How to Create a Comprehensive Prospect Profile (Part 2 of 2) By Pat Ryan

Posted on Mar 12, 2013 in Archive, Training and HR

What is the best way to build a comprehensive profile of your prospect

In our last blog post, we covered SPIN selling techniques, a framework used to gather valuable information from your prospects.  This week, we dig deeper by sharing Question Guidelines, designed to help you build a more comprehensive prospect profile.  Ask your prospects these questions to help them open up, allowing you to quickly identify key areas of pain and/or need.

So, let’s get right into it…  Here are the kind of prospecting questions you should be asking

Question Guidelines

When speaking with prospects, employing these probing questions is one effective way to turn simple data (contacts) into meaningful information (prospects).   Use these questions as a checklist – to verify that you have asked the right questions and discovered the required information. Feel free to modify the questions according to a specific industry or target account as needed.

1.       Business Drivers

  • What is the motivation to change?  Why are you undertaking this project?
  • Who is pushing this process?
  • What are the business problems that need to be solved?
  • What corporate objectives can we help you achieve?

2.       Needs/Payoffs

  • What benefit will your organization realize from this project?
  • What’s in it for the person we are talking to, or the person running the project?
  • How does the contact “Win” from implementing a solution like ours?  (E.g. You are speaking to the VP of HR, who can “win” politically by implementing a Learning Management System for R&D.)

3.       Timing Imperatives

  • When does this project begin?
  • Is there a target decision date?
  • Are you putting out an RFP?  If so, when?  When are responses due?
  • Do you have a target “Go-Live” date?

4.       Technical Factors (if applicable)

  • Is there a particular technology standard in-house (E.g. ORACLE or SQL Server)?
  • Is there a bias toward an in-house or an ASP solution?
  • Are there any bandwidth issues?
  • How much influence does IT have on the decision making?

5.       Threats

  • What other vendors are you considering?  Is there an incumbent?
  • Are you using any other solution provider today?
  • Is there anyone in the company who is resisting this project, or already has a preferred solution in mind?
  • Is doing NOTHING an option?

6.       Coach/Supporters/Right Level

  • Are we talking with the RIGHT person?
  • Who is running the project?
  • Who is making the final decision?
  • How is final decision made?  Committee?  Who is on it?
    • When is the committee making its recommendation?
  • Do we have a contact that can “coach” us through the process?

7.       Budget Funds

  • Is there an established budget for this project?  Amount?
  • If not, what is the process to establish a budget?  When?
  • Can you give us a ballpark figure of the approximate budget?
  • Who is involved?

We hope that you find both the SPIN Methodology and the Question Guidelines helpful in your prospecting efforts.  Employing these techniques will go a long way toward opening up your prospects, thereby providing you with important information you can use to match your solution offering to your clients’ needs…  Happy hunting! 

Remember, Mentor Tech Group specializes in building market intelligence lists of corporate training and HR decision makers.  When you need a high-quality, detailed and ACCURATE list in your industry, think of Mentor Tech Group. 

Click here to read what others are saying about MTG’s specialized lists.  

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