INTRUST is well-established as a leading retirement firm in the United States. As one of PlanPro’s most-veteran clients, INTRUST continues to attribute its targeted, time-efficient prospecting to its dependence on PlanPro’s intelligent, up-to-date data. This year alone, INTRUST has been able to land 70 meetings with new prospects.
PlanPro sat down with Mark Cundiff of INTRUST as he shared with us how he leverages PlanPro data to cut down his sales cycle, land more successful meetings, and maximize his ability to provide more Americans with better retirement.
Mark Cundiff is passionate about the prospecting process he’s streamlined over the years. He shares how PlanPro carries him through each touch in a typical INTRUST sales cycle.
INTRUST’s prospecting process
Step 1: Prep for a successful first touch by researching
- Strategize for a vertical market industry approach. Decide which market to target and become an “expert” on the industry. Mark recently has been immersed in the aerospace industry and is up-to-date with the latest successes in this space.
- Target specific regions at a time. Since INTRUST is based in Kansas, Mark chooses to cluster and target specific regions at a time, helping him work more efficiently and land more meetings.
- Consider the timing for the first touch. Mark advises to be aware of what works for both your firm and the industry space you’re targeting – and says to be flexible when it comes to adjusting what time of day you make your calls. After about a month of testing a certain call time, he is always open to pivoting in order to compare outcomes of how successful his prospect interactions are at different times.
- Put aside time to do your homework for the first touch. In order to prepare for his first touch, Mark pulls up the PlanPro 2-sheeter to study a prospect – being alert to red flags or trends, exploring weaknesses they may be struggling with like service issues or turn-overs. He makes sure to research them on Linkedin so he feels confident and sounds knowledgeable – ensuring he brings credibility to his prospect. It is not uncommon for Mark to spend up to three hours researching a client prior to his first call!
Step 2: First touch – the phone call and ice breaker
Mark was excited about a new aerospace prospect based in Kansas. On his first call, Mark shared his appreciation for what the firm was doing for the city, as well as making sure to share the retirement value he has already given other established clients in the aerospace industry. Using intel from the PlanPro sheets, Mark understood the company was looking for serious growth – wanting to grow by 2000 employees. Ultimately, Mark was able to close a $1 million deal with this customer, and he attributes this to a succinct 10-min call where he leveraged PlanPro data to show he understood the company’s expansion needs.
- Always leverage your knowledge of who the decision maker or plan admin is from PlanPro. Mark makes sure he doesn’t waste time making assumptions about who the decision maker or plan admin could be – this leads to lots of deadends and wasted efforts. He uses PlanPro and its plan provider information right away to pinpoint whether he will be looking for an advisor or a record keeper, allowing him to avoid shot-in-the-dark prospecting
Mark shared a favorite INTRUST win due to getting right to the decision maker. Using PlanPro, he found a promising prospect who needed help educating its employees on retirement. He found out that although they had an office in Kansas, the CFO (and decision maker) worked out-of-state in Georgia. Mark wouldn’t have had this info without access to the PlanPro database. Access to this knowledge put him in an immediate position to have three successful touches with the CFO, ending with the final step where he flew to Atlanta and closed on the deal.
- Keep it casual and focus on breaking the ice. Mark aims for a 10-15 minute upbeat phone call – preferring the phone over an email for this first touch.
Show your industry knowledge. After introducing himself, Mark likes to share his industry knowledge by mentioning a specific win for the industry in general or what the prospect’s company is doing for the industry.
Share three areas of value. Because Mark has access to the PlanPro sheets, he comes prepared to share three benefits he can bring to the prospect, showing that he understands their needs and has a concrete timeline to provide the solution.
Schedule a meeting. Mark always ends the call by nailing down a meeting for a week-out!
Mark shared another success story that showcases how having PlanPro’s high-quality, accurate data has been crucial for huge INTRUST wins. It began with Mark leaving a voicemail for a new lead – pursuing a gut instinct – even though he would have ordinarily just called back another time. Without the PlanPro platform to have the decision maker’s name and direct phone number, this voicemail wouldn’t have been possible. Mark led with an upbeat voicemail that prompted a return call from the prospect. This voicemail led to INTRUST acquiring the firm’s 401K plan, landing a six million dollar deal!
Step 3: Second touch – the follow-up call
- Warm the lead. Mark makes it a goal to get the prospect on the phone for a second time. Even if it’s only a few minutes of chatting about the weather, he sees a noticeable difference when he takes the time to confirm the meeting that was set originally in the first call. Mark assumes the prospect will do some Linkedin research on him to prepare for the meeting – and by the time the official meeting day arrives, the client feels more comfortable. The lead is warm already!
Step 4: Discovery at the meeting
- Uncover the firm’s needs. Mark begins the meeting by telling the prospect briefly about himself and what he does. He then quickly gives the floor to them, allowing the prospect the chance to share grievances with the firm’s current retirement plan situation and what about it needs to be resolved and changed.
- Know the current plan’s red flags and features. Because Mark leverages the PlanPro database and understands where he can add value, he goes into these meetings already aware of the current plan features, strong points, and areas of opportunity. For instance, uncovering that there is a dilemma with employee turnaround at the company helps him to know that autoenrollment and a great 401K plan can reduce much of this movement.
Mark depends on PlanPro to identify changes in companies as he analyzes their current plan. Noting that one prospect had growth of over 40% from the previous year, Mark realized that they had begun a 401K program, but only a small volume of employees were signed up for it. He immediately saw this hole – and his window of opportunity. However, Mark didn’t rush into a meeting announcing this knowledge. He used it to inform his dialogue, allowing the prospect to share, and thus confirm, just how he could add value to their program.
- Ask questions and listen. Mark makes sure to ask the right questions to mitigate risk and fears, letting prospects educate him first which creates trust and confidence. He uses PlanPro not to show that he knows more than the prospect, but to show that he understands them and their concerns – all of which will lead to a shortened sales cycle.
- Leave the meeting confident that the prospect understands your value. During his initial meeting, Mark concludes by asking his prospects to articulate the benefits and values of INTRUST retirement. He finds this successful because when a prospect is able to sell INTRUST’s value back to Mark, he knows the prospect understands the benefits and can discuss them with other decision makers. Mark noticed that by using this technique, there’s been an impressive scaling of 20% to 75% more certainty that he will land a next meeting with this prospect.
- Mark follows up a week later with the prospect for another touch – scheduling a second meeting as needed. He shared that INTRUST has a typical sales cycle between six and nine months and says it should take four to seven touches to close a prospect.
- Try one more touch! Mark doesn’t completely resign his unresponsive prospects, advising that before completely closing the file on a prospect, he tries to do one more touch. If after seven touches he doesn’t hear back – he’ll then add them to a watch list for holidays or invite them to events with guest speakers to try and keep INTRUST top-of-mind.
A winning sales cycle
Relying on his PlanPro database, Mark has helped INTRUST set a record of 40 appointments with new prospects, and from these 40, 70 additional meetings have resulted!