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What you need to know about a prospect before a sales call — and where to find it

What you need to know about a prospect before a sales call — and where to find it

4
min read

Once you qualify a lead, they become a prospect in your sales pipeline and the odds that they’ll buy your product or service increase. Naturally, they’ve got your attention and you probably want to get them on the phone as soon as possible.

Before you dial their number, take a few minutes to learn who they are and what their unique needs are. A bit of research will set you up for a better sales call and deliver a worthy return on investment in the long run.

Learn the following 5 things about your prospect to make sure you’re prepared for your call.

  1. Learn about them as a person
  2. Brush up on their professional background
  3. Understand their current organization
  4. Review their current needs
  5. Revisit their history with your company and team

1. Learn about them as a person

Start with a basic search on the individual that you’ll be connecting with. Focus on a few personal details before moving onto their professional background.

Name and pronouns

It should hopefully go without saying, but you need to learn their full name. If their pronouns are available, make sure you’re familiar with those, too.

🔍 Where to find it: LinkedIn, email signature, company website Team or About Us page

Location

Learn where they’re located. At the very least know what timezone they’re in and generally when the best time to connect might be.

🔍 Where to find it: LinkedIn, Streak email tracking*

*location data isn’t always available for tracked emails, and can be affected by a VPN or an intermediary server. Learn more here.

Social media

Social media can become a wormhole, so use it to look for professional posts like thought leadership pieces they’ve shared, career updates, etc. Ideally, you’ll be able to find something that illustrates their perspectives on industry-related topics to help you learn more about them as a prospect.

Keep in mind that mentioning how awesome their new hair style, last vacation, or kid’s birthday looked on Instagram could get creepy, fast.

🔍 Where to find it: Medium, personal blog or website, LinkedIn, Twitter

2. Brush up on their professional background

Brushing up on their career history can help you identify their personal skills and priorities on the call.

Past industries

Learning what industries they’ve worked in can give you a hint about their skills and areas of interest or expertise. For example, somebody who has worked in finance for a decade might be numbers oriented and interested in discussing pricing earlier in the conversation.

Of course, be wary of over-generalizing and leave space to get to know the prospect on the call.

🔍 Where to find it: LinkedIn, personal website

Job history

Take a few minutes to explore their personal career journey.

Have they worked at any companies you’re familiar with? Have they climbed the ladder at any particular organization, or held a leadership role? Do you have any connections?

Learning these details about your prospect can help create a connection and give you a basic understanding of how they’ve shaped their career and landed in their current role.

🔍 Where to find it: LinkedIn, personal website

3. Understand their current organization

At this point you should have a pretty clear picture of your prospect as an individual. Switch gears to look at their current company so you can evaluate the organization-level needs for your product or service.

Product or service offering and mission statement

Head over to their company website and learn about their product or service. A mission statement can also help you align with their values and understand their priorities better.

By better understanding what they do, you’ll also be able to identify some of their competitors and get a feel for the landscape they operate in.

🔍 Where to find it: company website

About their company

Brush up on recent events and important updates from their company so you’re in the know during your conversation. Type their company name into a search tool like Google and see what pops up.

Some noteworthy results might include:

  • A recent round of fundraising
  • Company news and announcements like new leadership, new product or service offerings, a recent acquisition, etc.
  • Opinion articles or other press about the company

🔍 Where to find it: Google (or preferred search engine) search

4. Review their current needs

Since this prospect has been qualified in your pipeline, you likely already have some information on what they need from your product or service.

Look through your CRM to dig up past email conversations, notes from a teammate, or a form that the prospect filled out. Specifically, see if you can find:

  • What part of your product or service they find most compelling
  • If they’re considering any of your competitors
  • How many people will be using your product or service if they purchase
  • What their budget is

🔍 Where to find it: your CRM, email history, form submissions from your website, interaction timeline in their Streak contact page

5. Revisit their history with your company and team

This may not be the first time your prospect has interacted with your team or company. Maybe they’ve been using a free version of your product or service and reached out to support, or a previous deal hit a dead end.

You’ll have a head start in your conversation if you have a good grasp of their previous history — objections and all — with your company. Streak makes this easy by automatically building contact pages for each contact in your pipelines. You’ll find a timeline of their interactions across all of your pipelines and can quickly piece together their history with your company.

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