While using a defined system for prospecting can produce reliable and replicable results, at some point the well tends to run dry. Thus, it’s important to allocate research and prospecting efforts into finding new industries, different markets to explore, new tools to test, or simply expanding your personal knowledge to better analyze information and spot opportunities.
Ideally, existing systems for prospecting and research should take up 70% of your time, while searching for new ideas, expanding the search, or testing, taking up the rest of your time.
Expanding target markets or industries, while keeping the rest of the research profile as it is, is the simplest way to find new areas of potential sales and increase the reach of your research. Start with the geographical markets in which you already have a track-record, or in which you’re somewhat known. Similarly, neighboring markets may work, but at times have very different regulations, so initial research is crucial. The same applies to similar industries, as the use of a product, tool, or feature may vary, changing its value proposition. Thus, it is important to gather information beforehand to learn potential use-cases, volumes, main problems etc.
New tools can improve both existing processes, as well as add new features, or expand the scope of research ideas. Messente recently added Alexa’s Audience Overlap Tool to find similar companies compared to existing clients or high potential leads, replicating previous success. Using the same profile, but expanding the markets or industries targeted, a larger lead base is generated. Similar tools unlock new methods of finding leads, and get more information about them, allowing you to build a more solid and personalized value proposition. Finding that this sort of tool is useful, look at alternatives, or complementary tools, that could help extend your view even further. Caution, though, don’t drown your time in playing with new toys.
In addition to tools, it’s important to stay current on business, commerce, technology, services, economics, etc. --anything that can help you navigate the information you find more effectively. Look for hot news topics in your clients’ and prospects’ industries, news in the tech world, and details around the next buzz online. While it might not pertain to the services you provide, each market shift or innovation can open a door for a new opportunity, and the aim is to be the first one to spot it.
Research is a creative process. It is as much about finding new ways and new ideas to drive revenue, as it is about filling up pipelines with leads. Ultimately, it is good to try out new things from time to time, be it playing around with new tools, reading up on industries or writing articles to share with the community around you.