Follow the numbers at your peril

Targeting the right customer is 101 of good sales practice.

Yet what I see happening in the industry time and again is that companies simply ‘run the numbers to identify their biggest market opportunity. They pass that onto the sales team and say ‘there’s your top five target accounts’.

Data might show you:

Area 1 = £1m opportunity

Area 2 = £0.5m opportunity

Naturally you’re going to be drawn straight to area 1 and throw all your efforts into that target. But what if you already have an in-road in area 2? Is it right to discount it?

Religiously following the numbers is a short-sighted approach which can result in missing out on easy opportunities to start eating into market share.

Take a holistic approach to identifying your target areas

It’s true, you might never get all the market share by going for area 2, but maybe you could get 60%, 70% or even 80% market share if you really focused in that area. So that £50k deal could quickly escalate to a £0.5m contract.

All too often firms slavishly lean to the £1m opportunity – believing it offers the biggest opportunity, even when there is no sales or marketing or connections established there already. This just misses the point. You are almost setting yourself a mountain to climb if you simply base it on the biggest target number. If you take a step back and actually analyse the situation, with a deep dive holistic approach you can identify your target providers more effectively by considering a range of factors. And not just the numbers.

Ask yourself:

  • Have you got a track record in that area already, is there someone with whom you’ve already had some sales success? Someone you have direct access to?
  • Do they use any of your products already? Or those of your direct competitors?
  • Is there an appetite for change –  have they got a track record of working with other industry providers where they’ve implemented great projects, changed the pathways, changed the approach and delivered the outcome they want to achieve?

The importance of relationships cannot be undervalued

Not thinking all this through first is really where things often go wrong. When we target based on value rather than on relationships we miss out on real opportunities reduce the likelihood of success.

By taking a more focused approach, you’re far more likely to get a greater return on the time you invest in the process.

You need to make sure everything lines up, and that includes:

  • Making sure your customer has got a track record of delivery
  • Identifying an area where your brand or your product has already established a level of recognition
  • Knowing you already got access to the right people who can help you

Add all the elements together. Get that right and you’ll be halfway over the line to driving your deal home.

Scott McKenzie UK helps pharmaceutical, medical technology and device firms increase revenue by getting their products and services in front of the right NHS decision-makers. If you want to get your products fully embedded into treatment pathways, we can help you. We’ve doubled revenue for our clients and can share these processes with you too. Download your free guide: click here

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