And welcome to the new installment of Big Deal Dépêche.
Last Friday we covered preliminary account research framework.
Today I’ll dig more in organizing the research process.
And yes, I totally get that it’s an extremely unsexy topic, but the ability to efficiently extract account intel and use it for building and engaging and relevant value hypothesis is a crucial skill for the enterprise seller.
1. Learn how to speedread
Thorough account research implies working with an insane volume of text. Luckily, there are dozens of speedreading techniques that will severely increase your reading speed within a couple of months of regular practice. A good (and not too wordy) place to start will be this article by Tim Ferriss back from 2009.
2. Do your research in the “text-only” mode.
Consuming media files “as is” (i.e. listening to podcasts in iTunes) will severely slow down your research process. Working with text is 2-3 time faster (even of you don’t yet speedread).
So I urge you to transcribe every piece of content you need to analyze.
Below is the process overview and here is the LinkedIn post with more details.
3. Create a comfortable setting for your research
- Constant interruptions are kryptonite for the research project. Thus turn off all the notifications, and don’t check email, slack, etc. — get “in the zone” and concentrate on extracting as much intel as you can in the time allotted.
- Create a checklist for every intel source and mark the things off while skimming through the document. This approach will save you mental energy because you don’t need to “think” what to look for next — all the tasks are outlined in advance.
- A classic read on the subject is The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande.
- Use the Pomodoro technique and set a timer when you start working with a new item from the checklist (i.e., skim through the "risk factor" section of the 10K).
- Get yourself a second monitor or at lease use iPad as an extra screen (Sidecar in MacOs) — this will significantly speed up the process.
4. Create and hone your note-taking routine
There’s no shortage of note-taking advice — it’s a real rabbit hole that you can explore for weeks.
But here are the first steps all the productivity experts agree on:
- Pick your note-taking style (randomly clipping things from the web vs creating outlines vs drawing mindmaps etc)
- Start with this video series by Tiago Forte where he covers the basic note taking styles and gives recommendation on what app to use.
- Choose the app that is better aligned with your style
- Finetune the app to better support your routine
I use combo of Notion (structuring the reports and databases) and Obsidian (collecting desperate thoughts and writing first drafts), but there are lots of other of options.
Pick the platform, create your own framework and stick to it.
Account research is not “one and done” project —
And if you want to dramatically increase the productivity of working with data — sign up for my upcoming account research course.
Have a great weekend!
— Dan Gridin
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