Congrats, you scheduled an intro call. Now the fun begins. You’re going to most likely have 30 minutes, so you’ll need to make every second count. Whatever you do, do not go into the call unprepared. You’ll need to research the people in the meeting and the company. In this post, we’re only focusing on the company, not the contact. One place to use for company research is the company website.
By thoroughly preparing for the call, you’ll feel more confident and put yourself in a position to succeed. Demonstrating you’ve done your research is going to make you look more credible and make the call more productive. Sales research is a critical component. Invest the time wisely to uncover key insights and you’ll be able to stand out from your competition.
Using A Company Website For Sales Research
1. Research: The About Us Page
This page can be helpful to understand their values. Perhaps your company shares similar values you can mention during the call. Or there is something about one of their values that aligns well with your offering. For example, at GitLab, one thing they mention is “Results” as a company value. They go on to break it down into sub-values. https://about.gitlab.com/handbook/values/
They say something interesting about “Dogfooding” which is using your own product. If you’re having a sales call with a contact at Gitlab, mentioning that you’re also a big believer in dogfooding and give examples of how it’s been beneficial could be a good way to build rapport and align company values.
Another useful insight to know about Gitlab is that they really care about a sense of urgency. Knowing something like that can be helpful in positioning your product benefits and matching it with a company value around results.
Think about how your company aligns with their values. What do they care the most about?
2. Research: Blog Page
Blogs can be hit or miss. However, if the person you’re speaking with has authored any content recently, you should definitely read it.
GitLab has a quality blog and produces a ton of content. It’s worth spending some time trying to find an insight that may be helpful. If the company you’re researching has clearly neglected their blog, don’t waste your time.
It’s interesting to see how one of GitLab’s sub-values is mentioned in a featured post (dogfooding). This should provide more evidence to leverage this sub-value in your call if you can.
3. Research: News, Events, and Press Releases
Take a look and see what news they’ve posted. Has there been a key hire made? Did the company recently acquire another business? Any new investments raised? Does the company have a new initiative they care about? Or maybe it’s just something interesting about the company.
Any of these could have nuggets of info that may help you have a better conversation. Even if it’s not relevant to the call, something in the news or a press release can be an easy way to get a conversation started instead of talking about the weather.
Something very unique about GitLab is that it has no headquarters. It’s an all-remote company. Depending on what you’re selling, knowing this may impact how you position your offering or how you explain the benefits. If you were selling something that other clients who have large remote workforces use, this can be a good piece of info. Also, it’s a pretty core piece of the company and is something you’re probably expected to know to go into a meeting with GitLab
“Although the maker of software development tools has more than 1,150 employees, has raised $426 million and is valued at $2.75 billion, it has no headquarters — in fact, no physical location at all.”
4. Research: Team Page
Depending on the size of the company, this can be an easy way to find out who the decision-makers are. The usefulness of a team page varies. For small and some medium-size companies, it can be an easy way to try to map out the organization.
If you were researching GitLab and you didn’t look at their Team Page, you missed something that every enterprise salesperson dreams of. They link to a detailed overview of their organizational structure and their entire org chart. You will almost never come across this type of information on a team page, however, this is why you do research. If you didn’t look, you wouldn’t find this unbelievably useful piece of information. Finding this could save someone in enterprise sales, hours.
5. Research: Career Page
The career page for sales research is often overlooked. Taking a look at what jobs they’re hiring for will provide info you may have not previously had. The roles they’re hiring for will give you an indication of where they need help. Are they looking to hire a bunch of software engineers? Does your product make software engineers more efficient? Are they expanding the Customer Success team? Do you have an offering that allows CS teams to handle more requests?
Not only will you see what they need help with, but if they have job descriptions for roles within the department you’re looking to sell into, there may be pieces of info in the job description that will provide you with insights into the department, hierarchy and what people in each role do.
Career pages can also give you a sense of growth. If they’re hiring for a ton of roles, it’s fair to say they’re probably growing. If they’re not hiring at all, it may mean they’re not growing much. By looking at the location of the job, you’ll get a sense of where they’re expanding geographically.
Taking a look at GitLab’s career page, they’re hiring for a few Sales Ops and Strategy roles. Viewing the Senior Manager of Sales Operations posting, you’ll get a sense of what the responsibilities are and what they need help with. If that’s something your company helps with, it’s possible that knowing that and how quickly they’re growing, you could theoretically replace one of those job openings with your product.
6. Research: Case Studies
Case studies are an easy way to better understand how the company helps its clients. If you’re struggling to figure out what the company does or what makes them unique, check out their case studies. It may also provide you with the opportunity to reference something in the case study which will impress the people you’re speaking with.
Bonus tip: If you’re talking to a publicly-traded company, check out their 10-K. Here’s a post that can help you better understand how to leverage a 10-K.
When doing pre-call sales research on a company website, you’ll want to take a look at a variety of sections. Prospects expect you to be prepared and you’ll leave a good impression if it’s clear you’ve done your research.