Tips to leverage your sales intel Part 2

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Last updated April 8, 2018

Sales reps have a multitude of ways to customize the messaging in their outreach as seen in this first article. Let’s look at a few other data points that make for compelling messaging hence help garner more responses:

Company Financials - Public vs Private, Large vs Small, Funded vs Unfunded

Much can be learned from looking at an annual report. Revenue numbers tell us how much a company might be willing to pay for tools. A healthy bottom line/top line usually means that at least from a financial standpoint, a company can afford to spend – a hygiene factor to decide whether or not you should target a particular prospect. Even if you do target a prospect that has a less than promising top line, knowing so will make you be better prepared in case a closure doesn’t ensue.

Revenue numbers are easy enough to find out when it comes to public companies. While looking at private companies, since this information isn’t readily available, the metric to be used would be funding. Broadly, companies can be categorized into these buckets:

  1. Public
  2. Private Funded
  3. Private Unfunded

Publicly traded companies are the most ‘secure’ of the lot and owing to the source of their funds, are far less in danger of running out of case when compared to private companies. From a sales standpoint, these make for the best targets. Coupled with knowledge of the fiscal year, these should be targeted first. Larger the company, the more important it becomes as an account from a brand perspective. SMEs might be easier to get the foot in the door of, though, since there are lesser gatekeepers between the decision maker and the sales rep.

The very first consideration while prioritizing which private companies to go after would be if the company is funded or not. The next question would be – when was the company funded? The more recent the funding round, the better the chances that the company is open to exploring tools to use. The third consideration should also be the size of the company. How large is the organization? The more the number of employees, the better the chances that it is financially sound and hence would be able to pay for your services/products.

In terms of priority, target public companies first. Large public organizations that have had a profitable quarter are the ones to go after first. Next, look at large, well-funded private companies. Next in line would be moderate to small sized public companies followed by unfunded companies.

Have a look at one of our data sheets to learn more about the distribution of companies using specific Applicant Tracking Systems across the public and private space.

Major activity within organizations:

News is usually a good way to be on top of the happenings in your prospect’s company. Sales reps constantly look for different ways to not only customize their first outreach but also to follow up without sounding like a broken record (read - “following up on our conversation last week/month...”). Responses are elicited by messages that are thought through and meaningful. The fact that the sales rep has been following the progress of a prospect’s company shows seriousness and genuine interest beyond just wanting to sell. A number of company-level changes can be used for this purpose:

New funding round:

A new funding round is a cause for much cheer and growth for the organization. Sending a congratulatory note can be an effective way to get a conversation going. Who doesn’t like a compliment - that too, a well-deserved one! It’s also an indicator that a company is flush with cash to make purchasing decisions.

New products launched:

This is a milestone for the company after having invested a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. This is a phase when they will be planning a lot of marketing and sales activity as well. So if your tool is around improving sales efficiency, all the better! Even otherwise, product launches call for celebration and hence a great piece of content to use in messaging.

Leadership changes:

This one is big. Especially if the leadership change is in the function your sales team sells into. Most sales reps keep track of these movements for the accounts they target. Knowing that a target lead has moved companies is a great way to 1) immediately find out who’s taken over in your target account and 2) try to connect with the (ex)lead in his/her new organization.

Quarterly financial reports:

Quarterly reports tell you how well-disposed the company is to spend on external offerings. If you see a decline over the previous quarters, perhaps it may not be a great time to reach out and you are better off focusing on other accounts. However, if the company has had a good quarter, it can be a way to get a foot in the door.

Mergers and Acquisitions:

These are major events. A merger, from sales standpoint, means the people you have to target in the combined entity may be different. An acquisition means the acquired company is also a potential target and you have additional leads to go after.

New Partnerships/ Customers:

This is again a cause for celebration for your prospect. New partnerships are strategic since they are meant to bring in new customers. Such announcements also draw in a number of inbound leads. From the perspective of a sales rep looking to sell, though, these are announcements to be used to personalize the outreach. A subject line including the announcement also guarantees a higher open rate.

New Market Expansions:

Expansion to new markets means more leads to go after in the new territories. These are better prospects as well since new decision makers are eager to do well and prove a point. Hence, they are more disposed to look for offerings that will make their work easy. Quoting the recent expansion is a great starting line as well.

Keeping track of all the above trigger events would be a laborious task indeed. While things like creating Google alerts or regular news checks can be a way to keep track, they’re inefficient. We know of a great tool that will do all of the above for you - we encourage you to check it out! Irrespective of how you gather the intel, be sure to leverage them to see your response and demo rates soar!