How do you know if you are wasting your time with the amount of information you are weeding through to get to the right contact at an organization? Do you get to the correct prospect usually in your first try? If not, maybe you should look at which tools you are using, and what is available on the market to see if you are leaving time, money and prospects on the table.
First, we need to look at what tools are out there in the market place. Today there are a wide range of tools that can assist you in getting to the right person. Each takes an understanding of how the platform works as well as a duplication of efforts if it doesn’t work with a database, contact management or CRM system that you already own. Let’s explore the different options out there and compare them to each other.
Sales Portals – These are typical lead exchange type programs in which you can offer-up leads for a lead online. This works if you have your key prospect well defined and if you are connected with a group that provides valuable leads with the right contact. Unfortunately with this type of program you may or may not be getting to the right person and you will have limited information on the organization or company itself. You will have to look at other sources of information to understand if it is a good fit.
Websites – In general, websites will give you high level information on a prospect. Again, it is a one-to-one search in which you can find out what the prospect has been reporting about their organization. If they have a blog, twitter feed and social media tied into their website (advanced marketing anyone?), you are in luck, if not, you will need to hunt and peck more to get more data. Things like GoogleAlerts can assist you if you set-up alerts in advance to let you know when the company is being spoken about in a news source.
Social Networks – Social networks are helpful as you can look up company and contact information and understand if there is a relationship between you and any contacts they may have. This is a powerful way for you to ask for an introduction IF you have someone in your network. If not, you can upgrade your account to be able to reach out directly, but not only is this a paid service but it is less likely to earn a connection because it doesn’t come from a trusted source.
Subscription Databases – These databases allow you to “rent” information on potential customers. The strength here is that you can run lists that you can communicate to and pay for them as you go. Because these lists are unchanged, the information becomes quickly outdated and a response rate of about 1% is what you can expect from a list like this.
Sales Intelligence Databases – These are one of the strongest tools on the market for sales people as they aggregate data together in a consolidated format and usually integrate with your contact management or CRM platform. Why is that important? If you want information at your fingertips that includes social media news on a prospect, phone numbers, high level contact information (Director level and higher with e-mail addresses), revenue, news feeds and organized in a way that maps out business triggers related to purchases this may be the way for you to go. InsideView is one tool that makes this a lot easier.
If you would like to know more about social intelligence databases take a look at our white paper on SocialPrise, leveraging sociability in the enterprise OR check out our free trial of InsideView which is a sales intelligence database tool for sales people that integrates with SugarCRM, SalesLogix, and SalesForce.