Sales Life Hack: Prospecting


A car is parked on the side of the road, two well-dressed people are staring into their phones. Behind them is a billboard. They are researching the advertiser of the billboard. If you know this scene, you may have caught media salespeople prospecting. Or, next time when you catch somebody studying the company directory of an office building, think –  that is someone finding new business.


In Rhiza’s most recent user study, we asked local TV salespeople to share their prospecting secrets with us. How do they go about getting new business? While we fully expected to hear about a wide variety of data sources being used, what we did not expect was, just how highly the approach varied depending on the individual person we talked to.


Local TV salespeople sell TV advertising to local and regional businesses. They also work with small media agencies who often use TV sales reps as a resource for data that they themselves cannot afford, like TV audience measurement data from providers like Nielsen and Comscore. But how do salespeople even get in the door? How do they know who to contact?


Our research shows prospecting happens all the time. Savvy TV salespeople walk through their lives always noticing who advertises where; they constantly look for new businesses opening, who is hiring,which companies are growing, and which causes local businesses support. They think about where local TV can boost business. This mindset is crucial as a successful ad-salesperson.


But this mindset alone doesn’t seal the deal. Once an opportunity is spotted, the hard work of information gathering starts. Salespeople need to know more: who to call, how much the business makes, what the business’ target customer looks like, who is the business’ biggest competitor, are they already spending money on advertising, how much does their competition spend on advertising?


There are hundreds of options out there: data services and tools that promise to solve B2B prospecting once and for all.The fact alone that there are hundreds of services speaks volumes: there is not one omnibus solution out there. Prospect lists are notoriously inaccurate. Our research shows, people referred to 80% accuracy as “good”. Most business lists contain data that has been repurposed and sold again for  prospecting. A specific list might serve just one  industry, another might come from a service that keeps business credit scores,  and yet another is created for consumers as a resource to find service providers. Nothings seems purpose built for solely prospecting.


Since media salespeople target local businesses, they are targeting businesses of all kinds. They rely on many different lists for different business categories and industries. To get  a complete picture insights from multiple sources need to come together. The process of bringing business lists, company information like size, locations and contacts as well as end-customer information together is laborious and manual.

It is amazing to Rhiza how our sometimes simple and old-fashioned sounding value proposition of “Bringing all your data together” is still so highly relevant. It confirms our mission: Make all the relevant data available in one place, at the right time, in the right format for the user to everybody in the enterprise.