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Data Mining for the Advanced Salesperson

Data Mining for the Advanced Salesperson

Though we recommend using sales support for most WebCenter owners, there are advanced salespeople that prefer to do the walk-through themselves. Here are some tips on data mining designed to help you close the deal.


Data mining is the gathering of critical information to help you build value into the prospect’s Web site -- this data is “mined” from the Decision Maker (DM). With data mining, one of your major goals is to figure out the best way to market the Web site so it is more attractive and useful to that particular customer.


For example, a mortgage broker would be impressed with a pre-qualifying form and a mortgage calculator. But, they wouldn’t necessarily care about accepting MasterCard or Visa over a secure connection since people don’t typically buy houses with credit cards.


In another example, a gift shop owner might be interested in the shopping cart, catalog, and E-commerce, but not in a chat room.


To be successful at data mining, you need to ask the right questions in order to discover just what your customers needs are. Once you identify these needs, then you can customize your walk-through to address them, thus greatly increasing your chance of selling the site.


The following are examples of good Data Mining questions:


¨ “How do you currently advertise?”

Listen to their advertising strategies and transition into why a Web site will meet these goals much better and cost-effectively than traditional advertising.

For example, do they use the Yellow Pages? If so, this is a great time for a cost comparison. Or if they use Value Pak Coupons, bring up how easy and inexpensive personalized mass emails are. And if they have radio, print or TV ads, stress how much more effective they will be if they advertise their new Web site address as well.


¨ “How much do you spend on advertising?”

This is a perfect opportunity to emphasize how this will minimize their advertising expenses.

 ¨ “Can you track the effectiveness of your advertising efforts?”

This is a great segway into the Statistics Tool.

¨  “How do you keep in contact with your existing customers?”

This is a lead in for the Contact Management Tool.

“Tell me a bit about your business.”

Find out what type of products or services they specialize in. Use this information to highlight a feature or tool that will help their sales. For example, if they sell goods, emphasize the on-line product catalog and shopping cart.


What to say if your prospect already has a Web site:
¨ WCO: “How’s your current Web site working out for you?”

The prospect may respond with a: “It’s not”, “OK” or even a “Great!” Here’s what you do in each situation:


Prospect: “It’s not.”

WCO: “What’s not working? What problems are you experiencing?”
Let the prospect talk. Listen to what they tell you, and then use the most appropriate transition statement to get them to log on.



WCO: “What would you like to change about your existing site?”

Continue data mining. Note the responses and use the best transition statement to get them to log on.



Prospect: “Great”
WCO: “What would you improve about the functionality of your site?”

Once again, listen to what the prospect says. Based on their responses, choose the most appropriate transition statement to encourage them to log on.




** What to do if the Prospect answers: “Nothing”

If the prospect says “nothing,” continue data mining. Use the information you learn to get them to log on.


WCO: “Did you develop the site yourself or did you have someone do it for you?”
Consider typical challenges associated with either method of development. Refer to options for establishing an online presence and incorporate them during transition and walkthrough presentation.


WCO: “How often do you make changes to the site? Do you make them yourself?”
Responses will vary. If they paid someone to develop their site, they may make changes on their own. However, if someone is making the changes for them, ask the following questions:

WCO: “How much are those changes costing you?”
Typically, the answer is pretty expensive.

WCO: “How long does it take for changes to be completed?”
Take note of their responses and then tell them about the site development tools to help sell the site.

WCO: “Does the DM make changes? How are you making changes?”
Expected responses: HTML, FrontPage, etc.

WCO: “Do you have to upload changes to your host?”
Expected response: YES.

Note: Uploading to a host can be very time consuming.  Place the focus on the convenience and efficiency of instantaneous changes with

WCO: “Who hosts your site?  How much do you pay for monthly hosting?”
Responses will vary.  Make notes and consider how best to use this information during your presentation.

WCO: “Are you receiving the traffic you had expected?”

Expected Responses: 

DM: “NO.” Skip to the next question.
DM: “YES.”

WCO: “Can you tell where you are receiving your traffic? Is it from search engines or do they go directly to the URL?”
Most people can’t verify where their traffic is coming from; this identifies a need for the Statistics Tool.

WCO: “Is your domain name being submitted to the search engines? 
Expected responses:
DM: “YES.”

WCO: “Who is submitting your site to the search engines?”
Expected responses:
DM: “I am”, “I am not sure”, “My host is”

WCO: “How often are you/they submitting your site?  What is the cost associated with that?” These questions will help you identify the need for the Site Promotion Tool.
DM: “No.”

Make note of the need for a Site Promotion Tool discussion.


Data Mining is a great way to close the deal when the prospect has an existing site. By asking the right questions and listening carefully, you can identify weaknesses with their current Web host. Then all you need to do is offer the right solutions to sell the site. Some examples of weaknesses are:

¨ They are dependant on someone else to make changes and updates.
The site is not being submitted to the search engines.
They aren’t getting traffic.
The site is too expensive.


To successfully data mine, always be on the lookout for ways that a Web site can improve the prospect's business. Really listen to their needs and stress the iWebcenter tools and features that will offer the best solutions. By following these tips, you can turn your data mine into a gold mine.


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