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Look, I get it: You’re used to sales prospecting the traditional way, and with your boss breathing down your neck about your activity numbers, you just want to call through that list of companies and not think twice about it.

The fact of the matter is that those numbers you’re doing will only get you so far. In today’s world, you need to cut through the noise, and the best way to do that is provide personalized value to the person on the other end.

Here’s the good news: in the modern data-driven age, there are tons of hints on the web that will help you get more pointed in your approach. Here are four strategies we recommend to get your conversion rates up without spending any more time sales prospecting.

Instead of industry, think keywords

Unless you only provide services to a specific industry SIC code, you’re probably frustrated by the limitations of industry filters. Sometimes they’re too broad, sometimes too specific, and it’s always dependent on how the company has labeled themselves.

Here’s the good news: in the modern data-driven age, there are tons of hints on the web that will help you get more pointed in your approach.

What to do instead? Look for keywords mentioned on the company’s website.

Whether you’re looking for companies that run online demos, companies that install commercial LED lighting, or every company that is HIPAA compliant, simple keyword searches into the websites of the companies will provide you with exactly what you’re looking for.

Instead of size, think characteristics

While salespeople may be interested in the size of a prospective customer, that isn’t a great indication of the actual spend on different business areas. A company in hyper-growth mode will be investing millions into something important to them, while another company of the same size might be in cost-cutting mode.

By extracting data from the web, we can characterize companies, similar to how you might a human being.

By extracting data from the web, we can characterize companies, similar to how you might a human being. Some companies are forward-thinking, use modern technologies, invest in marketing, and have a large product team, while others are more resistant to change, attend a lot of trade shows and don’t post much on social media.

Whatever your ideal customer profile, there is a characterization out there that correlates with an interest in your services, and there is an indication on the web that can be traced back to those ideal companies.

Use technographics to further indicate spend

Even if you’re not in software and looking for companies using your competition, the tools or technologies a company is using are a great indication of the needs your prospect may have.

Staffing customer support personnel? Look for the companies with a chat tool on their website. In logistics? Look for the companies with ecommerce platforms. Translation services? Look for websites with multiple languages.

The tools and technologies a company is using are great indicators of the need your prospect may have.

Once you know who it is you’re looking for, it’s a short step to figure out what technologies those companies use and filter accordingly.

Look at open positions or larger transformations to be on top of arising needs

Guess when we changed all our accounting software and service providers? Three months after hiring our CFO. And when do we spend on sales tools? When scaling up the team and expanding to new markets.

It’s simple: If a company’s hiring into a certain area, it’s a point of emphasis for them right now. If a company receives a round of funding or goes through a merger, vendors are re-evaluated and money is allocated to meet new ambitious goals.

Going through all the job boards, news outlets and press releases takes time, so use an intelligent aggregator to go through all the job boards for you with the relevant keywords you’re looking for. You’ll not only find an answer to who to target, but receive the appropriate talking points for a smarter discussion as well.

Topics: Sales Prospecting

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