This post is about an interesting place you can look for “suspects” when you are prospecting.
This is a place that is super-obvious, but as with many real world things, often not utilized: your company’s own CRM/old contact lists.
I’ve seen the scenario umpteen times. A rep has a quota to make and feels under-the-gun. The first place they go for a “suspect”/”lead” list is Linkedin or another third-party list (InsideView, Zoominfo etc. etc.) Where they don’t go is their company’s own CRM.
This is odd because the people in your CRM have presumably had some thought put into selecting them. Someone at your firm may even once have talked to those people.
Go dumpster diving
Frequently your company has a nice big (or huge) list of accounts in your CRM, often tens of thousands. But often the CRM is as organized as a child’s bedroom (i.e. with my kids, it’s a mess!)
But in this messy CRM may lie some great nuggets.
Many relationships the company has had are buried in these old records and relationships are the biggest factor in helping you sell and often they change the whole game.
Time and again I’ve seen the current sales people and managers in a company overlook what potential lives in these “dusty” old CRM records. Their focus is on what is going on today. What’s in today’s pipeline.
Existing reps also often go back to the same handful of accounts selling them over-and-over-again and never taking the time to look through any of the old records sitting in plain sight in the company’s database.
Unless your company has completely burned its bridges with an old client (and even then you cannot write the account off for sure), you should consider trying to “reactivate” this account.
If a company has done business with your company before or even gotten pretty far down the pipeline, there may well be a fit. Caveat: Check that the company fits with your ideal prospect profile before you invest too much time in them.
Trigger events are your friend
You’re probably not going to sell these dormant accounts much right away. That’s not the approach you should take. You want to start to nurture your territory. By reopening the conversation with previously inactive accounts you can put yourself in a position to win business when the time is right.
Trigger events are your friend. A trigger event is when something changes at your prospect. Some examples of trigger events are new executives, new initiatives, mergers, company growth and downsizing.
If you keep in touch consistently and are a helpful resource, you will be in “position A” when a trigger event occurs at one of these accounts. If the trigger event is in an area where your product or service can help, you will be in like Flynn.
I believe your best chance of survival in sales is to intelligently leverage all the relationships you can muster. Don’t overlook your company’s CRM system in this pursuit. It may be messy and it may be dusty, but under all that muck there may be some golden opportunities.