Prospect Research: Are You Wasting Your Time?
Many B2B sales people spend significant time getting familiar with the specific needs and personal characteristics of the prospective buyers they meet with. However, it’s my observation that many of them are focusing on the wrong things, decreasing their effectiveness and wasting a significant amount of time.
Research from the Corporate Executive Board says that an average of 5.4 buyers are involved in typical B2B decisions. If you were planning to research all of the people involved in a specific buying decision, you could see how it would get very complicated, very quickly—and is it worth it in the end?
Prospective customers don’t necessarily make business decisions based on who they are as people: how long they’ve been in their jobs, their personal history, their golf handicap, etc.
Instead, I believe they make decisions based on their business position: whether they perceive that their market share is at threat or believe they must do something different to improve the company’s outlook or even their own positions.
So instead of researching the 5+ decision makers’ roles, personalities and job responsibilities, I suggest focusing on the company’s business situation and the role each person plays in that situation. Not only will this approach save you time, but it will also give you the tools you need to present your solution as a “must have” to the company and its decision makers.
In my next post, I’ll show you a 4-step tool that you can use to focus your research and generate effective material for winning the deal you’re putting together.