The Scout motto is “be prepared.” But perhaps that should also be the motto for SDRs. One of the biggest mistakes SDRs make is not adequately preparing for sales calls. Sure, there isn’t time to extensively research every sales prospect. But suppose that a key decision maker at one of your target accounts filled out a contact form. It would be a huge mistake to not adequately prepare for the call.
The good news is that there are a variety of sales tools that offer reps the opportunity to gather more intelligence than ever before quicker than ever before. A tool like Datanyze can offer insight into a company’s funding details and the types of software they use. LinkedIn and other social platforms give insight into a prospect’s work history and interests. And RingDNA can surface lead data from Salesforce that reps can view before dialing.
In order to adequately prepare for an important sales call, here are 10 questions that you should be able to answer:
1. Has your prospect lived/worked in a location you’re familiar with?
One of the most important parts of any sales discovery call is building rapport. If a prospect has worked for a company you’re familiar with or lived in an area you know well, it can help build rapport quickly. Also be sure to look at where they went to school.
2. What has your prospect posted on social media recently?
You can learn a lot about prospects from social media. As an example, you might notice on Twitter that your prospect attended a recent conference that you also attended. Or maybe they’re going on a trip to a location you know well and posted asking about restaurant recommendations. Look for any possible way to break the ice.
3. Do you have any contacts in common?
LinkedIn is great for finding mutual contacts. One of the best ways to build credibility is to find a mutual friend or business colleague.
4. Has the company had any big news lately (e.g. funding rounds, acquisitions, big wins)?
It’s always wise to be aware of any big company news. Something like a recent funding round or an acquisition can be an indicator that the company has a budget to buy your solution. You can find this information by using a tool that offers company intelligence data. Or simply look the company up on sites like Crunchbase and VentureBeat.
5. How long has your prospect been in their current role?
If a prospect is new in their role it’s likely that they might not just have been given a mandate to deliver sweeping changes, but a budget to make those changes happen.
6. What kinds of challenges do people in that role typically face?
Identifying a prospect’s role is vital because it empowers you to focus on how your offering can solve pain points for prospects in that role. After all, prospects in different roles might have divergent use cases for your product. To be truly prepared for your call you should be able to answer these four role-specific questions.
7. What are a few ways your solution specifically helps people in their role?
Here is where case studies can come in handy. If you have helped a prospect in a similar role at a similar company it then this is absolutely worth mentioning during your discovery call.
8. What are some common objections raised by those in their role?
It can be helpful to anticipate objections in advance. You may have noticed trends (e.g. marketing managers typically worry about implementation timeline). If so, you can adequately prepare yourself to overcome objections.
9. Do you have any success stories with other companies in their industry?
It’s important to know which industry your target company plays in as well as how to best sell to companies in that industry. Again, look for relevant case studies.
10. What are 2-3 companies they compete with?
If you have sold to one of their primary competitors or even a company in their industry that they’re familiar with, it can really help you establish credibility. It pays to check if you have sold to any of their primary competitors.
The more of these questions that you can answer, the more prepared for you’re call you’ll be. So if a high value lead comes in, it really pays to take the time to do a little prep work before reaching out.
Check out our free sales call cheat sheet. It’s packed with tons of discovery questions that can help you during every phase of your call!