Cold Case: Finding the Right Contact in Inside Sales

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Having the know-how to find the right contact could be one of the most underrated functions of the prospecting process. This ability separates someone who is average and someone who excels. It sounds easy enough until you actually sit down and try calling into a company like Microsoft or IBM to see who handles some niche area of technology operations.

Here are some tips for finding the right contact in inside sales:

Craft a Referral Email. The referral email should include a short summary of who you’re looking to speak with and why. There should be one sentence at most that highlights the product/solution and also ties into the reason why you’re looking to chat. This could even replace your first introductory email as a means to quicken the identification process.

Use the Help of Administrative Assistants. If you have a person listed as the IT Director, make sure they are indeed the IT Director and not actually some Java Developer in the U.K. Before you get transferred to their extension, connect with the Admin (if applicable), to confirm if that specific person would be the best to speak with.

Follow the Trail. When you do get someone live on the phone and they turn out to be the incorrect contact, still use them as a resource to find the right person. Ask who they would recommend that you contact.

Social Media. Searching on LinkedIn is essential, since employees update their own information. There are many resources available that can allow you to be resourceful online.  Even using a simple Google search by typing in the Company Name and the ideal Job Title(s) has yielded some of the most appropriate contacts.  The results could bring you to a press release where the IT Director is quoted or a case study where the Director of Network Security has made a statement.

Connect with the ‘General’ Department. When all else fails, ask to be transferred to whatever department your decision maker tends to reside in, whether it be Marketing, IT, Human Resources, etc.

The point is, you can’t rely on data from your database or list vendor until you’ve proven first hand that it’s credible data.  The faster you can find the right contacts, the shorter your own sales cycle becomes with that account.

Are there any other methods that you’ve used to identify the best contact to call?

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Republished with author's permission from original post.

Michael Ricciardelli
Mike is currently Manager of Client Operations with AGSalesworks and is responsible for client engagement with both start-ups and Fortune 500 companies.

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