article | February 4, 2014
How to Construct the Perfect Target List
ARGH! It’s that time again. There was a change to your territory. Now your manager is in town to spend the next two days with you. After a few slightly awkward sales calls you break for lunch. Just as you bite into your club sandwich, the boss asks a question.
“Do you have a plan for prioritizing your accounts?”
How will you respond? You may already have a target list created by your sales operations department. The problem is they don’t know the details of your territory like you do. In fact, one of your top 5 just went out of business! The list provided is good directionally, but you know it can be better.
Want to know the answer to your manager’s question before they ask?
Download the Ultimate Lead List Calculator to prioritize your accounts for success. 2 Important Questions
Segmenting your accounts is an important first step in any Sales plan. Answering the following questions enables companies to create valuable ranked prospect lists.
Measuring total potential spend by account is usually done at the corporate level. Future spend figures are calculated based on historical success. It is an obvious first step in creating a directionally helpful target list. It’s a great start but only tells half of the story.
The Ideal Customer Profile
The next step sounds like common sense. It is necessary to identify customers that are most likely to purchase your product. Think about the primary factors that define an ideal customer. In theory this sounds easy, but there are many possible factors to consider. Additionally they must be measurable using on hand information. Some examples of primary factors are:
Best practice is to select 4-5 maximum. Selecting more can cause the output to become watered down.
Consider Secondary Factors
Hopefully your company has completed these two critical steps. The exercise has provided you a list with your top target accounts. Your boss has a copy and is ready to knock down some doors. Now is where your knowledge of the business becomes relevant. Think about the secondary factors that only you can provide insight on. These factors will need validation in the field. They can be measured only after a few sales interactions. Think of them as the “YES, BUT” factors. As in “YES I know they have huge potential BUT it’s a 10 hour drive!” Some examples are:
Think about how secondary factors affect a targets propensity to buy. Consider moving a target up or down your target list based on these factors. This is a good way to identify quick wins. Customers with a higher propensity to buy have a shorter sales cycle. If you make major changes discuss your rational with your manager. You don’t want to completely abandon key accounts. If your competition faces the same issues, it may be your chance to shine!
Amaze your manager with your new territory insights. Download the Ultimate Lead List Calculator and start prioritizing your accounts for success.
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