Developing Top Sales Talent
Steps to Become a More Consultative Seller

The New World of Prospecting

JamesRogersToday's guest blog post is by James Rogers, chief marketing officer at Avention


Companies are used to searching for prospects based on a few basic industry facts: size, location, industry code, etc. But what happens if you’re interested in a market that doesn’t have an industry code?  What if you want to know more about a company beyond the basic facts?

According to IBM, 90 percent of all the world’s information was created in the last two years. In a world exploding with data, companies on a daily basis are emitting signals that allow you to know exactly what you need to know in order to make an intelligent sales call or prospecting list. The challenge is making that data useful to your sales organization.

Collecting the data is not enough. You have to be able to correlate the data, relate it to the business, and weight and score it based on your particular prospecting needs. What’s more, you need to be able to search for the data according to the way you think, not based on stiff industry codes. Not only will this intelligent information make your sales calls more productive, it will save you a lot of research and prospecting time. 

In the past, you might have been able to find 50 finance companies in the New York area that had recently received funding. Now you can conduct a richer and more targeted search and find maybe 40 companies in the New York area that are involved in both finance and green energy, do business in Brazil, and are currently hiring. Since there is no industry code for “green energy,” the old way of searching this would have required looking up all 50 companies and then manually researching. Now you get that information back in seconds, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Imagine if you could call an executive at a company and tell her that 30 of her 50 global offices are involved in the conversation about divestiture, or that you’ve seen an increase in hits on legal issues with regard to her company. This gives, not only the salesperson insight into the company’s position, but it may provide information to the executive on the DNA of her company, of which she may be unaware. That is the power of looking at the company composition beyond the standard industry codes and markers, and that is what 21st century selling looks like.


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