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The Edge 365

New Thinking that Drives Marketing Results

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  • Jon Rivers

It Only Takes 15 Minutes to Research Your Sales Lead & Prospect

Businessman holding an alarm clock for extra sales lead and prospect research in the office. Smile face feeling good and do his job in the company.

When it comes to sales, the more knowledge you have about your future customers, the more success you will have.

Learning more about the client and their needs as much as possible through your research shows your prospect that you are willing to understand their pain points and shows respect.

But how to go about do all of this research in a timely manner?

That's where social media and other online methods have become the tools that sales can now do meaningful research before the next meeting with the prospect.

Social Media Detective

With over 30 million companies having LinkedIn Profiles, 660 million users, and 280 billion feed updates annually, the importance of utilizing social media for researching clients can be lost on many. Don't get me wrong there are many other places online you can learn about your prospect, but social media will give you a lot of information in one place.

When you are research your prospect on social, here a few pointers to help you:

  • Researching which LinkedIn Groups your prospects are connected will give you a lot of valuable information around their interests and values. Take note of these groups as well as look at the influencers they are following as well.

  • Even LinkedIn is where you probably gather most of the information, still take a look at their Twitter profile and learn from their interactions, mentions, and shares. See if they are following your company or you personally if you have a personal business twitter account. Research if they are following or mentioning your company, competitors, or products similar to yours.

  • Continue this process across the various social channels as the more you learn, the more you can use in the conversations down the road.

Past Interactions

Many people forget to go back and do a internal research. See if you can find old emails, phone calls, forms they filled in from your website. Basically, any data points that will help you.

Another useful task is to ask a team member if they know anything about the prospect or if they had any interactions with them in the past.

Set up Triggers

Other ways to learn more about your prospect are utilizing places like Google News, Job Boards, Company Blogs, and so on.

What you're trying to do is look for triggers that help you understand if the prospect needs your solution/service. Examples can include hiring sprees, investment announcements.

News Alerts… Google Alerts are great for receiving new news about prospects

Find Customers with similar needs

You can bet a prospect is going ask you have you worked with a company similar to them or have you solved a similar issue to they have. So be prepared!

Hopefully, you have similar companies already, so make sure you already have that information before the call and, if possible, have any case studies and testimonials to hand to share.

If you solved the issue they have before with a similar prospect, then there is a good chance your messaging will resonate here as well.

Industry Research

It is vital you speak the prospect's language, so make sure you understand the industry they are working within. So do your intelligence gathering.

Forrester, Gartner, Google News are all useful tools. Make sure you know who the key players are in the industry, what is happening in the news, and what the current trends are.

By showing the prospect that you know their industry it will help you more in them trusting more in your solution.


Research isn't tricky, and all you need to know is where you need to look. But the return on doing this compared to not researching before talking to a prospect is the difference between closing or not closing a deal.

Good luck out there.

About the Author

Jon Rivers – Jon has been recognized as a pioneer within the partner channel as a digital marketing expert for his leadership in helping partners develop social brands, marketing strategies, and content to drive successful marketing campaigns.

Before starting Marketing Monarchs, Jon spent many years working in the Microsoft Dynamics ERP ecosystem system. Jon serves on various boards, including Directions North America, IAMCP (International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners), and CMA (Channel Marketing Alliance).

When Jon is not busy running Marketing Monarchs, you can find him Co-Hosting Leadership Goes Beyond one of the fastest-growing virtual conferences for Leadership.



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