Your life as an outbound sales rep is a fine balance between finding new prospects, follow-up emails, and cold calls. The time spent in each function detracts from another, so you must make each as efficient as possible. You need to determine quickly whether or not a company is worth your time and how to prioritize your efforts between those in your pipeline. You need to pre-qualify your prospects.
Based on years in the trenches, here are 8 quick and easy indicators you can find just by looking at a company’s website:
1) Listed Leadership Team (with Pictures)
This will drastically reduce the amount of time you have to spend searching sites like LinkedIn and Data.com for the decisionmaker of the company. Furthermore, it indicates how much the company values transparency and their interest in building relationships – good news for you!
Bonus Point: Social networks listed
JACKPOT: Email address listed
2) Careers Posted
Considering the expense of human capital, active hiring is an clue they’ve at least got some money, somewhere, which they intend to use for growth.
3) Customer References
Somebody is giving them money and they have good enough relationships that they allow their logo be on your prospect’s website. This is hugely important since your prospects need money to afford new products and services – like yours!
Bonus Point: The customer is one you recognize and respect (and who also has money)
4) Investors and Funding Details
Now before we get up in arms about how bootstrapped companies can be just as successful, let me reiterate that this post is about how to make judgements quickly. Investors mean money in the bank and your prospect is expecting to spend some of it in the name of growth (in order to make a lot more). That makes them a good prospect.
5) A Listed Phone Number
The faster you can call them, the faster they’ll become qualified leads….
6) Their Website is Updated
You know what I’m talking about: the picture of an accessibly-diverse team sitting around a boardroom table, poorly chosen fonts and overall pathetic branding. Obviously, when a company is doing well, department budgets grow – meaning you can expect the marketing efforts to improve. An outdated website conveys questionable revenue – or worse, they don’t understand its importance and therefore cannot grasp the innovation offered by your company.
7) Current Copyright Date
An echo of the above, this is a telltale sign someone is not doing their job or they don’t have a person to do it. Frequently, outdated copyrights correlate with bad websites and are seen in small companies that never quite took off, and/or tried to cut corners by outsourcing their website. This sort of internal disarray means a delayed decision-making process and an extended sales cycle you, nor your manager, wants to endure.
8) Do They Consistently Blog?
Blogs are more than just a sign your prospect is able to keep up with market expectations, but are a key resource in determining just how your product can help them. The more you know about your target company, the more you can personalize your messaging and tailor your value proposition.
Hint: Don’t bother prospecting our CEO unless you can be very clear about how you can help solve the world’s contact information problem.
The underlying factor between many of these tips is determining that the company you’re targeting is growing and making strides forward. It is not enough for a prospect to have a Twitter; they must tweet regularly and actually engage with their followers. When pre-qualifying a prospect, you should be looking for clues that the prospect is dynamic, transparent, and open to change.
These hints, of course, are not a guarantee – it’s ultimately your job to pick up the phone and call, call, call. Happy Hunting!