Not only will it provide your sales strategy with extremely informative and helpful outputs, such as the TAM (Total Available Market) and Market Prioritization, but it will also provide you with information to determine which accounts your Account Executives should be focusing the majority of their time on.
Leverage Data to Use Time Effectively
If you’re a world-class organization, on the cusp of becoming one, or even striving to become one, TIME is the most precious and costly asset that your organization has. Use it ineffectively, and you’ll have lots of inefficiency with disappointing results. Use it effectively, and you’ll have meaningful outputs with maximum efficiency and positive results.
Think about it this way – many times we focus on certain sales opportunities because we believe they are the right opportunities to be focused on. Sometimes our prior experiences might allow us to get really good at determining what should be focused on. Many times though, our habits and our “gut” can get us into a rut. At this point, we need to ask ourselves…
Do we properly leverage and utilize the data that are the outputs of Account Segmentation? Do we use these outputs to help us maximize our time on the right opportunities?
Let me share with you how great companies construct their Account Segmentation work and how it connects directly to driving the sales organization’s effectiveness and efficiency.
Account Segmentation’s typical methodologies include analysis around:
- Spend Analysis – based on existing customer spend during a set timeframe. (usually 1-2 years)
- Market Analysis – leveraging databases such as Hoover or D&B.
- Set of firmographic criteria such as revenue, number of employees, vertical and geography.
- Ideal Customer Profile
How to Use the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) to Drive Sales
Make no mistake about it – one of the most meaningful outputs will be the analysis done around the Ideal Customer Profile. See an example ICP below for your reference:
By leveraging the Ideal Customer Profile firmographic information, Account Segmentation can produce tons of valuable information that can help hone your sales strategy, and determine where Account Executives should spend their time.
The key is to analyze your ICP with the following 4 Guidelines, and then weigh your opportunities accordingly.
- Length of Opportunity Sales Cycle
- Cost to Sell to a Given Opportunity
- Opportunity Organization’s overall spend
- Number of firms in industry
The output of leveraging your Ideal Customer Profile with the data analysis used in Account Segmentation should produce a prioritization view. This view of the data should be broken into 3 areas: Focused, Opportunistic, and De-Prioritized.
These 3 prioritization categories will then determine how Account Executives should pursue each sales opportunity.
- Focused Pursuit – Organizations Scoring in the top 1/3 or 1/4 of Your Opportunities. Account Executives spend their time aggressively pursuing these opportunities. Opportunities falling in this category are the top priority, as they are the most likely to convert, and will be the most beneficial to your organization upon that conversion.
- Pursue Opportunistically – Organizations Scoring in the top 1/2 of Your Opportunities. Account Executives pick and choose their spots to pursue these opportunities. Opportunities in this category are not the top priority, but still represent an attractive opportunity that should be followed up on regularly, so long as it does not interfere with the opportunities falling into the Focused Pursuit category.
- De-Prioritize – Organizations Scoring in the bottom 50% of Your Opportunities. Account Executives should not go out of their way to thoroughly pursue these opportunities. The overall payoff for your organization will be better served by the Account Executive spending more time on those opportunities in the first two categories, rather than spending undue amounts of time on the opportunities scoring in the bottom 50%.
How Does This Sales Strategy Help Me?
By having a process to aid in the prioritization of your opportunities, this will assure that your Account Executives are spending the majority of their TIME (aka: your company’s money) in the right places. Using the output from Account Segmentation, this type of sales strategy eliminates any sort of “guessing game” from which opportunities will be assigned priority. Utilize the data at hand, and be confident that your Account Executives are working towards converting the accounts that will 1) be most likely to convert, and 2) benefit your organization most at the end of the day.
Account Segmentation is your first step to implementing a world-class sales organization’s Sales Strategy. Leveraging the Account Segmentation outputs allows you to quickly and effectively begin to leverage your two most valuable assets: People and Time.
Want to talk in more detail about Sales Strategy or Account Segmentation? Get in touch with SBI and find out how maximize your time on the right sales opportunities.