Off the Cuff Instant Interview Question: What is the best way for a sales team or company to really narrow down their target audience?
Research, research, research.
Many companies and salespeople target prospects that are not a good fit for their service offering. The best way to target the right audience is to understand why your product or service is a good fit for an organization. For example, if you don’t have international capabilities, don’t target companies that have offices worldwide.
My approach is always to develop an ideal prospect profile using parameters such as:
- Industry – Ask yourself the question. Will my product/service serve the industry I am targeting? For instance, if you are offering a newly developed technology, other emerging industries might be more open to your service than established ones.
- Geography – In today’s business environment this might not be an issue, but it still something to consider.
- Number of employees – If you are selling a service that is priced per seat, the number of employees will matter.
- Revenue – Some start-up companies are willing to invest, but they don’t have the funds to do it.
- Philosophy – It’s always best to find a company that has a similar philosophy. It makes conversations and relationships easier.
It all comes down to fit. And sometimes fit is harder to find than just visiting a website. LinkedIn is a great tool to do research, find out what decision makers at the prospect company are thinking/posting. Doing proper research will add time to your sales process on the front end, but it will pay off once you have a list of about 50 companies that you identified as good targets. Don’t boil the ocean. Work through that target list, listen intently to adjust going forward. Apply and Repeat.
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