A recent survey of 550 sales executives found that 60% of the companies do not properly align their offers to target customer segments (Bain & Company, “Mastering the new reality of sales”).
That’s like trying to sell a vegan on a new double bacon chili cheese burger.
A company is simply spinning its wheels (read: wasting time and money while prolonging the sales process) by not aligning its offerings with the proper target prospect(s).
But by using marketing data, companies can quickly streamline their lead-to-revenue process.
The first step in this is to understand what the different stages are in the sales process and what information would the target audience want and/or need at each of these stages. Marketing is then able to define the needed content and nurturing path for each segment.
So how do you go about defining the target prospect?
Initially companies will look at the traditional demographics, such as industry or title, to understand the products, services, or solutions that might best fit the prospect’s needs.
For example if your organization only offers one service, this doesn’t mean the approach or sales cycle is still the same across the board. If Prospect A is in the banking industry and Prospect B is in the tech sector, they likely have different pain points, need to be educated on different options, and even have different oppositions to tackle. Even if Prospect A and B are in the same industry understanding their title, and, thus, whether they are the decision maker or an influencer, they, too, take different paths.
Additionally, as you begin this process, assuming you have little to no information for segmentation beyond traditional demographics, it is important to start gathering insights into your prospects through their digital footprint.
One of the easiest ways to jumpstart your digital tracking efforts is by providing different links with different landing pages from your monthly newsletter or current campaigns. By analyzing who showed interest (via their digital behavior/links clicked), you begin to form the picture as to your prospect’s true interests.
However, this isn’t a one-email effort. Interests and engagements should always be measured over time and continuously. Where a prospect starts is not always where that prospect ends up, especially as they gather information and become more educated about their own needs in regards to your offerings. Being flexible is key to finding your target prospects.
And in accordance with understanding your audiences, ask yourself the hard questions. Which segments are most profitable? Which segments are showing growth? Which segments provide the quickest wins and which suck up the most resources? And are there certain groups that you need to just throw in the yellow flag and walk away from?
In today’s market it truly is about making the right match at the right time. Aligning your offers to your correct target audiences may mean more efforts upfront, but should produce a more qualified and engaged funnel that leads to quicker and greater wins.