The four steps below enable a sales force to define a market research approach. This will then enable the executive team to be better prepared to make decisions.
Important note: DON’T make the mistake of performing these steps out of sequence. To be effective, the sequence needs to cascade starting with the market.
The right market research approach is the first step toward 2016 revenue growth.
Phase 1: Market Segmentation
The first step is at the broadest point. Divide your target market into subsets of buyers who have common needs and priorities.
Market segmentation is a key step in hitting revenue goals. It’s too easy to aim off-target when you pursue markets that are too wide. Get a clear understanding of market segments so you can allocate resources more effectively.
Phase 2: Account Segmentation
Step 2 is to understand the accounts in your market. Determine which are going to generate the most revenue over the shortest time period.
To allocate resources appropriately, the executive team needs complete information. In most cases, they are provided revenue potential by market level only. This is not enough information. Executive leaders need to know the revenue potential by account, product and buyer.
Phase 3: Buyer Segmentation
The Internet has altered the buying process forever. So step 3 is to understand how buyers in your accounts make purchasing decisions.
Don’t let your team just rely on past experience. Give them a deeper understanding of how your buyers make decisions. This customer profiling will enable them to capture more revenue opportunities.
Phase 4: User Segmentation
The fourth and final step to creating an effective market research approach is user-centric. Here you must understand the problems that exist for the users in your accounts. How do your products and services help them accomplish their jobs?
Users have as much information at their fingertips today as sellers do. The resources they have to help them do their job are unlimited. All thanks to the Internet.
Users now ask themselves what product is right for the job. Or if they even need a product to help. Understand the questions they are asking themselves and you’ll get ahead of your competition.
This Is Only the Beginning
Market research is the first step toward revenue growth in 2016. Start your strategic planning here.
Next you will use it to feed and align your strategy with the other groups.
A reason many companies struggle is that their functional strategies are out of alignment. So market research must feed the functional strategies as follows:
- Corporate strategy
- Product strategy
- Marketing strategy
- Sales strategy
- Talent strategy
In upcoming posts, the SBI Blog will cover each of these strategic areas. We want to help you put our research into action for your organization. We invite you register for our 2016 Workshop. You will get more detail on market research and step-by-step solutions to grow revenue. Click here to register for a one-on-one session with an SBI expert.