In today’s technology-driven world, inside sales representatives have enormous opportunity to prepare well before every sales call they make. Google and social media platforms like LinkedIn allow you to access and gather all the relevant information about a prospect and hence you don’t have any excuse for not being prepared for a sales call. This ensures that the Inside Sales reps have smarter conversations that build trust and ultimately bring in new customers.
Discussed below are 7 utmost important things that an Inside Sales rep should make a note of prior to calling a lead:
Research about the Prospect’s Company
Make sure that you visit the prospect’s company website and their LinkedIn page before giving him/her a call. Know what the company does and how would your solution cater to the prospect’s requirements or alleviate their pain points. You can do the following company-specific research:
- What is the market strength of the prospect’s company?
- What are the most important business concerns of the company right now?
- How is the company positioned to handle those issues?
- Where does the company stand as compared to its competitors in terms of revenue, profitability and market share?
- Who are the key decision makers in the company?
- Any latest information about the company: recent hiring of a top executive, financial results or coverage in big publications.
For example, if one of your prospect’s companies has reported record profits, then congratulate him in the beginning of the call and ask about the success factors for the outstanding results. This will help you create a positive perception about yourself and your brand.
Research about the Prospect’s Industry and Competition
Make a note of the prevalent issues in the prospect’s industry and identify the movement of their competitors. It might give you insights into what the prospect’s company may be dealing with. You can research the following about the prospect’s industry:
- What is the current scenario of the companies in that industry- are they growing or contracting?
- What are some of the key opportunities and threats to that industry?
- What are some of the industry jargons used in that industry?
- How has that industry performed or evolved over the years?
Research about the Career of the Prospect
Do some quick research and gain valuable insight on the prospect by digging into his/her LinkedIn account or through Google search and keeping a track of his current activities. Look for a common connection or come up with a reference to have a more valuable conversation with the prospect.
Look for Previous Communications
It might be possible that another representative from your company has already spoken to this prospect before. Check the call details in the CRM or listen to the call recordings, if available and accordingly make the plan for further discussion with the prospect.
Use Marketing Automation Data
There are various marketing automation tools and software programs available which will allow you to see when a lead visited your website or blog, which pages he/she viewed or downloaded. So, when you call that lead, you will have enough intelligence from their website viewing and download behaviors and therefore have a more fruitful discussion by offering what they were looking for.
Prepare Yourself to Face Objections
Prospects generally come up with lots of questions or objections. Anticipate those objections and prepare the responses in advance. Read how to handle sales objections.
Establish Yourself as an Industry Thought Leader
Take out time to read industry magazines, journals and closely follow all the social media tools. Actively engage yourself and build reputation by asking relevant questions and posting valuable content in LinkedIn groups and other professional communities. This way one can position himself as a trusted advisor for the customers rather than merely pushing their products to close deals.