Business Development Strategy

Whale Hunting Practice #8: Study Your Whales

By October 26, 2009December 29th, 2015No Comments
It’s a huge differentiator and a huge advantage–a company that studies its sales targets as a routine business development practice will outperform most other companies, who don’t.

As a whale hunter, your business growth depends on selling much bigger deals to much bigger customers–customers that you have identified and targeted, not customers who accidentally come through your door.  The big key to that advantage is your learning about those whales and their company.

Your scouts need to prepare thorough dossiers focused on your target filter criteria.  But it doesn’t stop there!  They need to provide you with names and titles of key executives, then Google those names to find bio information, career history, etc.  For public companies, the scouts should find the SEC filings, especially the 10K Form Management Discussion & Analysis (MD&A) by which company leadership interprets the current status and future directions.

Scouts are also looking for “6 degrees of separation” — links from your company to key executives at the target company.  Social media–especially LinkedIn and Facebook — are good sources as well as Google searches to find articles and mentions.  Sometimes the best connection is through a professional or trade association or philanthropic service.

When the scouts do their job well, your harpooner will be fully prepared to make an initial call on the proper person at the prospective whale account.