How Not to Prospect

(Hint: Don’t Follow the Herd) Step Away From the Beaten Path

It’s beginning of the year which means Sales Development Reps (SDRs) and Inside Sales teams are mapping out their target accounts and making resolutions to bring down those big logos.

It’s also the time of year I like to look back at the search histories of our users in the aggregate. I get a kick out of this every year.

Let’s start with the most searched CIOs in the DiscoverOrg database:

1st SourceGopi MenonChief Information Officer
1st Colonial BancorpIrene ClarkChief Information Officer
121 Financial Credit UnionLarry RouseChief Information Officer
21st Century Insurance GroupRick StonerChief Information Officer
1-800 PetmedsRichard KirschChief Information Officer
1105 MediaErik LindgrenChief Information Officer
1-800 ContactsJohn MurrayChief Information Officer
1st Franklin FinancialCindy MullinChief Information Officer
1-800 FlowersArnold LeapChief Information Officer
24 Hour FitnessTim SegneriChief Information Officer

Notice anything? Every one of these comes from a company with a leading number – i.e. 1st Source, 1-800 Contacts, 1-800 Petmeds etc. Why would that be? Well that’s easy. When you log into DiscoverOrg, the initial company listings (before any filters have been applied) is sorted alphabetically with numbers at the top; so users just select these companies because they “SEE” them, not because they are strategically going after accounts or looking for companies with the biggest IT budgets or most relevant Trigger Events – just the ones their eyes see first. This is obviously not the most strategic way to prospect.

How about the least prospected to individuals – there is not a lot to take away there either – here are the 10 least searched CIOs in the DiscoverOrg database:

Red Lobster Seafood CompanyLou GrandeChief Information Officer
eBayDan MoralesChief Information Officer
Hallmark CardsEvon JonesChief Information Officer
TD Bank Financial GroupJeff MartinChief Information Officer
Tenet HealthTim LankesChief Information Officer
PerkinElmerHans KeilChief Information Officer
CaterpillarJulie LagacyChief Information Officer
Newport News ShipbuildingBharat AminChief Information Officer
LennarSteve SmithChief Information Officer
Dollar TreeTom ScottChief Information Officer

Some simple observations: As a group, the least searched CIOs control significantly more IT budget than the CIOs of the most searched companies. In fact, Jeff Martin the CIO of TD Bank Financial Group owns more IT budget than half of the CIOs on the most searched list.

Let that sink in for a moment.

You’re in sales. If your sales leader is anything like the sales leaders at DiscoverOrg, then they are absolutely vigilant about your time and making sure that you are prioritizing the highest return activities. That means fishing where the fish are – prospecting where there is the most likelihood of a sale, understanding your target buyer and going after them. This also means not just clicking on the first thing to come across your screen.

If you’re already using DiscoverOrg, then mine our triggers to find the opportunities that are most relevant to you.  Do a REAL company search and dissect companies by Revenue, Industry, Technologies Used, Growth Rate etc., not just the first thing that comes to your mind. Be vigilant about your own time – it’s one of the few things you can control as an Inside Sales Rep or SDR – spend it on the opportunities and leads that have the most likelihood to close. Using DiscoverOrg, success is at your fingertips – look beyond the first contact you see and you will find it

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Henry has over 11 years of experience managing the sales and marketing activities of fast growing Information Technology more