Finding the Needle in the Haystack: Process to Maximize Sales Leads


Many manufacturers are looking for ways to get their foot in the door with new projects that are in the planning stages and have a potential need for their product. In a two-step distribution sales situation, it is often the responsibility of the manufacturer’s rep to find and connect with the architect, designer, contractor or owner of potential new projects in their territory. By focusing on the projects in planning manufacturers hope to increase the potential for selling more products. However, with commercial projects, it is often difficult to stay up on the status of every project—some projects die due to financing or zoning issues and others may move ahead swiftly or others crawl very slowly.  In addition, depending on the project there can be a variety of different types of facilities with multiple contacts involved.  Sometimes the process of finding the right people to speak with can be like looking for a “needle in a haystack.”

Recently, a building product manufacturer, who manufacturers products that are used in many types of commercial projects, asked AIM to assist their rep organization in identifying potential projects before the product selections are finalized. AIM was further asked to help find commercial projects that were in the planning stage and had a potential to have a specification for their particular product. In addition, they wanted to be able to identify where their competitors were specified in comparison to their own brand of product.


To maximize the success of the project, AIM first met with the client to find out more specifics on what product brand names and competitors they had the most interest in tracking.  In addition, AIM recommended targeting specific property types to help the client maximize their efforts. Using ConstructConnect®, AIM started the project by setting up a “test” specification and project analysis for projects in planning.  This would help AIM ensure the results would produce the type of projects the client wanted with the information they needed.  To supplement the list of projects in planning, AIM was able to work with the client to append the key contacts the client was looking for and information on where their competitors were specified.

To assist the client in maximizing their efforts to penetrate the market, AIM recommended they produce a monthly list of projects that could be sent to the client’s rep organization to follow-up on.  AIM designed an Excel spreadsheet that would list all projects in planning with key contact information.  In addition, AIM was able to append the rep information as well as indicated if it was a new listing or an “update” to an existing project. The program was also designed to indicate what brands, if any, were specified on the project.


AIM was able to supply the building product manufacturer with a list of 100+ key projects in planning on a monthly basis.  The files contained all the important project information as well contact and brand specification information they needed.  The client was able to easily send their reps a list of the projects in their territory to follow-up on. Reps could not only quickly identify “new” projects, but had the contact information to reach out to schedule a sales call with the key people involved in the project. This program provided the manufacturer with “qualified” leads for developing and building new business opportunities with key players. It also gave the manufacturer a way to help their reps build their business while providing a way to hold them accountable for making sales calls.This list would be perfect to implement a targeted campaign to reach the key players with the features and benefits of the product.

For more information on how AIM can assist you with finding new business or product opportunities, email or call 847-358-8558.