In the sales game, sometimes you have to do a little detective work to find the right contact at a prospect’s place of business, divine who interested parties are, find a phone number, etc. Anyone that’s held a sales job can relate to this. Nowadays it’s even harder to connect with influencers and decision makers to press your case regarding your product or service. Statistics tell us buyers are 60% to 80% through their decision making process before you even get a chance to engage. Customers are doing their own research about prospective suppliers on their own long before they talk with a person at the supplier’s office. Thankfully there are some ways to adapt.
Most methods customers use to evaluate potential suppliers involve some form of Internet delivered service or content. It could come from a social network, blogs, review sites, case studies, etc. These platforms don’t always lend themselves to suppliers easily identifying and influencing the individuals shopping.
However, using a combination of tools you can zero in on likely prospects and work like a detective in Dynamics CRM, uncovering clues to who likely prospects are.Let’s run through some common scenarios and see how this works using the following tools:
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional
- Insights for Dynamics CRM
Clue #1: IP Organization
We’ve established that shoppers will come to your website. Some may be known to you, some anonymous. Using Dynamics CRM with ClickDimensions, we can view site analytics to gather clues about site visitors, what pages they are visiting, and for how long.
Let’s look at IP Organizations. I’m using my own system – but don’t worry because the names have been obscured to maintain privacy.
So I’m looking for patterns that indicate someone or some organization is interested in what we are doing. Starting in the far left column you have a list of IP Organizations (ISPs). For the most part these are “generic” ISPs and don’t do you much good in terms of prospect hunting. However, some organizations have their own IP address that is identical to their business name. This is the case of the 3rd IP Organization on the list (bummer - I know - you can’t read it).
Regarding this IP Organization, it was a for-profit business. Doing an advanced search on LinkedIn, I searched their organization for keyword “CRM”. Interestingly, it was an IT Manager. I noticed that this manager and I were both members of a CRM group. I connected with this individual and found their sales managers were in need of training.
Clue #2: Known Page Views
It gets easier here. Our marketing automation solution, ClickDimensions, serves up the names of each “known” person that visits our web site. I can see which pages they viewed, how many times they viewed them, how long they spent on the site, and on which days. Through lead scoring, I can easily see which leads look ready for a direct connection via email or phone.
At this point, I can go to their Lead record and using Insights for CRM, I enrich the Lead record with phone number, address and background on this Lead’s business. I began our 3-step process for making a 1-to-1 connection with a new Lead.
Clue #3: Clicks on Email Links
We recently ran a marketing campaign targeting users of other CRMs, users that are ready for a change. After sending out the email, ClickDimensions provides us with information regarding what links the email recipient clicked on. In the example above Anthony (last name omitted) clicked on the link that took him to our landing page, and separately clicked on our homepage. This is a definite sign of interest as Anthony is taking additional steps to visit our website and have a look around. Anthony was on a marketing list so I already had his contact information. After a couple more nurture touches occurred, I sent an Outlook email to Anthony to register his level of interest. Anthony helped me arrange a conference call with his VP of Sales and we were able to move to the proposal stage with this prospect.
These are just a few of the ways you can utilize the CRM-related tools you have at your disposal to uncover and detect sales opportunities. We’ll look at some more in a future blog. Happy selling!
By Mark Abes, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, xRM