My very first sales manager taught me the best lesson possible about sales: Prospecting is either the problem or the solution. If you are not constantly scrolling through LinkedIN, other companies’ websites, or looking up sponsors for conferences and trade shows and wondering why your activity numbers are down, then it’s pretty obvious to see what you’re doing wrong.
While a large part of prospecting is doing prospecting activities to drive leads and engagement for the sales pipeline, it is equally important to know what free tools are available that can help make it easier. In this blog, I’ll go over 5 free prospecting tools and how I use them to help create more opportunities.
When you work in martech, you are going to run into a lot of questions like “Do you integrate with X Software?” Builtwith.com allows you to look up the technology installed in front of the firewall for a URL. Something to keep in mind, different pages may show technologies not found on others, so don’t be afraid to poke around to fully understand all of a company’s installed tech.
It’s also important to know what type of tech stack someone is working with to understand their marketing priorities. Are they investing in AI tools for their content management/delivery? What type of CRM or Marketing Automation are they using? Do they have a data or business intelligence platform installed on their pages or forms? Decision makers want tools that fit will fit and work well within their toolbox, so make it a point to peek in their toolbox when possible.
A company’s brand is something that marketers invest a lot of their money, time, energy and passion into. When prospects look at their logos, it is all about making sure that the right emotion is invoked to drive them to act. And with all that investment comes a need to make sure that their branding is a value center and not a budget item to be cut.
Moat allows you to search for a brand’s creative digital assets, showing you how many assets associate with that brand are out in the world. It will also show you what device an asset is used for, its dimensions, and how long it has been active. Aside from showing the investment an account has made for its digital brand, it can also give insight into the messaging, channels, and length of marketing cycles.
Ok, who let the recruiter into this blog? Just kidding! Indeed can actually be a great, free prospecting tool because it speaks to the most important and first letter of BANT: Budget. If someone is willing to hire and pay salary, benefits, and taxes for a job title that is responsible for managing a problem that your solution can fix, you can use that to make your approach more impactful and timely.
An important thing to keep in mind about this approach is to make sure you use the right language. Nothing is more embarrassing or more of a setback than realizing that meeting you set with the hiring manager was a job interview and not a chance to get an enterprise account to talk to your Account Executive. Trust me.
As an SDR, you need to have accurate, deliverable email addresses to do your job. While cold calling holds a certain status in the history of the sales profession, nowadays people aren’t connected by phones as much as they are connected by screens and inboxes.
With Hunter.io, you can sign up for a free account,that gives you 100 email requests per month. You can look up all available contacts under a company’s domain, or look for a specific person at a specific company. You can also use the service to verify email addresses or search in bulk.
And finally, the most important prospecting resource you can utilize for free…
Your company's marketing database
When you factor in your marketing department’s list purchases, data storage costs, event, conference and trade show lists, it might not be a purely free resource, but it’s at least one that as an SDR you should be utilizing every day.
Most marketers do a good job of driving new leads and maintaining a healthy database of contacts that have need for your product or services. Engage and educate them on why choosing your company will make their live easier.
If your marketing database is not so clean, or there’s a lot of white spaces on lead records or accounts, you can also play the hero and suggest they look into a data quality management tool like ReachForce’s SmartSuite.
I’ve used SmartSuite to make prospecting in several ways: using its list upload feature to cleanse and enrich sparse lists from trade shows, user groups, conferences, etc; pulling down net new contacts from its Audience Builder for my SDR target accounts list; and checking with data refresh to see if my lead’s email address is deliverable.
SmartSuite makes it easier to trust the marketing data that directs my prospecting activity and understanding of our audience’s profile, making it easy to write relevant, 1-to-1 emails and phone scripts that drive meetings and interest in our product.