So you’ve secured a meeting with a prospect from one of your top-tier pharma, biopharma, or academia target organizations. Excited? For sure. But you still have a lot to do to prepare.

Research, Research, and, Hey, Did We Mention Research?

The first step in preparing for the meeting is to do your homework. You check out their website. You Google them and look up the team on LinkedIn. You review their areas of focus, read press releases, corporate reports, industry news, conference abstracts—basically, most everything you can get your hands on to understand their needs and how those needs align with your products and services.

So why is it that, according to a study conducted by Forrester Research, as much as 75% of sales reps are not deemed knowledgeable about the buyer’s business and 70% of reps are unprepared for the buyer’s questions?

Could it be that there’s too much information to wade through? Or not enough time to find it and understand the complete story it tells? It’s both, of course. Plus, you can’t help but waste some time reviewing completely irrelevant information before you get to the good stuff—the details that will help you understand and address their pain points before you’re on the spot with your decision-makers.

When Is Enough Enough?

There’s no such thing as knowing too much about an organization or contact before you engage. But it is possible to overshare once you’re there. You don’t want to come across like a stalker, spewing your extensive knowledge of their business, but you do want to make sure your pitch is tailored to their needs. And you’re going to listen. A lot. Hear their pain and ask meaningful discovery questions based on the research you’ve done, which builds trust and grows their confidence in you.

But really, don’t most salespeople do this? They try. Sometimes they do pretty well, sometimes knock it out of the park, but based on the survey data of buyers, there’s clearly an opportunity to advance the way you prepare to engage—which may, in turn, result in higher win rates!

So Why Don’t You Know What You Don’t Know?

I think we already discussed this… Too much info and not enough time to get a holistic understanding, right? So of course it’s possible to be caught off guard. What about the events you missed that occurred after your last research effort? The life sciences industry moves pretty fast and there can be critical changes from one day to the next. Maybe there was an announcement or new publication that you really should have known about, but of course, you have other deals to close, prospecting, networking, reporting, and all that research to complete!

But aren’t you supposed to “always be selling”? According to Pace Productivity, an average salesperson spends just 10.7 hours per week in meetings with prospects. That comes out to 23% of their week, as opposed to the 50% expectation most sales leaders have of their team members.

Making More Time to Sell Means Selling More

Significantly reducing the time you spend researching accounts frees up more time to sell. Our colleagues at SalesLoft have conducted a study that shows the winningest reps “use data, intelligence, and productivity tools 30% more than average performers.” It’s not a secret that machine learning can instantaneously process and understand the data that it would take most of us weeks or months to synthesize. But still, many reps indicate they’re just too busy to use these critical intelligence and productivity tools. And some are too busy because they’re not using these advanced tools to streamline their effort. How are we ever going to implement new technology when we’re already so overloaded?

It might be hard, but the best way is to plan for it. Divide and conquer with your team to investigate the right solutions. Determine where you’re spinning your wheels the most and prioritize your team’s needs. And then stop and smell the machine learning. Life sciences intelligence tools like Amplion can make your day and also help you make your quarter, with less effort than you may have thought. The right technology can bring the account research and the right prospects directly to you.

Employ Actionable Insights to Win Over the Dealmakers

Intelligence tools are already a part of most sales rep’s lives. Most would find it impossible to live without their CRM and existing prospecting tools. But most of those tools simply lack the detail specific to pharma and academia programs, funding, technology and disease focus, and business activities. This is where industry-focused intelligence tools can make all the difference in your success.

As an example, Amplion brings your target accounts’ stories to life by providing you a consolidated view of all their relevant activities. You’ll develop a list of ideal accounts based on your selected parameters like org size and type, matching technology needs, therapeutic area, and more, so you are only evaluating orgs that are already relevant to you. Here are just some of the insights you’ll have to prepare you for engagement:

  • Active programs and pipelines, from early discovery through clinical trials
  • New publications and conference abstracts
  • Technologies, test methods, and disease states
  • Therapeutics, diagnostics, and devices
  • Collaborators and partners
  • Funding activities
  • Organizational and firmographic details
  • Relevant sales triggers

You’ll also get real-time alerts about new, relevant events that signal who you should reach out to and, most importantly, when. These insights can help you get to know your prospect’s business almost as well as you know your own, so you can refine your messaging to make it targeted and personalized.

Program-level verified contacts enable you to reach out to the right decision-maker sooner. And because you’re armed with comprehensive insights about your target accounts, you’ll make a great impression every time.


Amplion customers have realized a > 33% improvement in close rate by connecting with the right contact at the right time. See how Amplion can help you exceed your quotas, even in the new WFH reality.




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  1. Q4 2013 North America and Europe Executive Buyer Insight Online Survey:
  2. How Sales Reps Spend Their Time. Pace Productivity:,opportunity%20for%20in%2Ddepth%20discussions
  3. Best Practices of Top Performing Sales Reps: