This is the second blog in our series outlining the steps we take to build a successful outsourcing lead generation strategy and the sales consulting options we provide in identifying the Ideal Customer Profile. We also hope to provide the appropriate steps that you may take if you have the sales bandwidth.
In the first blog of the series, we discussed the importance of the sales consulting step, and how critical is has been to our success as an outsourcing sales company. As a refresher, it provides the opportunity to find and target your potential prospects based on a number of metrics related to both the company, and the actual decision maker you are engaging with.
When we launch, the first step we advocate for as part of our initial sales consulting (especially with Professional Services and highly complex sales) is to apply Pareto’s Principal to your existing pipe. Also known as, the “law of the vital few,” or the 80:20 rule; it states that 80% of your revenue will be derived from 20% of your customer base. These are the ideal customers we want to go after. You can then score the customers based on the metrics outlined in the first blog, with a specific focus on
- Title and level of contact
- Functional area
- Annual revenue and number of employees
- Vertical market
We also suggest that you look at the prospects that you want to avoid, which means looking at your failures. Significant information can be gained from prospects that do not want to engage, or are not qualified. Who makes up the 80% of your customers that drive 20% of revenue? These areas are the two biggest drivers:
- Functional area
- Level of contact
When we identify trends here, as a basic principal, we avoid them at all costs and label them as WCP (Worst Customer Profile). Next a decision has to be made about what should and shouldn’t be replicated in future lead targeting.
You can’t properly understand who you are trying to target if you don’t have a good picture of the market that they operate and live in. To identify the markets most conducive to providing opportunities, not just leads, Gabriel Sales does a three-part approach:
- We take your internal Ideal Customer Profile and map it against our historical data to examine connect ratios. This helps us to determine how many calls it typically takes to get the decision maker. From this we can do a semi-accurate forecast of how often they will pick up the phone or open an email. This lets us determine the ease of reaching.
- We do a deep dive leveraging Hoovers and other Database Research Tools to match SIC codes to your existing ICP to determine the target market size based on the criteria, a decision maker count by vertical and determined ease of reach.
- You look at Social Media including Linked In, You Tube and Influential Blogs to do a preliminary landscape of ancillary tactics to determine Social Media Adoption.
Finally, we recommend that you do an honest assessment about how well-prepared and equipped you are to Sell Money and provide true Success Stories for your new targets.
It’s about selling to the prospects you are best equipped to service. Winning comes out of alignment. So, we suggest you ask yourself: where does this customer alignment meet existing sales and marketing alignment, and how can we capitalize on it, and win deals faster? This step will make your outsourcing lead generation or internal lead generation more efficient and effective, and your ability to qualify sales prospects and increase your pipe velocity will grow.
The bottom line is simple: an Ideal Customer Profile starts with the end in mind. It will drive sustainable and exponential returns to your business by helping you:
- Find deals faster
- Close greater volume and higher deal size
- Build a strong pipe to nurture for future deals
- Eliminate customers that are a waste of time
- Increase your profitability
- Create a focus that drives sales and marketing alignment
Other blogs we suggest checking out if all the above makes sense:
This is our first blog in a two part series about how to build an ideal customer profile, and how being strategic in prospect targeting will produce significantly better and measurable results.
Building an Ideal Customer Profile is a process designed to provide an identity for customers you should be targeting in order to get the best ROI on your sales efforts. As an outsourcing sales organization this is one of our main focuses when providing initial sales consulting. We believe this facet of the sales process deserves careful attention – what goes into the sales pipe has a huge impact on what comes out of the funnel. It is also critical to build an aligned sales and marketing effort, so you can create an effective and efficient sales machine.
Ultimately, an Ideal Customer Profile allows you to find, identify, target, and engage your potential customers based on a variety of criteria related to both the company and the specific decision maker:
- Annual revenue of the company
- Number of employees
- Level of contact – C-level, Senior Manager, Middle Manager
- Functional Area – business area, technical area
- Revenue responsibility – budget maker or budget spender
- Geography – global, national, local
- Technology adopted – in some cases knowing what ERP, CRM etc. they are employing is huge
- Their clients – who are they, and who are they doing business with?
In addition, there are softer qualitative criteria that should be identified as well:
- Business pain/need
- Vertical industry trend – established or in transition, growth or decline
- Competitive – large competitors or a volume of competitors
- Psychographics – company culture, leadership style, corporate values
It is also equally important to know who you don’t want to sell to:
- Decision makers whose job may be threatened
- Internal support functions – fear that your service may replace their position
- Low-level, “shopping” employees
- If they don’t have the budget, and aren’t willing to secure, they can’t spend it
The purpose of the combined hard and soft segmentation is to establish clear, actionable criteria that can be leveraged across your sales and marketing engine, in order to:
- Purchase direct dial contacts for cold calling
- Purchase direct mail and Electronic direct mail contact information
- Filter leads from publishers
- Leverage for a “Cost Per Click Campaign” like Google Adwords
- Decide where to place your online advertising budget
- Instruct your social media outreach program
We acknowledge that this task is daunting for many organizations, but as an outsourced sales organization with 10 years of data we can guarantee that if you complete your due diligence on the front end, you will see significant ROI and pipe quality increase. Exponential returns will follow after your first wave of nurtured leads start to fall out of your pipe as closed deals.
For additional information on how to build an Ideal Customer Profile, look for our next blog in this series – available August 19th, 2015.