Cost of sales is a killer. After developing an excellent product or service and fine tuning the details you need to make sure that it is marketed to the right people. Understanding and maximising your return on investment (ROI) is fundamental to an efficient sales operation. There are two key elements to success in this process, focusing on the right customer and backing that focus with accurate and meaningful data.
We work with our clients through workshops to assist them to identify their target clients, however it can be done unfacilitated and should be done regularly to ensure your energies are not wasted.
What problem do you solve?
Think about who is most likely to buy your product (who are your top 20 current paying customers?), and for what reason do they buy your product – if there is a pattern, you have a market to explore. If you find there is a variety of uses, identify a theme which shows your product in its strongest light and focus in on that vertical.
Feed the funnel
When you know the characteristics of a hot prospect, you can filter potential targets through a process based on the weighting you give each characteristic: are they the right size? Correct levels of staff? Turnover? Track record of buying your product from another supplier? A company not meeting your criteria entirely does not disqualify them, however you can prioritise those that do.
Focus in on your main value proposition
Yes, we understand that your product has a million features and can do them all whilst standing on its head, but now that you have decided your primary customer, what are the one or two which really matter to them? These are your ‘knock-out’ punches, throw them frequently.
In our business, we are lucky to have a strong research team, supporting a talented group of analysts who identify the strongest opportunities for our clients. However, there are a variety of sources of data available to you.
Study the market
Broken down by location or clusters of business activity it is essential to study the market for new opportunities and changes from your current dataset. Using a focused lens from your prioritisation exercise you will be surprised how quickly new opportunities present themselves.
Use the data you’ve already got
Your sales process has been gathering data for as long as your business has been trading. Can you access that data, can you exploit it and do your sales people know how to draw insights?
Exploit your network
Ask your current contacts and clients do they know others who would use your product or service? Ask for referrals and make sure to use technology to facilitate social media and CRM to maintain meaningful contact with your entire network and stakeholders.
Once these two elements in place you still need to mobilise your sales team to engage with these prospects in an intelligent, bespoke approach to maximise your sales returns. Benefits will not only include a healthier bottom line, but a happier team as sales people will not be chasing low quality leads and their approach will be better received by prospects who are interested in hearing from them.
HMC has spent more than 20 years helping companies to optimise their sales processes and integrate technology and best practice, if you think that we can help we would be delighted to hear from you.