I'm painfully untrendy. My jeans aren't dark enough. I pay $8 for a terrible haircut, and I just finished re-watching "The Civil War" on PBS. If you're reading this, I want you to look in the mirror and smile at the knowledge that no matter how bad things get there is someone out there that you are cooler than.
That being said, there is one area in which I am so much cooler than you, it's staggering.
More specifically, the prospecting stack that I use to generate business. It could stuff yours into a metaphorical high school locker. It's a bully.
I have a finite amount of time to do my own prospecting, so it's imperative that not a dial is wasted on a prospect that doesn't deserve it. Here's my stack in order of use.
LinkedIn Contact Capturing
The single greatest thing since Fritos. We all know LinkedIn is the top source for accurate contact information. Our collective professional vanity and desire to see who is creeping on our profile pages ensures an updated profile. Maybe with the exception of profile pictures. Mine is 7 years old from when I was more attractive.
Do yourself a favor and find a technology like RingLead's Capture product. It will allow you to harvest contacts directly from LinkedIn with the additional capability of appending contact information on the back end. It'll change your life.
Ringlead's Capture tool is a lifesaver when it comes to scraping contact info.
Capture is a Chrome plugin that will give you the option to either sync the contact data into Salesforce or you can load it into a .CSV file or spreadsheet.
Tech Install Information
For me, knowing what marketing automation and CRM is in place for a prospect is like going into a test already knowing the questions that will be asked. It allows me to pre-determine the pain points I want to structure my questions around.
Datanyze is a great tool for identifying prospects by their tech stack.
I can also identify existing clients with the same MA (Marketing Automation) and CRM mix before the calls to personalize my prospects experience with me. 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement (Econsultancy, The Realities of Online Personalisation, April 2013) and they're right - personalized prospecting increases conversion rates massively!
While I'm partial to the sales development dialer we have in Quotafactory, there are a ton of great companies out there that can supercharge your dialing. We are partial to non-auto dialer preview systems like ours, because you get a chance to know who's being called and to think about the tech install information you've collected before the prospect picks up. If you'd like more color on the types of dialers out there and what to avoid, check out this article.
The only thing I hate more than seeing myself on video is hearing myself on the phone. I have, however, put my self-disdain aside and adopted the practice of listening to my conversations (where the law allows the recording) after they happen.
The best business people never make the same mistakes twice. When you hear yourself going down a certain rat hole on a recording, you can ensure that it never happens again. There are great solutions out there today to take your call recordings to a new level via coaching. We use execvision.io to turn our recordings into game film that fuels all of our coaching initiatives.
Seem simple? That's because it is. There are too many options out there for people to include in their prospecting stack. All you really need is: good contact info, intel that lets you personalize your message, automated dialing, and call recording.
The fact is there are too many solutions being jammed down our prospecting stack. Take a step back and lighten your prospecting technology load. Less truly is more at this stage.
We surveyed the 451 B2B companies we've worked with and came back with a staggering stat. The average SDR has 8 different prospecting tools in place. That's right, 8! That can't be a good thing. My stack keeps the focus on prospecting fundamentals and puts a priority on live conversations - not emailing. I like to think it's a huge reason behind its ability to stuff someone else's stack into a locker.
About the Author: Peter Gracey is the CEO of QuotaFactory. Peter is responsible for the day-to-day operations of QuotaFactory, company growth, success, and helping clients reach their sales quota. Peter is also an Adjunct Professor of Sales and Marketing for the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Follow him on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.