When developing sales strategy, it is critical to clearly define the target market for where time, energy, and money will be invested. The main reason that this is so 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 this customer looks like, a company can create a laser focus having the sales strategy focus on that area and driving a better return on investment for what they invest in their sales efforts.
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 industry. But in some cases, a product could be used by many or all industries. But there may be one or two industries where the value delivered is higher and the message is better delivered and received. 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, in most cases we do not fit well with companies of all sizes and even if we 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 and would need to be educated.