I love it when people grill me about my job and what companies do with the data we provide -- it forces me to go back to the essentials of data solutions.
One fundamental way you can use data is to find the perfect prospect: that is, working out which companies would benefit the most from your product. Using data properly can help you match your company’s offering to the most valuable industries and organisations: it’s time efficient, reduces costs, and can deliver big rewards.
Yet this is not as simple as it may first appear. I have come across many companies who need help putting this into practice. The five building blocks suggested below will help you find the most relevant organisations, sectors, contacts, and solutions that will yield your perfect prospect – so you can capitalise on the opportunities they offer.
1. Keep your eyes on the prize
It may be obvious, but to succeed in finding the perfect prospect you must
have a particular goal in mind. Perhaps you are trying achieve growth in terms of customer profits, number of customers or market share? Having your eyes on the prize will ensure you remain focussed and get the best results.
2. Refine your search
The right external and internal data will allow you to use information about your current customers to find your future ones. Once you have established objectives, your data solution can refine your search by characteristics such as location, industry, business performance, or number of employees.
Customising searches and using smart lists which are constantly updated will enable you to keep track of potential customers and, ultimately, find the perfect prospects for your sales team to target.
3. Expand your sector horizons
There’s no need to rest on your laurels -- once you are in the know about a particular sector, it’s time to expand your search to potential customers in unfamiliar sectors. If you are using a good data solutions provider, you can run searches to unearth the industries that are discussing your type of products or services.
These keyword searches can be done in just a few seconds and are a great way of identifying new markets so you can diversify your customer base -- which in turn can bolster your business resilience.
4. Find the people who matter
You can’t stop here - your sales team need more than just the name of a company, they also need to know which individuals to reach out to and how to pitch to them.
Once again your data solutions provider can show its worth here with up-to-the-minute information on the people that are the most appropriate to contact – such as email addresses and individual profiles. Business triggers can also alert you to any changes in a prospect’s circumstances – such as the appointment of a new CEO or the relocation of an office – or to any important business events. This means you can equip your sales team with all the information they need to go out and start the conversation.
5. Get hold of a data provider that can offer all of the above
This is so important, as all of the previous stages depend on this. Choosing the right data solution requires serious thought. You need a provider which gives accurate, up-to-date information, integrates well with existing data solutions and can combine data from numerous sources. In addition to this, it must have a user-friendly interface which is easy to navigate, and it needs to add value and meet the goals you are working towards as a business (such as Account-Based Marketing, for example).
The ability to find the right contacts at the right organisations in the right industries can make all the difference to any business.
Rob Eaton, Director of Sales, International, at Avention