How to Build a Comprehensive Prospect Profile (Part 1 of 2) by Pat Ryan

Posted on Jul 13, 2016 in Blog, Meeting/Event Planning, Principles of Success, Training and HR

Some lead generation organizations simply don’t understand the vital role DETAILS play in helping a sales person determine when, how and IF to follow up with a potential prospect:

  • Is there a project?
  • Who is in charge of that project?
  • What are the business drivers?
  • What are the timelines?
  • Is there a budget? What is it?
  • What other companies are you talking to?
  • Who is the decision maker?

Previous negative experiences with traditional telemarketing and “list” companies actually led to the founding of Mentor Tech Group.  We saw a need to COUNTER the shortfalls of these companies to:

Gathering information about potential prospects can be challenging – and we don’t believe in reinventing the wheel when it comes to something that works. That’s why we use the highly effective Miller Heiman Targeted Selling training to provide a framework for Mentor Tech Group’s Market Intelligence Consultants to build profiles of corporate training and HR decision-maker contacts.

To build a comprehensive prospect profile, you must first employ a methodology for the all-important process of information gathering.  In this two part series, we will walk you through the elements of the “SPIN” qualifying framework and then, the Question Guidelines to further narrow your prospect profile.

S.P.I.N. (Situation, Problems, Implications, Needs/Payoff)

The SPIN framework is provided as a very high-level guide for information gathering. With SPIN, we think about information gathering as containing four general categories: Situation, Problems, Implications and Needs/Payoffs. This structured approach helps us to decide the types of questions to ask to gather important information about a prospect. Even more important than asking the questions, is LISTENING to the answers, and recording them.  Following this methodology can greatly help streamline your own sales prospecting process.

Let’s review each of the SPIN elements in a bit more detail:


  • Describe the company, industry, locations, size, people, yearly sales, corporate parent and/or affiliates
  • Current systems and applications – e-learning, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), CRM (Customer Relationship Management), etc.
  • Number of users/learners (Employees, Partners, Customers?), locations of users
  • Note: At this point, you should be only asking and recording, not rebutting or presenting

Problems: (Ask questions to learn about possible problems requiring solutions)

  • What is lacking with the current system? Functionality, deployment (web enablement), etc.
  • Is there a timing imperative? Example: Corporate Mandate? (See Implications below)
  • What is the problem they are trying to solve? What challenges do they think they have?
  • Common example: “We’re currently tracking training manually – and it’s too time-consuming!” or “We’re trying to improve employee retention.”

Implications: (The “What ifs…”)

  • What happens if solutions are not found? – Worst case?
  • When are solutions required? What is their timeframe?
  • Do they have to replace or upgrade their systems, or do they want to? Examples?
  • What happens if they cannot access enterprise skills data or locate specific expertise?
  • What if they are unable to determine who has been trained on what, without manual effort?


  • Present solutions to their problems!
  • What can you do to HELP the customer?
  • Where are the potential future savings? (Example: Better retention of employees due to new, positive learning environment.)
  • NEXT Step: Determine specific action item (call, meeting, etc.) and date on which this will take place.

Next time, in Part 2 of this article, we will reveal our cheat-sheet of questions to ask that will get your prospects talking!!

In the meantime, if you need detailed contact information for Corporate Training & HR decision makers, think of Mentor Tech Group first. We are the only company that specializes in hand-building a market intelligence database of corporate training & HR decision-makers at top companies!

Watch a client testimonial to see what we’re talking about, or read one of our client case studies.  Then, try us out and see for yourself!

Contact us today for a quote!  CALL: (651) 457-8600, Ext. 3.

Until next time, happy selling!

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