Prospecting: Takeaways from Richardson’s Recent Field Sales Survey

Posted by Mike Scher

Apr 8, 2015 8:56:00 AM


For those of you who don’t know Richardson, they are a venerable sales training firm that has provided stellar sales training to over 20,000 sales people. They are consistently rated a top-tier provider of such services and have a great reputation.

The good folks at Richardson, led by Michael Dalis recently conducted a survey with field sales people, senior sales professionals and sales leaders to gauge what they thought their biggest challenges would be in 2015.

While you can read the full survey and results here, there were several items that I thought were really worth highlighting.

The top three prospecting challenges:

These challenges start with gaining appointments.No real surprise here.18.59% said this.Getting appointments has always been a challenge and will continue to be a challenge until people start going about getting appointments differently.What was quite interesting was the next challenge. The survey went on to say that finding “triggers/insights” is the number 2 issue (16.23%). I thought “How can that be?” There are many so-called “sales intelligence” tools out in the marketplace today.These tools look at lots of data sources, aggregate and append contact data and compile news, press releases and social media conversations all in one neat little dashboard.

On the flip side, the two prospecting items that scored the lowest (meaning the least number of people felt this to be a concern) were “leveraging social media” and (are you ready for this) “creating insights”.

You have a problem gaining appointments which is understandable. You have trouble finding triggers because (presumably) you feel that having the right sales insights and triggers are a big key to getting appointments.  However, when it comes to leveraging social media (a place to find insights) and actually creating insights, most feel that isn’t a problem.

Does anyone else see any irony here?

Could this be a case of how intelligently we are using these awesome sales intelligence tools?

Perhaps the most interesting statistic was the #3 prospecting challenge where 15.45% of respondents said that “creating a targeted prospecting strategy” was their biggest challenge in 2015.

In my opinion, I think these people are focused on the real challenge.   It all comes down to having an effective strategy and process for prospecting.  That strategy and process includes what you do to research a prospect before doing outreach and understanding what business issues they care about (insights).   The ultimate goal of doing the research, gaining the insight and having an effective prospecting strategy is to gain an appointment with the right key player(s) and engage them in a meaningful business conversation. 

This is the best way to understand the prospects’ business issues, build rapport, understand the buying process and frame your solution. Just in case you don’t have that prospecting strategy and process in place today, give us a call.

We get it.  And, we can prove it.

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FRONTLINE Selling can help you refine your client communication processes. Contact us today for more information on services that help you prospect more efficiently and close more sales.

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