How It all started
Very early in my career I was a traveling salesman. I spent six years on a commission only compensation plan going door-to-door selling encyclopedias to consumers. I landed my first job in business-to-business (B2B) sales selling commercial grade internet service. This was during a period of massive growth in the use and adoption of the Internet.
I experienced what it was like to sell new technology for a startup company in the middle of the dot-com bubble. I also worked for multiple companies that eventually failed. It was during those moments, in the pursuit of closing deals when I started thinking about the constant uncertainty, challenge, and stress of getting more sales. I eventually moved on to pursue other opportunities in sales.
When a salesperson leaves one company to join another, they’re expected to quickly ramp up from being a new employee to becoming a fully productive sales professional during their first ninety days on the job, all while learning more about the product, the customers, the market, and the competition. Salespeople rarely have leads and contact details when they start off searching for customers.
My biggest problem in sales was gaining access to people and information inside the companies I targeted. Sales calls were not easy. I think about all the times I approached a stranger and had a meaningful connection that turned into a meeting. It took a long time for the prospect to agree to meet with me, if at all. Whenever I talked with my peers, everyone experienced the same problem.
Sales prospecting is what people do to find potential buyers. To succeed in meeting with people inside a company, a salesperson must find a lead. A lead is a person who conveys strong interest in the product or service you sell. The skills involved in finding new leads have nothing to do with closing a deal. There’s a lot of guessing and checking when you’re searching for leads, because you don’t have all the facts. To find out if a company wants your product or service, you need answers from people inside who are trying to solve a problem and want something better.
To get meetings with potential buyers, I connected with people from other firms who sold into the same customer base. For many years, I often wondered if there would ever be a way for people from different firms to connect when they cross paths in the same sales territory, to trade names, information, and business leads without having to compete for the same deals.
I founded Incidr /inˈsīdər/ to make a difference in the lives of people who do the job of sales prospecting, so they never miss an opportunity to connect about a sale.