Sales can be tricky—you need to showcase your product without compromising a great customer experience. In this episode of SaaS-Story in the Making, Matt Wood, CEO of CheetahIQ, shares the importance of sales research with host Matt Wolach.
Wood explains how research and prospect intelligence can prepare salespeople to perform better and close more deals. This method may sometimes be the most neglected part of the process but here’s why you need to start dedicating your time to it.
Podcast: SaaS-Story in the Making
Episode: Episode No. 195, “How Sales Research Can Help You Close More Deals”
Host: Matt Wolach, a B2B SaaS sales coach, Entrepreneur, and Investor
Guest: Matt Wood, CEO of CheetahIQ & Founder of 10 Mile Solutions
TOP TIPS FROM THIS EPISODE
Know Exactly What You Want
Research is one of the most time-consuming part of the business. Having multiple tabs open is the usual scenario, especially for salespeople. According to CheetahIQ’s customer research, salespeople spend eight hours per week but fall behind. Sales research is essential, but not knowing what you are looking for wastes time. Wood described Sales Research in three activities:
- Who do you want to sell to?
Start from the basics—understand your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and find them through various platforms, such as LinkedIn or ZoomInfo.
- How am I going to reach out?
Get to know your prospects. Find ways to connect by looking for their email, contact numbers, ZoomInfo, Seamless.AI, etc.
- Why am I reaching out?
Study their problems that you can solve to make that connection. Understanding your prospects this way improves personalization when you make that call.
Wood mentioned that it is similar to prospect intelligence, as you are trying to understand them to create a more personalized experience across the sales cycle. These practices narrow the research process into a more straightforward and productive approach. You can save more time while getting all the points you need.
Improve SDRs and AEs’ Performance
Prospect intelligence within the sales research process covers the entire sales cycle. And your sales development reps (SDRs) and account executives (AEs) can improve their game through research.
Wood mentioned that in CheetahIQ, this is how their prospects are divided: taken care of by SDE and AE. SDE focuses on prospects in the earlier stage of the cycle, while AEs close the deals. However, both of them can have struggles in the process.
SDEs can have a hard time standing out among their competitors, making it even harder for you to gain attention from your prospects. AEs, on the other hand, can find it difficult to build connections and provide a great customer experience. But all of these can be improved with research.
Knowing your prospects well can understand their wants, needs, and pain and translate that into a personal experience. By creating the area for relevance, Wood described it as “breaking through the noise and standing out.” Knowing them well enough to discuss what they like and their pains can help build the initial connection. From here, you have a greater chance of standing out from your competitors.
Prospects Love it when You Do Your Homework
It can be most beneficial for the business in sales research rather than the prospects. The good thing is, “they want to know that you’ve done your homework” when you reach out to them.
Your goal is to be in the “trusted advisor seat.” By understanding them enough, you should be able to relate to their experiences, address their pains, and tie it back to how you can solve these pains for them. Your prospects want to see that you understand them well to trust you.
The Five by Five Framework
Wood mentioned the Five by Five framework that they do In CheetahIQ. There are a lot of information sources on the internet, and going through them one by one is daunting. The Five by Five framework provides you with five key insights within five minutes, all in one place.
This helps your sales research be packed with information about your prospects in such a short time. It can include articles about them, recently posted, their initiatives, etc. You need all the information to create a relatable and meaningful conversation or a clear strategy to reach out to them better.
It’s essential to have a list of the key points that you’re trying to discover about a prospect. Coming in prepared helps you own that conversation and lead them through the process.
Prospects Don’t Trust Salespeople
According to research, 88% of buyers believe that salespeople are unprepared for a discovery call. And this is because of the lack of prior research.
Salespeople struggle with it because they are never trained to do it right. They may not know what to find, where to find it, and how to address it adequately. They can be unappealing when reaching out to prospects. It is one of the pitfalls of this role that makes them unlikeable.
Wood emphasized that research and training salespeople on doing it right are essential parts of the sales process. Most significantly, knowing the kind of information you need in the first place is technical.
He said, “if you go in with a plan, [and] if you know what you’re looking for, and you’re going back to your ICP, and your buyer persona, what their problems are, how you’re solving those, then you can accelerate how you do research and pull the right types of information in to get ready.” You don’t want your prospects to think that you’re “another person who’s trying to make a buck.”
[08:00] ”The relevance during outreach and booking meetings is really about breaking through the noise and standing out so you can book the meeting.”
[08:50] “Research out there says that 88% of buyers, in the b2b space, believe that salespeople are unprepared for discovery calls and because they’re unprepared, they are unable to build trust, they’re not becoming a trusted adviser.”
[14:25] “We want to be that trusted advisor with a seat at the table– who is like the name implies– trusted by the prospects so that they look at you as someone who can help them solve problems.”
[19:41] “If you can understand your market, really understand your problem and how you saw that and how you message that to the customers.”
[13:32] ”I love that five by five framework. That’s something that I could train someone on. I could say, okay, I need five insights in five minutes. So you don’t have to waste a lot of time. But you can get really good things and have a fantastic conversation with somebody or have a great positive outreach campaign that’s going to work that’s going to hit on things that they appreciate.”
[15:35] “[Research] It works for multiple different roles, the SDR, they’ve got their stuff, the AEs doing their thing. So everybody can kind of see what’s going on with this prospect.”
To learn more about Matt Wood and CheetahIQ, visit https://www.cheetahiq.com/.
For 10 Mile Solutions, visit https://10milesolutions.com/.
You can also find Matt Wood on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthewnwood/.
For more about how host Matt Wolach helps software companies achieve maximum growth, visit https://mattwolach.com/.