Introduction:

Whether a new company has shown interest in your services (inbound) or is being targeted for a sales campaign (outbound), you need to do your research so you can engage in a constructive conversation that is most likely to result in a closed won sale.

Unfortunately, a lot of salespeople try to push their product or service offering without taking the time to build a solid understanding of who they are selling to, and how their offering aligns with their goals or immediate needs. This is a big mistake. A prospective buyer will likely have little to no interest in working with you if you sound uninformed.

By completing this checklist, you’ll ensure that you have taken the necessary steps to research a prospective company and gain a well-rounded understanding of the value you can provide them as they look to grow their organization.

This is simply a pre-requisite for a successful sales call. 

Let’s get going.

Preparation:

Enter company details

CRM:

Check your CRM for existing company data

The first thing to do when beginning to research a company is to check your CRM for any existing company data. 

Perhaps a different sales team member interacted with them months or even years ago. Data from any previous interactions will be valuable information to include in your research. 

Assess any prior engagement with your content

Considering there is data on the company in your CRM software, if they have engaged with any of your content, those details should also be provided on the company page. 

Use the form fields below to link to the company's page in your CRM and note down any content that they have engaged with. 

Website research:

Read through key pages

There are a number of important pages on a company's website that must be carefully read through when conducting research for sales purposes. 

Complete the sub-checklist below to ensure that you have read through all of the key pages on their website. 

Below there is also a brief explanation of what to look for on each page and how it will help you carry the conversation effectively. 

Company website: {{form.Company_website}}

  • 1
    About Us
  • 2
    Careers/Open Positions
  • 3
    News
  • 4
    Blog
About Us page

Check for:

  • Story and core values 
  • Leadership
  • Investors

Gathering information on these points will enable you to more accurately define how your business aligns with their goals, identify potential decision-makers and mutual investors that can be referenced on a call. 

Careers/Open Positions page

Check for:

  • Open positions within your prospect's team

Carefully looking through the careers page will provide you with valuable information including names for software that the team uses, skills that are needed/open pain points, and titles of managers. 

News page

Check for:

  • Company announcements
  • Recent and upcoming events
  • Product/service updates
  • Recent funding

Being up-to-date with what's going on within a prospect company is an essential component of good research. It can provide you with extremely valuable information such as recent accomplishments that you can weave into the conversation, and identify trigger or action events that align your offering with their immediate needs. 

Blog page

Check for:

  • Topics
  • Content
  • Authors

Scan through the company's blog page to identify which topics are top-of-mind for the company and any specific articles you could mention during a call. 

You can easily set up zaps to automatically pass text from this checklist to a Google doc. Read more about our integration with Google docs here and begin setting up some zaps. 

Identify any key updates from press and media releases

Scan through any recent press and media releases to see if the company has announced any significant updates such as leadership changes, product releases or financial statements. 

Determine how you align with their goals

After conducting a detailed analysis of the company's website, write a summary of how you believe your company and product/service offering aligns with their goals. 

Social media research:

Assess the company's LinkedIn page

When assessing the company's LinkedIn page, there are a few things to focus on. These are:

  • Company description (how they summarize their value proposition)
  • List of employees
  • Mutual connections
  • Recent updates (promoted content)
  • Number of followers

By investigating each of these points, you will gain a better understanding of:

  • How the company views themselves
  • What type of content they promote
  • Potential leads to contact
  • Opportunities to capitalize on mutual connections

Use the form fields below to link to their LinkedIn page and note down and important learnings. 

Evaluate content and messaging on Twitter

Twitter is a great source of information when researching a company. This is primarily because it provides a significant amount of insight into how the company promotes themselves and how viewers are engaging with their content. 

Check out this article on what Twitter reveals about a company's reputation and productivity. 

Financial data:

Locate and analyze most recent financial reports

Financial information can often be challenging to locate online. Nevertheless, there are a number of resources that are incredibly helpful. 

For public companies based in the US, you can access financial statements through the SEC

For private companies, PrivCo provides an excellent financial database to access recent financial reports and other valuable information.

CrunchBase, Yahoo Finance and Owler are both excellent resources for information on acquisitions, funding, investors, board members, founders, products, competitors and more. 

Summarize important learnings

The final step is to summarize any important learnings you've obtained through the analysis of the company's financial information. 

Some questions to ask yourself include:

  • Are they expanding or scaling down?
  • Have they received any funding recently? 
  • How much cash does the company currently have?
  • How much are they spending on the products/services you provide?

Final step:

Input findings into company's CRM page

Considering that this company has existing data in your CRM software, the final step is to consolidate all of the information that has been gathered and input your findings into their company page. 

Link to company page in CRM: {{form.Link_to_company_page_in_CRM}}

Ensure that you include the following key data points:

  • 1
    Key takeaways from analyzing their website content
  • 2
    Important/relevant news from press and media releases
  • 3
    Insights from social media research
  • 4
    Learnings from financial analysis

Consolidate research into a document

Consolidate all of the information that you have gathered throughout your research in a document. 

Be sure to include the following information:

  • 1
    Key takeaways from analyzing the company's website content
  • 2
    Important/relevant news from press and media releases
  • 3
    Insights from social media research
  • 4
    Learnings from financial analysis
  • 5
    Links to insightful articles, reports, web pages
  • 6
    Summary of how you align with their goals

You can easily set up zaps to automatically pass text from this checklist to a Google doc. Read more about our integration with Google docs here and begin setting up some zaps. 

Sources:

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