Business Tips 5: Targeted Approach to Selling and Marketing

New Business Tips series aimed at helping sales operations.

This is another one of those headings that many people would say – of course, targeting is obvious. But truly how many do this and understand the many aspects of sales and marketing this applies to?
Being clear about who you are targeting drives huge efficiencies and increases the win rate when you know who you are engaging with. I have found this can help Sales staff immensely.
Let me put a few stories together to help explain…

What is your target definition?

First, you need to come up with a definition of your target that is easy to understand and clear.
This can be related to market accessibility, verticals, geography, technology.
Let us also be clear on the difference between focused selling and accidental sales.

Focused Sales

Focused selling is where you are spending most of your energy in an outbound mode.

Accidental Sales

Accidental sales are those that come to you through referrals or advertising but are not necessarily your target group.

Example Targeting Health

Let’s see how it could work with a technology company, targeting Health.

First, Health is a big banner with many different facets, so you need to break this down.

We have decided to focus on nursing homes as we have some reference customers in that field and some technical expertise that fits.

The first thing this has done is tell us where we are NOT going to spend outbound energy – Hospitals, Consulting rooms etc.

The other thing it tells us is where to network. What events to attend, or sponsor? What linked in profiles to connect with and build relationships? What vendors to leverage into that space?

The next is to narrow this down further. How many beds would our target have and what is our primary geographic target?

Develop a Target Statement

So perhaps we can have a target statement like this…

I am focused on Nursing homes within a 1-hour drive from Dandenong that have a minimum of 40 beds.

As a sales manager this also helps as you can review sales activity and anything that does not fit the target you can pull the sales person into line. Many sales people focus on activity, not effectiveness.

This allows you to buy research and lists that are very targeted. You know what the primary LinkedIn groups are that you should join, look for any other meetups or similar for that industry in the defined area. Attend functions that fit the description.

All outbound energy MUST be targeted at this definition.

Now let us look at the other side, why it saves effort and improves efficiency. If I decided to go to hospitals as well, then we now have a different networking group entirely, typically different events to attend. I would be watering down my efforts. If hospitals are potential users of our technology, we can target them later once we have cemented this area of focus.

Referrals are Great

Of course, as you do your networking and people move around you will get inbound enquiries from outside your target that fit your expertise; these are the accidental sales. That is great, we all love referral business. It lowers the sales effort and increases the success factor.

I have an example in line with this where a provider did some great work in Brighton, that customer told another person at a conference in Sydney resulting in a customer on the Sydney north coast. That is an accidental customer.

Expanding your Target

Now the beauty of the targeted approach is that this statement is just the beginning.

One way I like to look at this is that my target is to get xx% of the addressable market in my defined target before I expand the target.

Addressable market is always up for interpretation. Still using our Nursing home example, let’s suggest there are 500 nursing homes within that 1-hour range, 250 with more than 40 beds. Further to this, we learn that around 30% of them have had major technology upgrades in the last 18 months so would be difficult to target. That leaves 175 as an addressable market. There is more you could add, but you get the idea.

So, following the example…

I am focused on Nursing homes within a 1-hour drive from Dandenong that have a minimum of 40 beds.

Could change to all of Victoria or Melbourne and Sydney metro. You get the idea. As you build profile and success – reaching saturation levels – you expand the target.

The advantage I have found in this style of approach is how much more successful the engagements are. We know the lingo, we know the problems they face, we have seen them before, we know how to position ROI.

Building this activity around a well structured CRM solution will bring significant rewards.

Sales Team Target Meters

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