August 1, 2011 by Bob Hill
Posted in: closing, In this week's e-newsletter - Sales & Marketing, Industry Spotlight - Sales & Marketing, Latest News & Views - Sales & Marketing, sales management, Sales meeting ideas
Sales organizations that thrive know how to pinpoint where their best opportunities lie (and how to capitalize on them).
Here are four criteria the best in the business use to front-load their lead pipeline with high-probability prospects and put salespeople in the best position to win more business:
- Zero in on hot markets. Gather contact info for all of your buyers. Then use a map to pinpoint where those buyers are located. You can even take it a step further by using different color tacks based on how long each buyer’s been doing business with you (Or use Google Maps to maintain an interactive map online for all your salespeople). It’s a great way to identify where your “customer clusters” are located, and target more buyers in that area. Buyer testimonials are particularly helpful in situations like this because other companies in that region all know one another. Finally, if that region’s being handled by a sub par rep, reassign it immediately. Valuable prospects may be slipping through your fingers.
- Segment buyer loyalty by region. In addition to “customer clusters,” a lot of top sales organizations report that levels of buyer loyalty vary based on territory. This may be due to increased competition, superior (or poor) territory management or an unstable market. But once you identify the hot pockets, you may be able to boost repeat business by encouraging salespeople to make buyers in those regions a priority, perhaps even increasing the frequency with which you follow up with those buyers.
- Pay attention to annual revenues. Looking for SIC trends is always helpful when you’re trying to identify who your best prospects are. But what often provides more insight is determining what the average annual revenue for most of your buyers’ companies is.
- Calculate average volume per sale. Most sales managers know what their average volume per sale is, but very few do anything with that info. Salespeople could be losing valuable sales (or volume) if they don’t know when to try to upsell or cross-sell prospects (and when not to). Top managers use average volume per sale as a sort of price point. Salespeople can use that number to qualify prospects up front, asking if they have enough room in the budget to approve a purchase of $X. It’s a great way to speed up the sales cycle, avoid lengthy stalls, and (in the best case scenario) determine whether you’re dealing with a prospect who’s capable of making a big-ticket purchase.