Thanks to the internet today researching your customers is easier than it has ever been before. You can visit websites to find out more about products, read the latest press releases and also get a feeling of what the organization is all about. Also subscription based tools allow for you to gather information in regards to the company size and its key executives.
However, just limiting your company’s website to pre sales prep and subscription based tools is just barely scratching the surface. We will look at four ways in which you can expand your market intelligence using web 2.0 tools.
Using Social Networks
LinkedIn is one of the better known professional social networks. There are many other social networks in addition to this which will cater to specific types of industries. In order to make research easier you need to join these specialized networks.
You’ll find the following information:
• More employee information apart from just the executives
• You’ll find out who was recently hired
• Some background information in regards to who the buyers are.
A number of businesses have Twitter accounts which are managed by their PR team. Using Twitter can help you stay up to date on the latest company news. Also Twitter is something that many company employees are encouraged to use. Tweets can help you gather useful information and insights into a company. You can also use the search function built into twitter to find information pertaining to a prospect’s company name. TweepSearch is a useful tool which helps list the name of your prospect’s company in addition to their bio.
If your business sells to consumer then there is a very good chance that they are using Facebook. Also many companies that are selling to other businesses have Facebook pages in order to expand their reach. However, even if the prospect company does not have a Facebook page the buyer may have their own. While privacy settings will limit what you can see befriending them is a good way to view more about them.
Bing News Alerts
You probably already did a search for the company name, industry info and buyer’s name prior to anything else. However, using Bing News Alerts is another way to send information directly to your inbox each time any of these terms hits the latest news which helps you stay up to date with little effort. Also make sure you set up alerts for your competitors as they will give you another reason to contact customers with some more insight into what you know is happening.