Customer service begins the moment you initiate a relationship with a prospect. If you lose the impression in the first call, you may never prepare your company’s image in that prospect’s eye. Perfect experience begins with the research you do before you call a prospect. By understanding the background of a company and the person you're trying to speak to, you can better frame a conversation.
“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.
Most sales managers expect reps to reach a certain number of phone calls every day in their efforts to contact prospects. 92% of all customer interactions occur on the phone. Every lead on the list looks the same to the reps if they do not know the background of the prospects they call. And just like no two prospects are the same, no two prospects’ interactions with you should be the same.
Some basic information you should quickly determine include:
- Company Size
- Number of Employees
- Product or Service Offerings
- Typical Sale Size
- Recent press releases
- Recent blog posts
- Their competitors
- What the company is tweeting about?
It’s important to reach to the right person at that company, just like reaching the right company. Know if you talking to an influencer, a decision-maker, or someone who has no reason to ever talk to you about your product or service? For example, reaching out to someone on the R&D team of a company to sell a product / service used by operations would rather result in either no connection, or a much longer sales process as they forward a representative onto someone else.
Try to find out what a company is doing to address their problems relevant to your product or service offerings, already. Knowing that it’s easy for the sales rep to ask questions like - “I noticed that you've been using affiliate marketing channel. How well has this been working? Have you been able to hit your traffic goals? Why, or why not?"
Knowing as much as you can about a potential prospect before you reach out can save you time and energy by reaching out to the right prospect, with the right message, at the right time. We are living in the age of context, and using relevant information to create a unique experience for each prospect will yield a more productive start to the sales process.