Sherlock Sales

December 26, 2019 Olivier Withouck

People often ask me what I do for a living. When I say I am in business development it often creates confusion. It’s too generic, not specific enough and I need to explain what it’s all about. A good way to make it easy to understand is "I am a Sherlock Sales." Sherlock Holmes is a detective trying to find the murderer and I am trying to find the next customer for my company. The analogy goes further. Trying to solve a murder case can be very complex. So is signing up a new customer. Both activities require creativity, consistency, persistence and determination to achieve success. It’s a game about search and find. The path from A to Z can be full of hurdles, unpleasant surprises, frustration, disappointment but the taste of victory reaching Z is sweet. A little like winning a Tour de France stage in the Alps. The satisfaction of victory justifies the suffering to the top.


Business development starts with defining your market or asking yourself the question: "Who is my ideal customer?" Defining in which country your customer should be based, in which industry sector he’s active? Is your ideal customer an SMB company or are the solutions you offer aimed for enterprise organisations?

It’s important that your territory is well defined before you start your search. It’s like the detective who found the dead body will start his search with the neighbourhood survey.


Today sales people prospecting the market have tools available that are of great help and automate that segmentation. Bombora for instance offers an intent data solution for lead generation purposes. As today, buyers do a lot of study themselves with the information available online before they reach out to vendors, it becomes an issue for vendors to know who their potential customers on the market are. With Bombora you can drive qualified demand across your campaigns by identifying organisations interested in what you sell. At the same time you can optimise contact acquisition or content syndication programs to drive more efficient lead generation.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator

LinkedIn Sales Navigator also offers similar information. Based on saved lead lists it generates lead recommendation. It saves you time and energy to search for ideal customer profiles.


Generic messaging is like something from the 80s because you no longer attract buyers with simple messaging. A potential customer wants to be informed on challenges that are specific to his vertical and wants to know how you can deal with these and find creative solutions that solve these issues.

Therefore it’s important to tailor your message and add some elements that attract your prospect.

With UberFlip you can personalise your digital experiences at scale. The same applies for B2B as for B2C. We live in the Netflix and Spotify era where personalised experiences are seamless and possibilities endless. The same seamless experience is becoming the next normal in a B2B context.


Folloze offers a user-friendly engagement platform for every interaction with a prospect or a colleague. You can build information boards in a couple of minutes and understand the level of engagement of a prospect with the content sent.


Another solution that is disrupting the process of generating quality leads is the use of Conversational Marketing. With a solution like Drift you are able to actively and instantly engage with prospects that are searching information on your website. This offers faster time to market as well as great customer experience. The fact that you can service (future) customers with instant responses offers a huge competitive advantage.


The solution offers plenty more advantages and there are lots of use cases where Drift offers great functionality: capture relevant data that you can use in nurture campaigns, book meetings (even out of business hours). You can even use it to enrol people to an event.

The conclusion is that the technology available today enables sales people to work in a much more focused way i.e. focusing on the right target accounts with relevant messaging. Technology combined with expertise and knowledge offers you the engine for a mean lead generation machine.

Do you have problems on sales processes? Reach to us or to me directly.

About the Author

Olivier Withouck

Passionate about innovation and the opportunities of technology. Hands on and pragmatic lead generation professional with almost 20 years of experience in the technology industry.

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