When developing sales strategy, it is critical to clearly define the target market that time, energy, and money will be invested into. The main reason that this is important is that it is likely that the products and services that a company sells fit better with a particular type of customer. By identifying what the “ideal prospect” looks like, a company can create a laser focus having the sales strategy drill into the area that will drive the best return on investment.
To map out or identify the target market for a company or a set of products, there are specific characteristics of the ideal prospect that should be determined. Some examples of those are below:
Identify the industry that fits best with the products and services sold. In some scenarios, this may be very clear. For example, if a product sold can only be used by a local government entity, then that clearly is the target industry. But in some cases, a product could be used by many or all industries. It is very likely that there may be one or two industries where the value proposition delivered is higher. When this is the case, identify what industry or industries match up best when developing sales strategy.
The world is a big place. In most cases, we cannot be everywhere, and even if we could, by focusing our sales strategy in key geographic areas, we can deliver better results from the same investment of time, energy, and money. As a result, identify the geographic area where effort should be concentrated when developing sales strategy.
In a perfect world, we would likely want to do business with companies of all sizes and probably prefer to do business with the largest organizations. Although, our business and our products might not fit well with companies of all sizes and even if they did, it would not be a great strategy to go after all of them. Identify what size of companies fit best to receive the message, products, and services when developing sales strategy.
It may make sense to look at a company’s financial details when identifying the target market. Details such as growth, losses, profitability, etc. could determine if a company is an ideal prospect.
Ownership type in terms of private or publicly traded could have an impact how well a business fits as an ideal prospect. This detail could also impact how a seller attempts to communicate with the prospect.
When building out the target market and ideal prospect characteristics, it can help to include some details on the ideal current customer state in terms of systems, processes, or current agreements. For example, if a company sells a particular business service, it could be more productive to target and focus on companies that already procure that particular business service versus targeting companies that have never purchased it before.
Or on the other side of that example, if a prospect has already purchased the products or services that a business sells, then that prospect might not be as ripe as one that has not already purchased. Essentially, identifying what an ideal prospect is doing in terms of what they currently own, purchase, and do can be a key characteristic in defining the target market.
|This article was published on Sunday 16 January, 2011.|
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