Scaling Up Your Sales Research
(Repeat prospecting step for next 100 companies)
How you do it
When scaling up your prospecting research process it can be very tempting to use databases and sales tools - like scraping LinkedIn or buying databases. Rub here is that often when in a hurry to hack a sales list or scrape a lead source you end up gathering data that is off the central mark. But if you do the first approach manually, and then start to scale up your process by doing it again before you automate, you’ll maintain the the cleanliness of your sales experiment and actually save time in the long run.
The method that you will use here isn’t that different from before, use a conference list or linkedin but make sure your targets are the same targets that you started your ICP with. If your ICP is no longer correct, then iterate the ICP, do a couple of interviews to make sure the other assumptions are right for the new ICP and then start capturing your prospect list.
Common Mistakes Founders Make
One pitfall that founders often find is a distraction from the success you’re starting to have with initial prospects that you’ve got in your new sales funnel. Remember that funnels don’t fill themselves. If you’ve got a 2 month sales process and you have 3 or 4 deals that are so hot it takes your attention away from prospecting new accounts it is essentially like shutting off the faucet that’s above your funnel.
Let’s say that you do get distracted by the incoming opportunities and you shut off the lead development process until you get your current deals resolved. But if you have a 2 month sales cycle (the time from lead to close) you potentially set yourself back a full 2 months of revenue. Even if you close the deals you are pre-occupied with, you’ll start the prospecting process over and go 2-3 months with no new revenue from your sales process. That’s basically like taking 15% of the year and throwing it away and now you need to explain a flat quarter to your stakeholders.
This part is overwhelming. It is for everyone. And if you reach out to a founder who is further along and cry on his shoulder you’ll hear a suggestion of hiring SDRs to do this research for you or “why don’t you just scrape LinkedIn for leads?”... There’s a time for these strategies but you’re not ready yet to scale prospecting beyond the founding team. If you hand off the prospecting part you will also be handing off the ability to gain insight from our next step. Which is how your patterns/assumptions of identification line up with how your outreach is received.