List building and lead research go hand in hand in the sales process. At this point, you have the tools to fully build your lists but not to put them into action. You still need to learn things about your prospects so that you can deliver a message that is relevant to them and provide value in the sales process. Better yet, you still need to know who you need to learn more about and segment your lists further. These are just two key reasons to research and prepare ahead of time.
There have been heated debates in many sales circles about the outbound sales process. Some people like to play a “spray-and-pray” game, in which they blast out e-mails, like the “appropriate person” e-mail I referred to in Chapter 4. Others like to show every prospect a certain level of personalization in an e-mail. Regardless of what you do, it all comes down to lead research, segmenting, and messaging. We'll dive deep into segmenting and messaging in the next two chapters, but for now let's talk about lead research.
When you are doing lead research, you'll want to find out as much information as possible on a company and individual contacts before you reach out to important prospects. Find triggers or action events to use as a reason to contact them.
Following are examples of trigger events that you can mention in your outreach.
- Fund-raiser, liquidity event, acquisition, or company milestone
- New headquarters or expansion
- Key executive hire
- Good public relations (PR) ...