The Best Kept Secret of Sales Research

Last Updated Dec 15, 2009 11:23 AM EST

Want to make sure that you're targeting the right prospects? And want to make sure that more prospects convert?

If so, you need to do some sales research. There are four types of sales research. The first three are relatively well-known, but the fourth isn't.

Here are three that are reasonably common in the business world:

  • #1. Research your wins. If you want to find out how to replicate your successes, you need to find out why you succeeded -- what helped move the sale forward and what delayed it. Almost every company does this kind of research.
  • #2. Research your losses. If you want to find out how to avoid your mistakes, you need to find out why you failed -- and what you could have done better. A fair number of companies do this kind of research.
  • #3. Research the no-decisions. When you examine situations where no decision was made, you can avoid the unnecessary sales expense inherent in chasing phantom deals. A few companies do this kind of research.
The fourth and final type of sales research is ONLY conducted within a tiny number of companies who are always superlative at growing share. They're not going to tell you the secret, because it's the main reason for their competitive edge.

I, however, am not bound to keep the secret so...

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