- Brent Bonine
Ready, Set, Go!..... but where?
Are you the business owner that has built your company up to the point that you need to hire a salesperson to continue to grow your business? Or are you the new salesperson, recently hired and excited to get going and start generating results? In either case, these are exciting times, full of optimism and hope, but do you have a plan? Do you know where you are going?
Unfortunately, energy and enthusiasm quickly fade when there isn’t a defined plan of attack. There’s nothing worse than seeing a new salesperson’s energy fade as they realize they don’t know what to do. Too often, business owners are so anxious to step out of sales that they turn over the responsibility to a new salesperson without defining the path for them to follow.
If you’re a business owner about to hand off the sales responsibility or a new salesperson looking to get off to a fast start, slow down, take a minute to prepare your plan of attack. One of the first things I do when working with my clients is a Revenue Assessment. A Revenue Assessment is a review of the past 2-3 years of sales to determine what has worked, what hasn’t, and what do we want more of going forward. The following is an outline of how to engage in a Revenue Assessment for your business.
Step 1 – What is the product or service I am offering?
Do you sell different products, or do you sell solutions or services to different markets? If your company sells assorted products, begin by making a list of the top-selling products. If you sell to different markets or industries, do the same. Make a list of the top three markets or industries that you are selling to.
Step 2. – Who are my prospective clients?
If you are selling products, can you sell multiple products to a single buyer? If so, make a list of those buyers that purchase multiple products from you. What industries are they in? What is their position or title? Where are they located?
If you sell to different markets, are there markets where you can sell more than one solution or service? Who is the target prospect in each industry? What is their position or title? Where are they located?
Step 3 – How do I find similar prospects?
Once you have identified the best prospects for your products or services, how do you find more of them? If possible, build a list of potential prospects before your new salesperson is hired. When building your list, consider the following:
1. Review existing customer list. Identify company SIC codes of best customers. Use a resource database such as ZoomInfo, Seamless.ai, Apollo or Outreach to build your list. These resources provide names, company info, titles, phone, and email addresses for prospects that fit your target audience.
2. LinkedIn – If you are a business owner, hopefully you have connected with buyers of your product or service on LinkedIn and have a database of contacts. Review this list of connections to identify companies and prospects that are connected to your contacts. You can also subscribe to LinkedIn Premium (Sales Navigator) to build a list of companies and prospects that fit your profile.
3. Industry Associations – Are you a member of an industry or trade association? Do these associations have publications, or do they host trade show events? Industry publications and trade show attendee lists can be another source of potential prospects. These associations may also provide opportunities for you to showcase your solution via articles, trade show conference education sessions, etc.
4. Networking Groups – Depending on the product or service you offer; networking groups may be another source of valuable leads for either potential prospects or as a resource to help you build a network of referral partners.
Once you’ve built your list, separate them into groups of prospects with shared needs or problems. Make a list of the common issues that your solution addresses.
You can review my previous article (https://www.acsellerate.biz/post/don-t-sell-solve) to get more information on how to prepare to engage with your prospects.
Your list of prospects should be added to your company CRM, preferably as leads. This will give you the ability to track your activity and outreach efforts. Your CRM is a great tool to help you manage all your activities to make sure that nothing falls through the cracks. It will also provide valuable insights into your prospecting efforts to help you engage efficiently.
If you’ve read any of my other articles, you’ll know that I’m a big believer in the sales process. Taking time to plan is critical to sales success. Having tools like a CRM is necessary to staying the course and getting the insights you need to know what works and what doesn’t.
Excitement and enthusiasm are great. Support that energy with a defined plan to follow and good support tools to maximize your sales efforts. If you need help developing a roadmap for sales success, give me a call.