December 11, 2019

How To Find Decision Makers: A Guide To Navigating Titles And Gathering Company Data

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Finding decision makers can cost sales representatives hours out of every week, and this is especially true for SaaS sales teams. You have to overcome several roadblocks just to do your jobs, including

  • Navigating a highly diverse field with unpredictable and sometimes nonsense role names (we’re looking at you, Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz)
  • Gaining visibility into corporate structure and relative stakeholder importance
  • Gatekeepers who stonewall, just because of the caller’s sales title

But prospecting for stakeholders doesn’t have to be difficult. Today’s tech proliferation brings more data to our fingertips than some of us know what to do with, but it also brings great prospecting tools. How you use those tools can make a big difference in your productivity.

Here’s our advice, with help from some TechnologyAdvice sales executives, on the best ways to find decision makers.

Start with what you know

Scour the resources you have at hand for any clues to the corporate structure of the company. These resources may include the company website and about us page, LinkedIn connections, and your company’s CRM.

“At the end of the day, my typical trick to knowing who the likely person is for making the decisions on purchases would be to first look at any potential responsibilities listed directly under their LinkedIn title. Or look at their areas of specialities, which are often listed in their bio near the top of the LinkedIn page.” –Ross Wertheim, TechnologyAdvice Sales Executive

Looking for decision makers at a publicly traded company? Try the 10-k report to understand the general corporate structure. This report will provide you with job descriptions and sometimes names to help you get to those decision makers faster.

Use an ABM approach

Build a table of the roles that you know, so you can fill in the titles and names of other contributors as you find them. Make sure to include names, email addresses, and contact information. If you find information that isn’t otherwise listed in your CRM, add it. No need to keep all that good info to yourself.

“I usually study their LinkedIn extensively, checking out the various roles at the company. Every company has such different titles, so I try to see where the title I am prospecting fits in. If there are a ton of marketers, the marketing manager is usually not a decision maker, so I keep in mind company size, location of the contact, and the title in relation to other titles at the company.” –Catherine Gaetano, TechnologyAdvice Sales Executive

You’ll also want to understand the company size to get a sense of who to target. PersistIQ says that in companies under 500 employees, you can safely bet that the decision-makers have job titles in the C-level and VP, director, or upper management titles. If you target a company with over 500 employees, you should look for regional management and director roles to locate decision makers.

Want more great advice on finding decision makers? Download the white paper now.

A note on data enrichment, enhanced data practices, and lead generation services

Job titles can change quickly, turning last week’s accurate data into this week’s wasted time. Data enrichment software can enhance your understanding of key contacts and the management structure of a company, but buyer beware. Often the least expensive data is the most incomplete, and will still require significant time investment. Make sure you vet your data enrichment vendor and double check your purchases. Enrichment is no substitute for good old fashioned prospecting.

That said, lead vendors can take a bunch of the hard prospecting work out of your hands. At TechnologyAdvice, all of our leads have passed a rigorous quality assurance process, so we guarantee we can connect you with decision makers and stakeholders who have expressed interest in products like yours. Find out more about our lead generation services on our Partners page.