In the past few years, I’ve noticed a gap between business plans and sales execution. Often times, I think that this is not the salesperson’s fault. I think that we can improve go to market strategies through more effective market maps. Here are some of the insights that I’ve gained in my experience bringing a variety of products to market.
Know the Needs of the People You’re Selling To
In a complex, enterprise level sales process, you will sell to six or more individuals within an organizational chart to get to a sale. Given that you are selling to people across the organizational chart, each person that you sell to is going to have different pain points. You need to focus on the voice of the customer with each person you’re selling to communicate your solution appropriately.
What are the competitive alternatives?
You also need to know the competitive alternatives. Who are your potential customers considering, why are they considering those companies, and why will you win? Will your prospective customer choose you or will they choose another company because you don’t understand the competition?
Understanding your differentiators is important. One great way for doing this is is via a competitive matrix for your product. Highlight how your product competes with other products in the space, and where you provide a better value. You should consider both whether your competitor has a feature and how good it is. Be honest with your sales team about this.
Finding your sweet spot for success is important. Who has the highest propensity to buy from you? Do you know who these customers are? Do you know your customers that are most successful with your product and why? In order to find success in sales, you need to identify the businesses that are most likely to find success from your product solution.
As a salesperson, the last thing that I want from my marketing team is a really big Excel sheet that “dims the lights” when I open it. I want my marketers to target ideal prospective accounts using characteristics from my current customers that are finding success. One strategy marketers can use is to target the SIC code subcategory industries that align with your market map. Once you know more about your potential universe of prospects, create pursue opportunities with accounts that align with your service.
When executing your sales plan, it’s important to identify the ideal job title of a prospect to serve as your entry point. This person is your gateway to a sale, so you need to understand his/her characteristics. Remember – you need to know the unique pain-points that this person may experience and speak to them in order to effectively sell.
- Is the voice of customer clearly understood and listened to?
- Is your solution strategy comprehensive enough?
- Who has the highest propensity to buy your product? Have you targeted verticals and suspects?
- Have you identified and are your engaged witha ll areas of the opportunity?
- Have you priortized targets? Are you finding them, engaging with them, converting?
- How are you doing at finding, attracting, egaging, converting, and retaining?
- Are you using the state of the art best practices and are there any breakdowns in sales execution?
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