Knowledge collection about a sales prospect should begin before any actual client contact is initiated.
Start by identifying the client’s organization, mission and the specific people you should call. Gather relevant information from agency Web sites, news and trade magazine Web sites, agency strategic plans, internal and external agency audit reports and individuals who are familiar with your target prospect. In other words…do your homework.
In many larger companies, business development (BD) leads have the primary responsibility for the identification of new leads in target agencies assigned to them by the BD executive. Other line managers also identify leads within designated agencies. Business unit managers and project managers support the identification of new leads, in particular, within existing client organizations (cross-sell).
A useful pre-sales marketing activity is the development of agency account plans. The purpose of these plans is to determine whether an agency is a good target and to focus subsequent marketing and sales activities. An account plan should include:
- Agency mission statement
- Administration initiatives that relate this agency
- Issues/considerations (agency management hot buttons)
- Key decision makers
- Incumbent contractors/vendors
- Existing technology infrastructure/preferences
- Major agency programs
- Agency budget
- Existing company projects and follow-on opportunities
- Company strategic or specific opportunities
- Call plan and action plan