Top Performers Use These Sales Research Techniques

BY Jessica Helinski
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Sales research is incredibly important but not all sellers take the time to do it. According to SalesFuel’s Voice of the Sales Rep study, when doing pre-​call research, only:

  • 30% of sellers research the tendencies of their ideal customers
  • 35% review a prospect’s website
  • 36% stay up-​to-​date on the prospect’s industry
  • 25% look at the prospect’s social media

Reps Don’t Do Enough Sales Research

42% of sellers don’t feel prepared enough prior to sales calls. One reason is that they just aren’t doing enough research before engaging with a prospect. 

But, those who are researching are reaping the rewards. “Something top performers – i.e. reps who hit 150% of quota – do," says LinkedIn’s Paul Petrone. "Twice as often as their peers.” 


And they aren’t just Googling the prospect’s business. They are seeking out quality pre-​call intelligence that gives them deeper insight into a prospect, their industry and their company.

If you aren’t confident in your research skills, know that they can be improved. The key is to engage in research that will ultimately give you credibility. 

As Petrone explains, "quite frankly, a prospect isn’t going to trust you if you don’t know anything about them.”

2 Tips to Improve Your Preparation

When approaching sales research, reps should always look at the full picture. This means looking into the prospect’s company, their industry, their history, and their competitors. 

Check out the company mission and values to understand their goals and priorities. And seek out what third parties are saying about the prospect’s business. This can add even more context to your findings. 

Gathering this information will give you the context needed to customize your pitch,” writes Sam Aparicio, co-​founder & CEO of Ring​.io.

And SalesFuel’s research also supports this. 54% of buyers say they want to work with sellers who know their business. So make sure that your sales research involves going beyond just the prospect’s basic information.

As Petrone points out, “The best sellers are seen as trusted, strategic advisors. To be seen that way, you need to earn it by having a deep knowledge." You must know your buyer and their landscape. 

Next, Focus On the Person

Once your sales research has highlighted the bigger picture, it’s time to focus more closely on the actual prospect. This will help you develop a personal connection with your contact. 

By understanding their career journey, goals, motivations, and interests, you set yourself up to offer an engaging, relevant discussion.

There are many sources that offer you a glimpse into who a prospect is and what drives them. Social media should be a primary source for sales research. Writing for Hubspot, Cambria Davies suggests:

  • Looking at the prospect’s blog to learn what they care about through the content they’re writing and publishing.
  • Identifying and reviewing their social media profiles. 

SalesFuel reports, “You can go deeper into prospect insights thanks to social posts being less formal and more honest. Social networks allow you to get right into the action, something which analytics just can’t do.”

So if your sales research skills need a refresh, add these two tips to your pre-​call strategy. And to rise to the top of your game, check out SalesCred PRO which can provide all the intelligence you need.

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