Sales Targeting: Supercharge Your Sales Funnels and Boost Close Rates

​​Another day, another cold email.

As a sales professional, you understand cold emailing is part and parcel of the job. But not getting even a single response can feel disheartening.

You want results and are ready to change your current strategy.

Allow us to suggest a third possibility: targeted selling.

Not many sales professionals realize that all their business can come from the same group of customers. You can use this approach to make sure you’re targeting the right people—people with a genuine interest in what you have to offer.

What Is Sales Targeting?

Sales targeting is the process of identifying prospects more likely to buy your product or service, followed by building a sales process that appeals to them.

You determine the ideal fit for your offering and then create a pitch based on their interests and priorities. You also identify people unlikely to buy your product, which lets you dedicate your attention to only those sales targets who matter the most to your business.

5 Steps To Create an Effective Sales Targeting Strategy

Targeted sales involve more than applying tried-and-tested sales targeting techniques. You need to build a solid strategy and clearly understand your ideal customer persona.

Sounds too much? Don’t worry; here’s a detailed step-by-step run down.

Step 1: Map Your Sales Territory

When it comes to creating awareness and narrowing down forecasts, less is more.

You need customers, even if smaller in number, that are likely to find your product or service valuable. A good starting point is to determine the benefit through the receiver’s eyes. You can also use the 80-20 rule, where 80% of output will come from the top 20% of input.

When mapping out your territory, consider the following questions:

  • Who are the top 20% of your targets that are responsible for 80% of your sales?
  • What 20% of your actions drive 80% of results?
  • Which prospects or customers will find value in what you have to offer?
  • Which of these prospects are willing and able to make a change?

Step 2: Categorize Your Prospects Into Different Segments

One of the key components of effective sales targeting is “bucketing your business. ”

Bucking your business is the process of categorizing your customers into various segments (“buckets”). You can create buckets based on:

  • the types of products your target audience buys
  • when they last purchased from your business
  • their business size or industry,
  • or any other grouping that makes sense to you.

This will help you understand where you’re getting your business from and from whom, as well as uncover new opportunities or threats. You can also create benchmarks for what’s working and what isn’t and determine who you should be targeting to drive revenue.

Think of it as creating a better-diversified stock portfolio for your business.

But the question is how to bucket your business successfully? Here’s how:

  1. Prepare a list of all your customers.
  2. Analyze their buying patterns and then group them into different segments based on what percent of your business comes from each.
  3. Decide which group of customers provide consistent and sustainable revenue. Call this group your “why “bucket as you’re likely already aligned on value.
  4. Identify customers who purchase from your business frequently but are still inconsistent. Call them the “how “bucket as they are filled with potential.
  5. The remaining customers are a part of your “what “bucket. These are customers who have already tried and ordered a few times from your business but are either early in development or don’t trust your brand enough.

Make sure to do this regularly if you want to master targeted selling.

Step 3: Brainstorm Your Sales Targeting Strategy

Removing emotion from your selling decisions is one of the more challenging aspects of targeted selling. You can unknowingly prioritize a sales target over another, which may hamper your sales targeting results.

To make sure you don’t end up committing this mistake, you can follow author Tyler Menke’s methodology:

  1. Add your customer base to a spreadsheet (Sheet 1) and then stack-rank them based on the amount of revenue they generate, starting from the highest to lowest.
  2. On a separate worksheet (Sheet 2), rank your customers based on perceived value revenue potential. Be sure to select sales targets and prospects from each of your buckets. You want a combination of customers with sizable potential, low-risk targets, and additional prospects that can be quick hits.
  3. Take a third sheet (Sheet 3) and create a list of variables you believe will increase or decrease the customer’s ability to take action or implement change. You’ll have to assign an equally weighted value for each of these factors.

Hold on; things are about to get technical here.

Suppose your factors are “budget,” “internal influence,” and “willingness.” “For each of these variables, assign a value from 1 to 10 for each customer (1 being most likely to and 10 meaning least likely to). Then run a sum function and stack-rank your third sheet from lowest value to highest.

  • Next, write a sales target formula so that X = Sheet 1 rank times .25 + Sheet 2 rank times .25 + Sheet 3 rank times .5.

Here’s how it should look:

  • X = Rank1(.25) + Rank2(.25) + Rank3(.5)

The resulting list will help you rank your customers from top to bottom based on three factors: current revenue, potential, and knowledge.

Using the formula, you have successfully reduced making decisions emotionally.

Step 4: Create Your Action Plan

At this stage, you’ll create your pre-sales call action plan. Remember how we mentioned you have to perceive your product’s value from the receiver’s eyes? You’ll follow the same ideology here.

Ask your prospects insightful questions that can help you understand where and what the value is. Some of these questions can be as follows:

  • Why is having the right partner or vendor vital to you?
  • Why have you made this business segment your priority?
  • Why did you choose your current vendor or product?
  • Would you consider switching vendors in the future? Why?

Step 5: Go All In

Identifying your prospects is only half the battle. You should also know when and how to chase them to close the deal. When you’re certain, you have a big deal in your sight, prepare for it adequately and go all in to secure a win.

Once you’ve successfully landed the deal, think about how you can use it to sell to other customers in the same industry. After all, nothing works better to close a deal than a testimonial or a case study from a reputable insider.

When you’re sure the customer is happy with your product or service, track every data point you can that made the deal successful. Then, build a case study around it, making sure it resonates with your customer success.

While sales targeting improves your chances of closing a deal, it doesn’t guarantee success. So it would help if you also were prepared for failures. Don’t lose hope—instead, treat them as learning opportunities.

Sales Targeting Best Practices

Are you wondering how to practice sales targeting effectively? Here are our top tips to get started on the right track.

A) Understand Your Ideal Customer Persona

You should know how to choose the correct targets for your business.

Determine the demographics and personal quantities of customers that typically buy from your business or have expressed interest. For starters, you can consider factors like:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Education
  • Location
  • Family status (whether they’re married, have kids)
  • Occupation
  • Income

Another tactic to learn more about your prospective target demographics is by looking at your top competitors. What kind of competitors do businesses similar to yours usually target? What are the target demographics of your closest competitors?

Of course, you don’t want to copy these qualities exactly in your sales targeting strategy, but these insights will help you better understand the most appropriate targets based on your industry.

B) Establish a Consistent Lead Flow

You need to set up a consistent flow of leads for your sales targeting strategy to work. This involves implementing strategies that can bring the right person to you. Below, we’ve compiled a list of a few strategies that can work:

  • Create highly targeted LinkedIn content. Create targeted content that appeals to your target audience and can help solve their pain points. Even better if you can leverage your product or service’s benefits here.
  • Nurture your leads via cold email. Build a drip-email campaign to nurture your leads. This can also help attract people in the early stages of the sales cycle, pushing them further into the next stages.

C) Regularly Measure Results and Improve Strategies

Another crucial aspect of effective sales targeting is taking out time to measure, analyze, and change as needed.

When implementing your targeting strategy, you will find there will always be room for improvement. That’s why you have to be well aware of your weaknesses and eliminate them to ensure better outcomes.

Use sales metrics to analyze your overall performance. This will also help you figure out strategies to ensure better results. Then based on the new information you gather, refine your technique and adapt.

Become better at targeting selling! Empower yourself with targeted sales knowledge, and improve your close rates stat.

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