Getting Set Up for Success with Confirmed Projects
For years we have worked with hundreds of Inside Sales teams testing strategies and methods with one goal in mind – to improve our customers’ qualified appointment rate. Through this, we have learned that getting your sales workflow set up correctly is one of the most important factors for success. These three quick and easy tips can help you set your ISR team up for success when working with Confirmed Projects and Active Prospects.
1. Focus on setting appointments
The biggest mistake we see is Inside Sales teams treating Confirmed Projects just like every other lead they receive. Unlike leads, Confirmed Projects deliver a purchase blueprint and may or may not have engaged with your brand. You will need to educate the buyer on your brand but you don’t need to qualify if there is an active project at the account. Therefore, the one and only objective of your outreach should be appointment generation. To focus efforts on this objective, Confirmed Projects are best handled by an experienced outbound sales reps.
2. Integrate Confirmed Projects into your teams' natural workflow
Sales managers agree that the best way to get their team to leverage data is to make sure it is easy to access. In other words, make the data come to them. Whether your Inside Sales team uses Salesforce, a home-grown CRM, or spreadsheets, enabling them with contacts and purchase intent data in their natural workflow will save time and money. Confirmed Projects can integrate into any CRM or MAP, and has a dedicated integration with Salesforce.
If your Sales team works out of Salesforce we highly recommend installing the Priority Engine for Salesforce widget. This will ensure that the contact details, purchase drivers, and vendor shortlist will be available inside Salesforce, so you can tailor the conversation to the buyer without leaving the tool.
3. Route Confirmed Projects to one, skilled Inside Sales Rep
Once the contact information and purchase intent are in your system, route Confirmed Projects to one of your best reps. Routing all Confirmed Projects to one rep has the following benefits:
- It enables your rep to get into a rhythm when calling through the list
- It allows one of your reps to become the expert in residence at utilizing Confirmed Project data
- It allows managers to keep better track of progress against Confirmed Projects
- It enables your Customer Success Manager to better support your team with customized training, information sharing, and best practices
- It allows the rest of your Inside Sales team to focus on high-volume Active Prospect outreach, maximizing appointment hit rate on both fronts
The most important thing to remember when setting up for Confirmed Project success is that they still need to be given time and attention to develop. Although an insider has confirmed that there is a deal in the works, they still need to be introduced to your brand and your solutions. Preparing your team to approach these projects the right way consistently can make the difference between a cold account and an appointment set.
3 Ways to Successfully Use Confirmed Projects with Priority Engine
We recently interviewed two customers who have been particularly successful at leveraging Priority Engine and Confirmed Projects together to empower their marketing and inside sales teams, set more meetings, and secure more opportunities.
The following are three lessons from Adam Stein from Talari (acquired by Oracle) and Nicole Williams from Rolta AdvizeX on how they successfully use both sources of intent data to achieve their sales and marketing goals.
Set Your Reps up for Success: Assigning Prospects vs. Insiders
The first decision you need to make when leveraging Priority Engine and Confirmed Project data is which teams or individuals will handle each type of prospect.
For Priority Engine Active Prospects, one of the most effective approaches we’ve seen is to route and assign these contacts to reps based on their sales territory. For Confirmed Project Insiders, most successful customers typically pass these leads directly to a small number of senior inside sales reps or account executives.
Nicole enrolls the majority of her Priority Engine Active Prospects in a series of multi-touch marketing campaigns. Once qualified, they are assigned to a group of 10-12 inside sales reps. All Confirmed Projects are routed all to one inside sales rep with a specific region and product focus.
Adam routes all Priority Engine leads to his Sales Development team, but “fast tracks” Confirmed Projects to his Regional Sales Managers. These reps are more senior than his sales development team and cover all active projects and target accounts.
Expand the Buying Team: Mapping Accounts Effectively
For both sales and marketing, identifying the right people to engage can be a real challenge. Adam and Nicole use Priority Engine with Confirmed Projects to solve this problem by leveraging both solutions to find and prioritize the best prospects and give sales more entry points into deals.
Adam meets with his sales team regularly to ensure they know how to find and prioritize the top prospects from their TechTarget programs. He instructs his team to start with the Confirmed Project Insider, who has confirmed with TechTarget that there’s a relevant project happening at their company. Then, in order to increase awareness and the chances of getting a qualified meeting, Talari sales reps expand their outreach to Priority Engine Active Prospects and Additional Prospects from accounts where projects have been confirmed. By engaging the entire buying team, reps are able to more effectively identify the key decision-makers and influencers and increase their chances of generating an opportunity.
“When you go into Priority Engine, you get a view of who the hottest buyers are and who the other members of the team might be based on the research they’re doing. We’re able to give sales reps multiple layers of the buying team and multiple layers of buying behavior even beyond the Confirmed Project information that they have.”
Nicole and her team have taken a similar approach. While a sales rep is working a Confirmed Project, marketing is simultaneously nurturing additional members of the buying team from Priority Engine. By surrounding the account, marketing is making it easier for sales to engage warmer leads that are already familiar with the Rolta AdvizeX brand and solutions.
Leverage Confirmed Project Data: Breaking Through with a Personalized Pitch
The combination of intent data in Priority Engine and Confirmed Project data empowers sales reps to confidently engage prospects with a message geared directly to their needs.
This has certainly been the case for Nicole and her team, who use the data from both sources to get a comprehensive understanding of an account’s buying situation before they even get on the phone:
“Sales reps only have so much bandwidth, so to be able to deliver the pain points that have already been uncovered, the timeframe to purchase, the exact technologies and topics they’re researching, the technologies they already have installed, and a bunch of other contacts you can reach out to, it really delivers the whole package.”
Adam has trained his RSMs to look beyond just the fact that there’s activity at an account and has them dig into the Confirmed Project details and get the “inside” knowledge:
“When we get a Confirmed Project, I tell our RSMs to do more than say ‘oh wow I have a new opportunity,' but to actually look at all the information along with it to say- okay this came from TechTarget, here are the details that allows us to understand why these people are in the SD-WAN market to begin with, and that tees us up to tell them more about our unique approach to solving the problem that’s already been identified.”
Both Adam and Nicole have seen amazing success using both Priority Engine and Confirmed Projects together.
Nicole used her approach to generate 19% of her team’s total leads and has enabled her sales team to generate several closed-won deals.
“The first campaign we ever ran with TechTarget we received a Confirmed Project for a company we were already somewhat engaged with, and the report actually gave us more information that the company hadn’t given up to us, so we were able to close an even larger deal than we originally thought.”
“It’s also helped us close a couple of net new logos. We recently closed a deal from a Confirmed Project with a company we had never done business with before because the project details gave us the information we needed to get in the door and close the deal.”
Through both Priority Engine and Confirmed Projects, Adam has helped influence over $8.5 in projected revenue, and engage over 74% of Talari's active market.
“I wanted more at-bats, and what Priority Engine and Confirmed Projects give me together is more opportunities at the plate and tee us up to sell our unique approach to solving their problem.”
4 Steps for Successful Confirmed Project Follow-up
Confirmed Projects contain deep project intelligence and insights to help sales reps quickly establish credibility with key members of the buying team. But this only works if the data is used the right way.
When engaging an account where there is a Confirmed Project, follow these 4 steps to help improve your chances of successful outreach:
1. Use Confirmed Project insights in your outreach - but don't force them in
Using the insights provided in your Confirmed Project report will improve your chances of connecting with the prospect. Our recommendation is to always articulate how your solution solves the needs expressed by the Confirmed Project Insider, while also weaving in other insights from the report into your narrative to pique their interest.
Here is one example of how you could use Confirmed Project insights in an initial outreach call or voicemail:
“Hi Garfield, giving a quick call today to chat about how we’ve helped companies similar to TD Bank with their enterprise data warehousing needs. I’d love to share strategies on how to reduce the cost of your data platforms and discuss why we are a better fit than Oracle or Teradata. This is YOUR NAME from YOUR COMPANY, you can reach me at YOUR PHONE NUMBER”
2. Use Confirmed Projects and Priority Engine together for the best results
Confirmed Projects give you access to the project insider while Priority Engine gives you access to the rest of the active buying team. Using a balanced sales approach to surround the account is key, but be sure to prioritize your efforts against the prospects who are most likely to convert. This means starting with the Confirmed Project Insider, then working your way through the Active Prospects, then the rest of the buying team.
When working with a Confirmed Project Insider we normally recommend a 3-week, 12-touch outreach cadence like the following example:
When working with a Priority Engine Active Prospect we recommend a 2-week, 7-touch outreach cadence like the following example:
3. Don't be "Big Brother" by asking questions you haven't earned the right to ask
The insights contained in a Confirmed Project are very powerful, but it's also possible to overuse them. Don't assume you can just jump into a direct line of questioning referencing insights from the Confirmed Project report before the conversation leads there naturally.
You would be caught off guard if someone asked you what color Subaru you want to buy if you had never told them you are in the market for a car, wouldn't you?
Always beware of crossing the creepy-cool line.
4. Make it about them, not you
Focusing your outreach primarily on your product or company just serves as an interruption to your prospect's day. You haven't earned their time or given them a reason to care about what you have to say.
Instead, make sure you do your homework on the prospect and tailor your message to their needs and interests. VP of CISO David Whipple sums this up nicely in his LinkedIn article when he says to include in your outreach a "One-sentence intro that ideally shows you have any clue about what I am up to."
Confirmed Projects are specifically designed to help you get over this hurdle. Use the insights provided to customize your outreach to their needs and interests. Once you have their attention, then you can start your pitch.
Check out our other resources on honing your outreach: