"The Funnel:" Close Bigger Deals, Faster With Sales Enablement

    September 18, 2013
    Top sales pros unanimously agree that customer intelligence is a critical element of their sales prep.
    But faced with a digital avalanche of info and so little time to consume it, how much is the right amount? Too little (e.g., a quick glance at the company's website) and you feel unprepared. Too much (an inch-thick stack of reports and articles) and you're headed down the proverbial rabbit hole--and there goes your weekend.
    What follows is a simple formula that came out of speaking with hundreds of enterprise sales pros over the past several years. These top performers say they want to know three things when preparing for an important sales call--a formula we like to call "The Funnel:"
    • Industry Intelligence: What are the main issues in the customer's industry today?
    • Company Intelligence: How are these issues impacting this particular customer--and how is the customer responding?
    • Executive Intelligence: What is top of mind for the executive you are targeting? 

    Top sales pros tell us they leverage company-provided tools such as Factiva, Hoover's, OneSource and others to get their industry and company intelligence.

    But when it comes to executive intelligence, they typically gather their own information through Google searches--and sometimes they don't get to it at all. 

    For "A" performers, knowing the priorities of a decision maker is a must-have.  And making an executive sales call without knowing their careabouts can be like walking into a minefield. We've heard horror stories: for example, a sales rep going in to talk to a Wells Fargo IT exec about BYOD only to find out that the exec was a BYOD contrarian who had given several press interviews about his adamant opposition to the idea. Ouch!

    We created Boardroom Insiders to prevent this from happening. We help you avoid sales gaffes by filling the critical executive intelligence gap. Companies like Dell, Cisco and NetApp hire us to provide information that helps them close bigger deals, faster. 

    Whether you do your own homework or get it from us, understanding the careabouts of the people to whom you are selling is a no-brainer. Want to learn more? Explore our database and see for yourself what we mean by "Executive Intelligence."

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    Sharon Gillenwater

    About the Author

    Sharon Gillenwater

    Sharon Gillenwater is the founder and editor-in-chief of Boardroom Insiders, which maintains an extensive database of the most in-depth executive profiles on the market, from Fortune 500 companies to independent non-profits, to help sales and marketing professionals build deeper relationships and close more deals with clients. Gillenwater is a long-time marketing consultant with expertise in marketing strategy, account-based marketing, and CXO engagement programs.