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Staying one step ahead
how to stay one step ahead in sales | JBarrows
By John Barrows | February 17, 2016

It’s getting harder and harder to stay on top of everything we have to do in Sales to be successful. Territories get smaller, quotas go up, competition gets stronger, budgets get smaller, decisions take longer, attention spans are shorter and relevance is more and more challenging. In order to stay ahead of the game we need to find tools and resources to help us be more efficient and deal with all this. I always share the tools and resources I use with the clients and reps I train so I thought I would start to share them with everyone else. To start I wanted to share one that helps with at least two of the challenges listed above (competition and relevance). I was introduced to Owler a while ago when looking around for tools to help me track my clients and target prospects and it’s been an invaluable resource for me ever since.

As for relevance, when it comes to reaching out to your clients or prospects, you have to make sure one of two things are in place: 1) you have to have a reason and/or 2) you have to be adding value. The days of “touching base” and “checking in” are over (or at least they should be). Owler gives you reasons to reach out to people. It tracks your clients and target prospects and sends you a daily summary of every notable news or event that happens to them. The key is to look for things that you can make a connection to and what value your business/solution can add. If someone is launching a new product, opening up a new office or expanding their operations what can you do to help? Or even better, what have you done for other clients in similar situation? One thing I really try to avoid is telling people I can “help” them. That is being way to presumptuous about their situation based on a simple article I read.

However, when I share with prospects how I’ve helped other clients in a similar situation and the results they’ve seen it tends to work a lot better in getting their attention. The e-mail I send to prospects once I find something relevant to say goes something like: “I saw you recently (trigger) which prompted me to reach out to you because I work with other clients who that (trigger) has happened and they’ve seen these type of results (xyz) using our solution. When are you free to discuss this?”

Doing research on your clients and prospects by looking at their website is always a good thing to do but it tends to take a lot of time. In order for me to stay on top of things and consistent with my relevance I need to have as much information in one place as I can get and if I can get the information to come to me it’s even better. This is why I find Owler so valuable. I can go to their website dashboard and it gives me a summary of all the events going on with all the accounts I’m tracking or I can dig into one specific account and it gives me deep insights and information I can use, all in one place. Also, I have a daily e-mail sent to me so when I’m on the road I can always stay up to date on what is happening with my clients and prospects.

The other thing that Owler helps with is staying up on my competition. I track my competitors just like I track my clients and it keeps me up to date on everything they are doing. It also shows me how much traction or followers they are getting and how I can improve mine. I’ve written before on how I think differently about my competition these days and don’t focus as much on them but I still want to know how I stack up and keep up to date on what they are doing. Owler makes this easier than ever with their dashboards and daily alerts.

There’s a lot more to Owler than what I’ve outlined but these features have become invaluable to me and helped me stay ahead of the game with my prospects, clients and competition. Add in the fact that it’s free and you have a tool that becomes a no brainer to use. If you’re interested, you can sign up here for a free account: https://www.owler.com/sales/johnbarrows

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