Perfect Sales Prospects – How Are You Finding Yours?
Are you scrolling through LinkedIn?
Harvesting social media leads?
Picking up website visitors?
Just how are you specifically identifying your perfect sales prospects?
I ask this question because it’s the most basic of sales and lead generation activities that happens right at the start of the sales process but has a huge impact on everything else that happens in the sales process.
Plus…unfortunately it’s also one of those activities where it’s easy for sales functions to plough straight into selling WITHOUT first considering who they are selling to….
That costs time, money, market share and send sales cycles into outer orbit and sales acquisition costs into multiples of what they should be.
But a little bit of though can make all the difference.
So, How Do You Identify Your Perfect Sales Prospects?
Cast your mind back…you’ve bought a car, it a car that’s new to you. You might have been driven by budget to buy this car. Maybe you liked the colour, the model, the spec…either way the car is yours.
Now, before you got that car, sure you’d seen this type of car around.
But, now…now that you own one of these cars, well, it’ seems like you’re seeing them everywhere.
That’s because of one simple thing…your brain (your RAS to be specific) has been activated to notice cars that are just like yous.
You’re not actively looking for them, your brain, on autopilot just recognises and acknowledges them.
You’re not consciously doing a thing.
Just like your brain regulates your breathing, it’s also regulating what it lets into your conciseness, and today, it’s letting in bright red golfs…just like your new car.
What’s that all about?
Your brain is on high alert.
But what’s that got to go with selling?
Once you tell your brain what you want to see, it finds it.
The more specific you are about what you want to see, the easier your brain finds it to filter out the noise and present you with what you need.
You give your brain the instruction to just pick out VW cars and it will miss as many as it will find. Ask it to let you know when it sees a bright red golf and you’re chance of catching 100% is a lot closer.
So…when I asked you how you’re discovering your Perfect Sales Prospects, what I’m really asking is:
- How closely have you defined who you should be selling to?
- To what degree have you provided specific details?
- How clear is the message to your brain about who you consciously want to be presented with or alerted to when they’re near you?
- Are you making the best use of your brains auto-pilot search function to consciously seek out the best perfect sales prospects for you to start pipe-lining?
Where to Start in Identifying Your Perfect Sales Prospects
You should look for perfect sales prospects where you can confidently present a:
- Super strong business case
- Big ROI illustration
- Crystal clear business proposition
- Solution to a known and acknowledged problem
You’ll have the biggest chance of:
- A successful sales conversion
- Creating a raving fan
- Delivering a specific solution
- It’s the ultimate win-win
What Criteria Can You Use to Profile Your Perfect Sales Prospect and Build Your Perfect Prospect Profile?
All or any combination of the following…just remember the more specific and detailed you can be, then the easier it will be for your brain to present you with what you want when you’re out in the sales world.
Possible Perfect Sales Prospect Profile Profile Building Criteria
- Company size
- Goof credit status
- Competitive position
- Key personnel
- Known and potential problems
- Industry sector
- Potential AOV (Average order value)
- Opportunities for growth into other divisions
- Potential life time value
- Network scope
- March with current buyer profile
- Number of existing 1st/2nd/3rd degree links with the business
- Buying process
- Current provider/incumbent
The list above covers a lot of the basics
If you’re looking to scope at a deeper level, you might also consider these
Additional Perfect Sales Prospects Screening Criteria
- Accessibility of the decision makers, influencers, referrers
- Aspiration mindset
- Early adopter versus late adopter mentality
- Vocality on issues to be solved
- Key business challenges being faced
- Manpower/resources to commit
- History of buying solutions similar scope/budget to yours
- Peer pressure/market forces
So, having done all of that here are some questions I like to also ask:
- Are they nice/ethical/professional people to do business with?
- Do they see value in what you bring to the table?
- Is it a mutually respectful arrangement?
- Have they a reputation for doing what they say they will do?
- Is the management team stable, non-political, all pulling in the same direction?
- Have they committed and undertaken similar spends/projects in the past and seen them to completion?
Why is Nailing the Perfect Sales Prospects Profile So Important?
Just look back through your diary:
- How many of your meetings over the last 12 months have resulted in proposals?
- aow many of those proposals converted to deals?
- How many didn’t?
- What did the non-converts cost you?
- How much of your pipeline is active deals you’re working on versus people who you’ve seen who you call once a 1/4 to check in with?
- And, how much of your pipeline is records of people that don’t open your emails, return calls, respond to voice mail messages or visit your website?
- How many of these prospects have you offered discounts to, in order to try and convince them to commit?
- How many have taken your discount and are now a nightmare client you’d wished you could fire and forget?
Now, tell me it’s not worth spending a few hours drilling down to get a good solid picture of your perfect sales prospect…
How Do You Know Your Prospects are/are not Perfect Sales Prospects?
You profile the business at this stage, you’re not profiling the decision maker.
Always profile the business first.
Then you role as sales person is to find someone in a purchasing capacity to sell your solution to.
Never discount a business that fits the perfect sales prospects profile just because you can’t find a decision maker to say yes…this is where you really need to get very creative.
If it’s the right kind of business, then your job is to work the referrer/user/purse strings decision maker until you get an audience that’s prepared to help you make a business case for the right person and the right pathway in the business.
Should You Use BANT As a Qualifier
Check out what BANT means by hitting the link.
At business prospect level…yes (sort of) and no.
If you’re in sales then it’s your job to help your prospects find the budget, get the deal to sign off, create an overwehlming need and build urgency…BUT only if the business is the right business for you to be engaging with.
It would be wrong if the sales person were to invest their precious time doing this if it wasn’t a business match.
The Cost of Working Hard Trying to Convert the Wrong Prospects
- You’re buying yourself a messy pipeline
- Artifically bloated sales pipeline
- Long sales cycles
- Discount driven sales
In a nutshell…you’re buying a world of hard work.
Now, think what you could be achieving if you invested that time and effort with people who really did want to buy from you and didn’t have to be persuaded, influenced, coerced or bought?
Your Perfect Prospect Profile Matrix
Spend some time building this around the absolute none negotiables, the nice to have and the caveat prospects.
Your perfect sales prospect matrix might work on a tick system or a weighted ranking system or a balanced score card…the point is not that the matrix exists, but how you use to to drive maximum resource where there is maximum benefit.
Just remember – profile the company, not the prospect.
When to Use the Perfect Sales Profile Matrix
Every time you engage with a potential prospect, run it through your mental matrix…
- Writing a LinkedIn message, an email, a letter
- Picking up the phone
- Writing content
- Sourcing a list
- Attending an expo
- Setting an appointment
- Booking a demo
- Responding to an RFI
- Chasing web inquires
- Following up white paper downloads
- Buying exhibition space
- Promoting a webinar
Anything that takes up your prospecting time should be run through the perfect sales prospect framework.
And if you need any more convincing…
Once you know and you can use your Perfect Prospect Profile – your sales pitch writes itself.
You know the pain points.
You know the business case.
Working out the ROI is a dream.
Every new pitch strengthens your business case, your knowledge base and your conviction to convert.
Objections disappear since you can construct a presentation to flush them out before the buyer can use them against you.
From a management perspective, on boarding new staff is a dream because the pitch and presentation are already tried and tested.
Trust me – knowing and working your perfect sales prospects profile is the fastest route to scaling a sales team intelligently.
If you’ve heard of the Marshmallow test then you know you only have a finite amount of brain power each day to make decisions.
Have you ever got to the middle of the afternoon and just lost the will to decide if what you were doing was the best use of your time or not…?
That’s because you’ve expended your good decision maker brain power store…
So anything you can do to make decision making easy in business critical scenarios is a super big win.
That’s where your prefect sales prospects profile comes in…it simply doesn’t let your mind see the noise from potential near-fit prospects, it’s too busy hunting for absolute match prospects.
You’ll be more alert to focus on the stuff that really matter if your brain is running on auto pilot in terms of segmenting’good quality sales leads’ from ‘almost good enough but not quite good enough sales leads’.
Deciding your perfect sales prospects profile and using it is a first class business decision making tool.
It saves time. Lack of time is the main reason why you might not be a millionaire by the time you’re 25!
For the nay-sayers – sure we’ve all got that deal where we resurrected a lazurus from the dead an earned a bomb in commission.
But how many dead ducks did you try to revive to get one good sale?
Would you be happy with that conversion across all your sales efforts?
I’m currently running half day workshops at £597 plus VAT to help sales teams work out who their Perfect Sales Prospects are…let me know if you’d like to book this course for your team.
Talk to me if you’re tired of:
- Spending time, skills and money firing your sales efforts all over the place…
- Getting success some days, but not all days…
- Struggling to work out what’s working for you and what’s not…
- Trying to convert hostile prospects to sales invoices…
- Discounting, even a little bit
- Wondering if your prospects actually understand a word you say…
- Losing business to scrappy competitors
- Searching through a sales pipeline which is a BIG mess
- Wondering if your sales conversion rates have some weird correlation with phases of the moon
Let’s make Sales and Selling easy/easier for you.
In half a day build your perfect sales prospects profile.
- Create tailor made sales pitches that work for your particular sales prospect.
- Construct no-brainer sales pitches…THAT CONVERT.
- Big ROI pitches, so your buyer would be mad to refuse.
- Get a direct, focused and winning sales pitch to hook high quality prospects that you can qualify fast – in or out!
Your perfect sales prospects are waiting for you…
What are you waiting for?
Perfect sales prospects won’t wait for ever though.
Get a move on, stop selling just like everyone else, and engage your prefect sales prospects like they have never been engaged before…