I’m Luke, and I’m an Account Director here at Owler. You may not be aware that Owler has a sales team. We do! Every day, I work to sell our Data APIs, (which include firmographic data, news & alerts, and competitors) to leading businesses like Marketo, SalesLoft, and InsideSales. And every day, my team and I use Owler to make ourselves better, more efficient salespeople.
I’ve been with Owler for the past 1.5 years, and in that time, I’ve identified a few techniques for using Owler to drive optimal sales success. I’m always on Owler, and the data proves it: out of our entire community of 1 million+ active users, I’m the 10th most engaged user! I still need to meet the other nine.
So, today I’m sharing a few tips for how my team maximizes sales productivity with Owler, and how you can as well.
I’ll start by walking you through how to get yourself set up with Owler. Here’s the best way to configure our platform for sales success.
Step 1: Customize your competitors.
On my first day at Owler, I configured “My Competitors” to the three competitors that are the most important for me to monitor. As a salesperson, the companies that are relevant to my neighbor in marketing aren’t necessarily the same companies that are relevant to me. And if you’re in sales at a large company, you likely have different direct competitors from your colleagues who sell a another product suite.
To set your competitors, start by searching for your company profile. (As you can see here, I’m showing this as if I work at Dropbox.) Then, click the “See All” button for competitors and hit “My Custom Set.” Finally, go ahead and add the companies that you want to keep track of.
I’m following 171 companies on Owler. Anytime I have a new prospect, I add them to the list of companies I follow, alongside all my current customers.
I’ll give you a pro tip on how to follow companies the fastest. Navigate to the hamburger menu in the top right corner, and select “My Portfolio” from the menu item. Then simply enter a company name into the search box, and click enter to add the company to your Owler portfolio. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Step 3: Organize your Inbox
The way you organize your inbox can be directly correlated to your sales productivity. That’s why it’s so important that you’re easily able to see the messages that matter to you.
Gmail automatically sorts my incoming emails into category tabs. That means Owler emails appear in my promotions box by default. In order to override this, I mark all incoming Owner emails as personal. That way, I can count on those emails faithfully landing in my primary inbox at 6:03 every morning, providing me with all the latest updates I need to get my day rolling.
My Daily Workflow with Owler
I jumpstart my morning with Owler’s Daily Snapshot.
Daily Snapshot: When I wake up, the first thing I do is scan my Daily Snapshot. I get the lowdown on all the companies I care about, and leverage that information to start a conversation. I count on the Daily Snapshot to deliver conversation-starting value-adds and icebreakers straight to my inbox. So rather than simply reaching out to check in, I identify two to five concrete, valuable reasons to connect with my prospects or customers.
Instant Insight: Owler sends Instant Insights when there are important business events at companies I follow. So whenever a critical event happens, I’ll get the scoop instantly. I use those insights to get a leg up with prospects. Is a prospect likely to have budget (i.e. did they recently receive funding)? Have they been acquired by a company we’re already doing business with? I’ll actually forward Instant Insights as a value add, giving me a reason to reach out and congratulate a company on new developments.
Here’s a real world example. I had been engaging with a prospect who while very interested in integrating Owler’s data API into their software, didn’t have budget, so we tabled the conversation. A few months later, an Instant Insight landed in my inbox, showing they’d raised funding. I immediately forwarded the email to my contact and congratulated her, reopening our sales conversation. She responded right away—since I saw the news hot off the press, I was the first person to send over well wishes. Now that company is a customer.
Not familiar with Instant Insights? When I follow companies on Owler, I’m automatically notified anytime a funding event, acquisition, or leadership change occurs. There are an average of 1,200 of these events each month, and Owler delivers this information directly to my inbox anytime an insight relates to a company I care about—so I’m always up to date with my accounts. For instance, if I follow a customer, I’ll get notifications on companies they acquire or invest in, which in turn helps me discover new ways to expand the business relationship. Plus, it gives me a way to pursue them—I can forward that email to my contact at the company, starting a value-driven conversation.
Best Practices for Sales Research
When a meeting is booked, Owler company profiles are included in calendar invites. Before every sales call, you likely research your prospect on LinkedIn. We believe you should apply this same logic to company research. When an Owler SDR schedules a meeting for an Account Director, they include a link to that company’s Owler profile URL in the calendar invite. That way, our team is equipped with useful information about all the companies they are communicating with.
Add a field for Owler Company Profiles in Salesforce. Owler is fortunate in that our API is connected to our Salesforce instance, so we automatically populate a custom object with a link to that company’s Owler profile on all account pages. You can do the same thing without connecting Owler’s API to Salesforce. Simply create a new field for Owler Company Profile, and have your team fill that in as part of the account record.
Pre-call research. Before I get on a call, I scan that company’s Owler profile and I look at the following areas: I first want to gain an understanding of who their competitors are. It’s always important to have an idea of a company’s space, and understand whether they’re the leader, the mid-size player, or the disrupter of their competitive set. Sometimes it’s hard to understand what a company does just from skimming their website. So, I look at the 140 character company descriptions Owler to get a helpful, high level overview of what that business is all about.
From there, I’ll want to know what’s top of mind for a company. If I’m talking to a smaller company, I’ll look at their recent news. If it’s a bigger corporation, I’ll check to see if they’ve made any recent acquisition or product announcements.
Plus, I can easily look through their recent blog posts. On a company’s blog, posts are often formatted for aesthetics, not for easy scanning of topics. With Owler, I’m able to see this posts in a uniform, scannable format, so I can immediately understand what that company cares about.
Follow new prospects on Owler. Whenever I find a new prospect, I immediately follow that company on Owler. That way, instead of searching for news or new developments happening at that company, they come to me, arriving squarely in my inbox.
How to Use Owler for Prospecting
Advanced search by region. Our advanced search function can help you find new accounts in your territory. You can further narrow down your search according to company size, revenue, funding, industry, or age. In sales, segmentation is crucial, and Owler helps me segment to the fullest.
Find lookalike accounts. We know that if a company finds Owler useful, chances are that their competitors will as well. So, we use Owler’s Competitive Graph to populate a list of prospective accounts to engage with.
Add your whole team. Clearly, at Owler our whole sales team uses our product—we drink our own champagne. If you want your company to accelerate your growth, I’d encourage you to get your entire sales teams standardized on Owler.
I hope you found these tips useful! Did I miss any sales tips that you’re team uses? Let me know. And, if you’re a great salesperson in Spokane, WA we’re hiring.