Target Market: Mid-Year Performance Review

Our mission is to help Canadian small businesses sell better.

We write this blog to provide simple, straightforward advice on selling that you can apply to your business TODAY.

As we approach the mid-point of 2014, you need to objectively review sales execution for the first half of the year. In the event that there is room for improvement, we suggest revisiting your sales strategy along the following parameters:

  • Value Proposition
  • Target Market
  • Awareness Campaigns
  • Demand Generation
  • Sales Methodology
  • Approach to managing the sales team

We will dedicate one blog to each of the topics above in the month of June.

Target Market

All of us have limited resources and budgets, so we have to focus our sales efforts on a specific target market where we:

  • Can find the types of deals we want to sell.
  • Have the highest potential to win those deals.
  • Can accomplish # 2 in the shortest time frame.

Types of deals we want to sell

Start by defining what types deals you want to sell (scope and scale).

The type of product or solution you are offering and the size of your company’s delivery team will help to specify this within reasonable parameters.

You need to be realistic – we all want to sign “MEGA” deals, but sometimes the reality is that if you win a MEGA deal, you would not have the capability to implement it successfully anyway (with top tier customer satisfaction).

You also do not want to waste your limited sales resources on deals that are too small to be meaningful for your firm (even if they are easy to sell).

Only chase deals that you would be delighted to win and can implement successfully.

Have the highest potential to win those deals

In simplest terms, all of your Prospects (outside of not-for-profit firms) have the following Desired Business Outcomes (DBO) – they want to:

  1. Increase revenue
  2. Decrease cost
  3. Decrease business risk (however they define it).

Their industry, business strategy, company maturity level, and current P&L statement usually drive how they prioritize these DBO’s within any given year.

The more critical your solution is to helping your Prospect achieve their DBO (with an acceptable return on investment) the better your chances of winning a deal.

Of course, your chances of winning deal DRAMATICALLY increase if you sell well.

According to a series of studies conducted by the sales consultancy Chally Group, 39% of B2B buyers select a vendor according to the skills of a sales person rather than price, quality or service features (Chally analyzed data from more than 100,000 business decision makers).

We at In the Funnel- Toronto Sales Consulting completely agree with Chally Group. In fact, our belief in their study is likely the single biggest reason we founded this company.

We will spend a lot of time on how to sell well in Blog # 5 in this series.

Can win deals in the shortest timeframe

Identify you average target deal size (ones that you can win and successfully implement) and pursue a target market that can provide those size deals to you. You may have to further segment your target market to find the right companies who have enough discretionary budget to invest in a solution like yours (perhaps the company must have a minimum amount of revenue or employees for our value proposition to resonate).

Certain vertical markets make decisions very slowly due to internal governance and beaurocratic budgeting processes (i.e.) government, banks.  Certain vertical markets do not typically embrace or value of technology (i.e.) insurance companies, law firms.

If you can win deals in these verticals, they are likely to be very material, but they will rarely be quick to decide.

Prior to the end of June, spend an hour work-shopping your company’s target market with those on the front lines who can help (sales and marketing teams, delivery organization, etc.).

Get the facts! If you have identified the Canadian wealth management community as a target market then find the definitive list of those companies and input them into some form of CRM system (even outlook) so that you can track your progress accordingly.

Know the numbers! Understand exactly how many target companies are in your target market and clarify which your top priorities to pursue.

Focus! – Do not try to boil the ocean. The biggest problem we see in the market is that our Customers have too broad a target market (and are paralyzed by not know specifically where to start). Pick a “Top 20” list to focus on and track progress against those week in and week out by company or by sales rep.

One you have your top 20 list, you need to initiate demand from the target market. Demand Generation will be the topic of our next blog.

By: Mark Cox, In the Funnel – Toronto Sales Consulting