Prior to diving into finding contact information for your prospect, first you must gather the accounts that are going to shape your research efforts. This list should include a highly targeted group of companies that fit your target account profile.
The good news is that you only need a few pieces of information in order to find good accounts. Think about the types of businesses that you’re interested in reaching out to and write down that criteria. The basic criteria that you’ll need for account research are industry and company size. Does your target account work in computer software? Healthcare? Real estate? How many employees does your target company have? 10? 200? 5,000?
It’s important to answer these questions as specifically as possible in order to make your search more manageable.
Resources for Finding Accounts
Once you’ve laid out your account profile, figure out where you’re going to find these companies. Several resources can help in your search. The most powerful one is LinkedIn, of course. With more than one million companies in its database, it is the easiest and most robust company search tool. LinkedIn also makes it easy to sift through companies by allowing you to filter by industry, company size, and location, among other things.
Choosing Your Target Contact Profile
Once you’ve curated a list of accounts, it’s time to think about who your target contacts are. Your target profile can be narrowed down with two criteria: title and function. Do you want to talk to CEOs? VPs? Sales managers? What level of seniority are you looking for? What does your target profile do within the company? Does he work in marketing, sales, HR? Make sure you are very specific with your answers so that you’re only finding prospects that are likely to respond to your targeted outreach.
Once you have your target account and contact profiles, it’s time to put them to work. To find contact names, first find the company website. Look for a section titled “The Team,” “Leadership,” or “About Us.” Often companies will list their high-level employees on here - so if your target contact profile calls for those titles, this is your best bet for finding them.
If this method doesn’t yield the appropriate target contacts for you, LinkedIn is again a very powerful resource. Simply find the company’s LinkedIn profile and click on “View all employees.” Now you can use keywords to filter for the titles you want.
Prospect research requires organization and plenty of forethought to ensure you don’t waste time going on wild goose chases. However, these tips will help you structure your research for maximum efficiency and productivity.
To learn more about prospect research best practices or to get our assistance scaling your team’s efforts, contact us.