The 3×3 Pre-call Research Framework

Prospecting in 2024… What should we be mindful of?

Just blasting an email campaign to a scraped target list won’t cut it anymore, we all know that by now. But then, what does?

What should we double down on, experiment with and completely stop doing, entering this new calendar year?

With Steve Richard we thought it wouldn’t hurt to have a honest discussion on prospecting on the We Are Sales podcast.

Calling Steve a “sales expert” would be an understatement. He has been breathing sales since forever.

Not only did he used to own and lead a sales agency for 16 years, he has also co-founded ExecVision back in 2015, one of the first conversational intelligence platforms in the market.

ExecVision has been acquired in 2022 by Mediafly, a revenue enablement platform, where he now holds the position as Senior VP.

You can listen to our conversation on prospecting right here. Or, read along to get my favourite learnings from the interview.

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During our conversation we talked about various subjects related to prospecting: channels to double down on, how to leverage Linkedin, the “Old Customer, New Company” (OCNC) strategy, prospecting tech, SDR-AE collaboration, outsourcing sales development, among other things.

In this article specifically we will focus on the 3×3-research framework, and how this one can be leveraged in today’s conditions.

This is the 3×3-research framework:

The idea is to find 3 points on the company, contact and department in 3 minutes of research. The top performing rep is not necessarily the hardest working one. It's the person who's really good at connecting all these dots and doing it efficiently.

Then, Steve made the distinction between following 3 outbound profiles:

Librarian. This is the type of rep that will do a ton of research and will wait until they find the perfect messaging, before doing the outreach. Because of this, they will not do enough activities.

Cowboy. In contrast, there are the cowboys, just smiling & dialling, with no research upfront. They will do a ton of volume, but the messaging will just not resonate.

Sniper. Somewhere in the middle we have the snipers, who are looking for just enough information and are doing a decent amount of volume. They are working hard and smart.

That’s where the 3×3-research is based on, with the objective of making the team operate like snipers.

However, I got concerned. Shouldn’t we also make our outbound message relevant? To my surprise, Steve had an interesting objection to it:

People are too concerned in making sure it's highly relevant and highly connected to something that you do. You do not need that.

He then linked his objection to neuroscience.

According to brain science, when you put people’s thinking to system 1, then the thinking is fast and irrational. The typical reaction is then the immediate rejection.
However, a good rep, will put people to system 2 - that’s the rational part of the brain. When that is engaged, the thinking slows down. When the thinking slows down, your chances for getting a meeting go up dramatically.

However, one doesn’t need relevancy to create this thinking. It’s about bringing something that resonates. Again, this is personalisation, not relevancy.

This made me think, can we somewhat leverage new advancements in Gen AI and data platforms?

To that point, Steve made an interesting remark:

There are platforms attempting to achieve just that. is one of them. So it will generate personalised icebreakers for you. However, from what I’m seeing, humans are still needed to direct and act as guardrails for the AI.

Steve thinks (and hopes) that in 2024 we might automate a lot of this successfully. If so, this will boost B/SDR-productivity significantly. Instead of 3 SDRs, we might only need 1.

Since the war for SDRs is still a bloody one, this evolution could have positive impact on it.

Want more? Listen to the full interview here 👉 🎙10x your prospecting in 2024