This is how to mine new sales prospects using Google and Bing Maps
If you are a sales rep responsible for covering a territory, your lifeblood is sales leads. It’s a daily chore and often a daily struggle if you are not fortunate enough to have an effective inbound marketing funnel that delivers you quality leads to keep you in front of the best prospects. Unless leads have been prequalified, you could be wasting time driving around, cold calling and knocking on closed doors.
What if you could look at your territory and instantly know where your best prospects are?
It’s possible to efficiently prospect your territory, planning trips that maximize time in front of prospects selling, instead of wasting time and money on wild goose chases that that cause you to miss your sales numbers.
While online tools such as Google Maps and Bing Maps are well known for their value in finding directions, did you know they could also become a salesperson’s best friend as a prospecting tool? Best of all, they are easy to use and free.
Simply open a browser, navigate to Google or Bing Maps and search for the types of industries in your local zip code. Generally, you can click on the listed results and find more information or at least a link to a company’s website. This option lacks a defined contact person – but it also didn’t cost you anything. You can quickly compile a list of prospect companies with this method. You can then search online using Google, Linkedin, or similar services to find contacts within each company. If searching for contacts online fails, then you can fall back to simply calling and asking for the correct contact person and their information.
Here’s how you can hack with Google and Bing Maps so you can find those juicy leads.
You can treat Google Maps like the regular Google search engine. I typed in my old business partner’s name and up pops the business office location:
I type in the great Mark Roberge (CRO of Hubspot and acclaimed author) and I get something strange and cool:
Interesting to note that Mark is currently a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School.
By Name of Business
This one’s obvious but pinpoints the business as well as other business that might be worth prospecting.
By Twitter Handles
Just typing in the Twitter handle for SalesLoft’s CEO brought me to their location.
Not only does a salesperson have the address and company phone number, she can look around the map and potentially build rapport knowing that there are two Mexican food places and a Twin Peaks within walking distance to them. Keep in mind that the information may not be 100 percent accurate; search engines may not be completely updated to businesses that open or close.
Big Old Map of Prospects
For this next hack, make sure that you adjust the map scale so you see the area of interest. You can do this by country, state, or a local level. For example, if you are prospecting home alarm companies, just type that search term of interest (e.g. “home security systems”) and up pops a score of potential prospects for you to check out. You will have to scroll through the results (click the right arrow near the “Showing Results 1-20”) since Google recently changed how results pop up, however it still beats cold calling or throwing darts on the board hoping you hit a good sales prospect. This type of hack opens it up for more spatial learning and it makes it easy to break up a list across visual territories if that is in your prospecting scheme.
Bing Maps uses a different approach which produces a number of potential prospects without having to scroll:
You can search for multiple keywords and they both overlay on the same map. The full prospect map and the fact that you can overlay search terms may put Bing Maps ahead of the Google Maps, however you can’t search by owner name and twitter handle like in Google Maps.
This is just scratching the surface of the things that you can use online maps such as Google Maps and Bing Maps to find in your prospecting journey. Like any tool, how effective it is can be determined by the user. Considering its cost (free) and its ease of use, hacking online maps is well worth the time for salespeople.
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Dr. Sean Guillory is Data Scientist at ConsumerAffairs for Brands and holds a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from Dartmouth College.
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