Research: A Critical Selling Process


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Owler458LogoResearch comes in two modes: customer and competitor. Depending on whom you sell to and who your competitors are, one may be more critical for winning than the other, but both are essential, nevertheless.

Research isn’t an event—it’s a process. And that process can only be effective and efficient when it’s supported by a sales rep who has the skills to employ accurate and relevant data. I reviewed Owler. It can provide that data.

Customer Knowledge

When you’re “before the sale,” in the pre-opportunity stage, customer knowledge enables you to determine what’s going on in your customer’s world—outside, and often inside, their company. Understanding your customer’s opportunities and challenges, their markets, their competitors, their goals and objectives, and their strategies and tactics allows you to position yourself, your products and services, and your company in a way that will differentiate you from your competitors. Owler can help you become a student of your customer. You can read a lot more about this in Steve Andersen’s and my new book Beyond the Sales Process.

Competitor Knowledge

Competitive knowledge comes in more than one flavor. The best salespeople I’ve worked with understand their competitors’ companies, including their business strategies, successes and failures, the strengths and weaknesses of their competitors’ products and services, and even how individual sales reps compete against them. They use this information to devise a competitive strategy that underscores the value of their own offerings while diminishing the perceived value of their competitors’. This is a skill. It takes practice, insight, and knowledge. Again, Owler can provide what you need to understand that competitive landscape.

When I was introduced to Owler, I knew they were on to something, and my instinct was correct. Incoming emails alert me to what the companies that impact my practice and me are up to, to what other authors are writing and doing, and to the relevant activities of my clients and their customers. I feel extraordinarily well-informed.

Research is a critical component for winning in today’s hyper-competitive, noisy, and busy markets. To find your clear path through the clamor, I recommend starting with Owler and learning how to put all of the information they can provide to great use.

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Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dave Stein
Dave specializes in helping his clients win critical B2B sales opportunities as well as helping them hire the best sales talent.Dave is co-author of Beyond the Sales Process. He wrote the best-selling How Winners Sell in 2004.


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