their headquarters be in “our” territory, but if their headquarters is located outside your territory, it might still be worth a call. Some businesses are also a franchise location, so you want to be sure that you’re going after a prospect that has decision making authority. Google a company’s headquarters, look for it on their website, or call and ask the receptionist which of their locations is considered their corporate headquarters.
Job Title: The point person’s job title is also very important, because you want to be dealing with someone who is a decision-maker on a technology discovery and can get the paperwork signed off, so that an installation can happen. We always want to deal with decision-makers, which can include individuals in finance, operations, IT, HR, marketing, or a high-level administrative executive.
Start with these characteristics when deciding on which prospects to add to your list. There will be time for the smaller deals once you have exhausted all of your good sized, qualified, profitable prospects first.
Coming soon in part II, we’ll explain why researching your qualified prospects is essential before reaching out to them.
Kate Kingston is President of Kingston Training Group. Contact her at (646) 831-5184 or firstname.lastname@example.org