This post is a companion post to the Build Your Sales Tribe Book, this post covers list generation. If you own the book, thanks for visiting. If you don’t own the book, find out more here: www.salestribe.co.uk
Finding customers to match your Ideal Customer Profile.
In Chapter 5 of the Build Your Sales Tribe book, we discuss developing your ideal customer profile as a key part of selling in the modern era. The principal is to work out who you are best suited to do business with. Who do you go out and target, rather than just randomly hitting everyone in a particular sector. Hoping for the chance that they may be able to become a customer. This is obviously known as qualification but usually that is only happening on inbound enquiries.
Here the Information Age is coming to aid a modern sales company greatly. But only if they use it in the right way – otherwise it is just a massive increase in quantity of data and not quality.
In the book, we discuss the difference between suspects, ‘cold’ leads that a company might think could be suitable customers. And prospects, those that have been matched to an ideal customer profile through qualification. Prospects are then taken through the sales process to see if they can become a customer or not.
Suspects & Prospects
Working out who your suspects might be can now be done through finding the demographic information about the companies you want to target. Then working out who the buyers are in those companies. Converting them to prospects is done by interaction, questioning and engaging with the suspect and exploring psychographic information. The intangible stuff such as – have they done this before? Are they prepared to assign the resources? Will they go through the sales process, etc.
But, if you can find one of these that work for you then not only will it save your sales people sifting through large amounts of out of date data, they can also help them keep up to speed with what is happening with changes in your target markets, company structures, etc.
So let’s explore some tools that may help your company’s sales people find suspects, in addition to those others discussed in the book. Some (or all) of these tools offer direct connections through APIs into other pieces of software. For example your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, or social media such as LinkedIn. But all of them will only provide a piece of the picture and not replace the job of actually selling. There is no magic bullet, there is no hack! This is sometimes called ‘Know Your Buyer’ (KYB). But, it only tells you some of the information your company needs to know.
Oh, and one last thing on these tools!
They are getting much better now they are able to operate in real-time with various Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms. These can keep them right up-to-date. But any data is only as good the information source from which it is collected. In this case this is usually depositaries on the Internet – not known for being 100% accurate on everything. It is not long ago when so called ‘cold’ lists could be 30% inaccurate. Which is a lot (check out this article amongst many. https://www.leadfuze.com/data-com-alternative/). Not to mention how many have used them to literally SPAM people which is just not good practice for any modern sales organisation.
So the advice is clear – even if accurate, these are a small part of helping find people to have a meaningful, value added conversation with in order to see if there is an opportunity to do business but, this is just the beginning of that process. If you find value in having them as part of your organisation’s process, then great! This tends to vary depending on the market you are in and, obviously, what information you need to decide whether someone looks like an ideal customer. So, make sure you measure them continually to be sure they really are adding the value you think they are. There are so many factors that your company should build around this activity to make it meaningful to your prospective buyers…
We are big fans of LinkedIn. But it doesn’t work for all industries and markets. If a lot of people from your industry are sharing information about themselves here then it can a great thing. Of course, it can take a while to develop a meaningful network. It is worth investing in a training course on how to use LinkedIn and understand it. The best trainer we know is Mark Williams – https://www.linkedin.com/in/mrlinkedin/ who also provides other resources.
In addition, Linked In provides a number of premium packages which are essential if a lot of the suspects and prospects are on LI. https://business.linkedin.com/sales-solutions/compare-plans
Then there are tools which work within LinkedIn to pull the most resources from it. One of these is https://www.lusha.com/ but there are a few of these around now – https://www.leadfuze.com/ is another which can help you organise your data with Linked in and https://salesloft.com/ which can turn into a full blown sales management system.
For company data – to match the demographic data of your ideal customer profile, there are quite a few tools that vary in cost, capability and sophistication. Most of these will claim some sort of artificial intelligence, machine learning or similar – and maybe some human checking too! You should be able to set pretty advanced filter criteria here and only pay for what you might use or they can integrate directly into your CRM system.
Here are some to take a look at:
DueDil – https://www.duedil.com/
ZoomInfo – https://www.zoominfo.com/
Leadspace – https://www.leadspace.com/
Endole – https://www.endole.co.uk/
Cognism – https://www.cognism.com/
SalesIntel – https://salesintel.io/
Leadfeeder – https://www.leadfeeder.com/
There are many others that mix cloud computing, database technology and marketing / business intelligence that may include data as part of their package. Some are designed for specific business sectors. The same principles of making sure they are correct for your application apply. If you find any sources that you want to share, please get in touch with us.