When a raw lead is passed to a sales rep or an inside sales rep, there is often much information missing from it. It usually only has the company name, contact, the contact’s job title, and a phone number and/or email address. A sales rep’s time is valuable, and such sketchy information doesn’t describe the risk factor well enough for a salesperson’s time to be invested in a full sales cycle.
It is well worth the sales rep’s (or an assistant’s or an inside sales rep’s) time to work up a demographic profile of the target company before much time has been spent. This should be a basic action in sales pipeline management.
Basic Information on Company
Much information can be researched online about a company, and in some cases can be obtained for a small fee from companies that specialize in providing such information (make sure they are reputable). This would include data such as annual revenue and number of employees. If your product or service would be targeted at a specific area in a company, you might want to know how large that area is as well. For example if your product were meant for the sales force, how many salespeople are there? These steps should be established well at the beginning of your sales process.
Under this category is summated the data on how much of a player your prospect company is within its industry. What is their specific industry, and how long have they been in business? How much of a market leader are they? What is their range of products and/or services? What are their price ranges? Your CRM should be able to take such questions into account.
Such information will give you an idea of how important that company is within its area of business—and will clue you in on how important a customer they could be for your company.
Companies can have vastly different reaches within an industry. Are you dealing with worldwide company headquarters of an organization with no other existing branches? Or is your contact within a local office of a company that has such branches all over the world?
“Branches” can also be categorized as “partners”—in other words, many companies do business through local distributors throughout the world. In many cases that would be virtually the same as having branch offices in multiple locations.
Sometimes, of course, if a company is doing great business in the virtual space, having branch offices would be a moot point. But such data can be included in your overall analysis of the company so it is taken into account in sales strategies.
Account Profiler Tool for Sales Pipeline Management
There is a highly useful free account profiler tool available that includes full demographic information, which can be used in the evaluation of any opportunity. It includes the factors enumerated above.
This tool also includes a full psychograpic profile for each contact you make at the target company. It allows the sales rep to record observations about the company culture, the contact’s role in the buying process, the contact’s preferred method of communication, their attitude about new technology adaption, their potential attitude toward your product or service, and other factors.
In addition there is a section on buying behavior which assists you in detailing the company’s buying patterns. It takes into account the decision-making process, the purchase approval line, and other factors.
Fully profiling your potential account as part of sales pipeline management can go a long way to assessing opportunity risk right from the beginning.
Click here to download your free opportunity evaluation tool.