Is Your Sales Funnel Ripe with Opportunities?


In Florida, the citrus harvest is on. Maybe it's the bitter cold that we've been experiencing in the northern states, but at the thought of warmer climates, the expression "low hanging fruit" came to mind. The reference to taking on the easiest tasks first sometimes has negative connotations -- especially among sales organizations. Granted, a single-minded focus on easy pickings is short-sighted. You risk missing opportunities that might be available if you aimed for higher branches. The truth is, you need to harvest from the whole tree -- and for that, you need the right tools.

Research

You can search the Internet for information about prospects and clients, but can you trust the information you find? A business database like Corporate Affiliations™ puts relevant -- and verified -- content at your fingertips. The corporate families data helps you see relationships between entities, allowing you to quickly identify opportunities to cross-sell to companies related to your existing customers -- low hanging fruit that you might otherwise miss. You can also set alerts to track newsworthy activity by prospects and customers, ensuring that you stay informed. Plus, you can access names, titles, contact information and more for executives and directors.

Networking

How can you effectively network with the contacts you make from your research and prospecting efforts? When used consistently, LinkedIn is great for networking. In addition to building a web of professional contacts, you can join and participate in groups related to your business and your prospects' interests to expand your connections. Moreover, LinkedIn has developed solutions specifically for sales professionals including Sales Navigator, a social selling tool to help you generate leads, prospect for new customers, build and maintain relationships to keep your sales funnel flowing.

Presenting

PowerPoint not doing your presentation justice? If you want to jazz up your presentations to match your commitment to sales, Prezi can help. The cloud-based tool allows you to collaborate with others on your sales team, make edits on the go auto-sync across devices, so you can be confident you have the most up-to-date presentation ready to go at all times. Plus, Prezi offers dynamic motion like a zoom-in feature and visualization tools to keep your prospect's attention.

Tracking

A customer relationship management (CRM) system helps you keep track of prospects and customers -- if you use it. Many sales professionals get frustrated by the manual data entry -- and inaccurate information -- housed in CRMs. To ensure that your sales team makes use of the tool, make sure your information is current by having it cleansed and appended or integrating it with a business database like Corporate Affiliations. With more reliable information, your sales team will be more likely to make regular CRM use a priority.

Properly equipped, you can feel confident that you -- and the rest of your sales team -- are harvesting the best opportunities to ensure sales success.
Laura Tarnofsky
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laura Tarnofsky> all articles
Laura Tarnofsky is the product and marketing manager for the authoritative corporate information source LexisNexis Corporate Affiliations. Over the past 17 years, she has worked on Corporate Affiliations in various roles including Content Operations Manager and Project Manager. Since Laura became product manager in 2011, Corporate Affiliations was selected as a finalist for three prestigious SIIA CODiE™ awards (awards that recognize excellence in the software and information industries).
  • /data/userPictures/2D9D22D6-D7C3-487D-BAD2-AE761F3EE556.jpgPaul Lowe3/21/2015 8:02:00 PM
    The "low hanging fruit" approach has cost me in the past. I'm not too familiar with LinkedIn's Sales Navigator...but will take a closer look. Thanks, Laura!

  • /data/userPictures/23220345-D8A4-4CCA-9DBF-1AC3AA45744B.jpgLaura Tarnofsky4/16/2015 3:53:59 PM
    I apologize for not responding sooner, but I really appreciate your comment! Going for "low hanging fruit" can certainly have both benefits and drawbacks-- so balance within our tactics is always going to be the most productive in the end. Did you ever take a look at LinkedIn's Sales Navigator?

  • /data/userPictures/2D9D22D6-D7C3-487D-BAD2-AE761F3EE556.jpgPaul Lowe5/20/2015 11:21:42 AM
    Not yet. My calendar has been extremely hectic; however, I'll look into it later this evening and will touch base with you for an update. Thanks for reaching out.