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Industrial Sales Lead Research (Part Two): Identifying & Researching Key Decision Makers

Posted by IndustrySelect on Tuesday, June 23, 2020



As a salesperson, conducting prospect research helps you identify leads that are more likely to result in sales.

It also lets you tailor your messaging to highlight the most relevant benefits of the product or service you offer for a specific manufacturer.

In the second part of our five-part series on researching prospects in manufacturing, we're detailing the essentials of executive research. 

Missed the first part of this series? Read: Researching Prospects in Manufacturing (Part One): The Basics

Executives and COVID-19

COVID-19 has created an unprecedented situation for manufacturers, and many have seen their priorities shift as they engaged their crisis response plans over the past few months.

These plans might include changes in leadership, so a different person may be making purchase decisions - especially if you’re offering a product or service that supports a manufacturer’s crisis response.

Your research process should explore how COVID-19 impacts leads, how priorities might be changing, whether or not new competitors have emerged and what kind of emergency response plans the manufacturer is likely to adopt.

These are the challenges executives are currently facing, so understanding their situation is crucial in order to empathize with and sell to them effectively.

The Importance of Executive Research

Using generic contact information to reach out to a lead might mean that your message will never reach decision-makers.

Start your research process ahead of time to identify a contact person who is aware of a pain point, who can solve it and who is responsible for finding a solution. This type of preparation significantly increases your chances of closing a sale.

Information about an executive’s title, responsibilities and background will also help you tailor your sales pitch. Here are a few questions to ask when researching an executive contact:

• Is the product or service you offer one that the person is likely to be familiar with?
• Given their background, are they likely to understand the more technical concepts of your sales pitch?
• What benefits are most relevant to address the challenges that fall under this person’s responsibilities?
• Given the company’s organizational structure, will the executive make a purchase decision on their own? Who else should endorse the decision?

Tips for Researching Executives

You can use these sources to gather information before approaching an executive. If you're really looking to amp up your prospecting and sales lead research campaigns, an IndustrySelect subscription contains a ton of informative data on individual companies, including company news, LinkedIn profiles, products manufactured,  annual sales, square footage, potential competitors and more. Click here to see a sample profile.

Company Directory

A company directory is a good starting point to find a name and title. You can sometimes get an idea of how long a person has been with the company and learn more about the organizational structure and other key people who have a say in purchase decisions.

Google News

A Google News search for a manufacturer or executive can offer information about significant events like promotions, professional achievements or the launch of a new product. Assess how events impact a manufacturer’s needs and look for executives who were recently promoted since they might be thinking about making changes.

Industry-Specific News

Business or industry-specific journals and podcasts can be valuable resources. Look for mentions of executives in interviews or articles. This type of content can help you identify executives who are thought leaders in their field.

Social Media.

A LinkedIn profile can tell you a lot about a contact’s background, skills and level of familiarity with technical concepts.

Professional Events

From checking in on social media to being featured as a guest speaker, any kind of interaction with a professional event can help you identify the executives who are likely to network and be receptive to new ideas.

Ready to Get Started?

IndustrySelect can provide you with a starting point for your prospect research with comprehensive and up-to-date manufacturer profiles, updated on a live 24/7 basis by a team of 80 researchers.

You’ll find accurate information about executives so you can easily identify the person you should reach out to. Subscribers can select up to 30 data points on any manufacturing company in the U.S. to help identify or pre-qualify leads. Company profiles also include direct contact information for hard-to-find executive decision-makers.To learn more, visit our website and try out a free demo!

Ready to read more? Check out Part Three of this series: Industrial Sales Lead Research: Discovering the Latest News on Your Prospects.


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