A sales person’s time is valuable so they need to spend it where it counts – where it will earn the greatest return on investment for both them and the company! That means focusing on securing and up-selling their best customers, and calling on the best prospects to grow NEW business.
Marketing management can assist in this effort by helping with the profiling of accounts in order to identify where its sales team can best spend its time and energy.
Account Profiling – Start with the A, B, C’s
The simplest profiling is by existing customer revenue. Examine your accounts by sales revenue and rate them based on annual sales volume.
For example: Sales Volume
Over $100,000/year = “A”
$50,000 to $100,000 = “B”
Under $50,000 = “C”
Your A, B, C revenue volumes should be compared to the cost of servicing the accounts at that level to fine-tune your rating formula. By categorizing accounts in this way a salesperson can make sure that he or she is devoting proper attention to their accounts in each category. It also enables them to create sales plans to support and up-sell smaller accounts. With the cost of a face-to-face sales calls exceeding $500, account profiling is a prerequisite to cost-efficient selling.
Prospect Profiling – Digging a Little Deeper
A sales person can easily come up with “A, B, C” ratings of his or her accounts based on sales volume. But account profiling that can yield bigger “pay-dirt” by analysing customers by sales revenue AND things like:
Product lines purchased
Number of locations
Annual revenue (of the customer)
Job Titles (Most important buying influences)
Alone or in combination, identifying the criteria that your best customers have in common can help you seek out more and better sales opportunities or “prospects” that are just like them. Once you have determined “best customer” profile criteria, it is simple to acquire lists of other companies that fit the same profile, and identify contacts within those companies that can be targeted with new marketing and sales efforts.
Profiling in business is a good thing. In fact, it is a necessary thing for sales and marketing professionals committed to growing sales. A company that a salesperson may see from the highway does not a prospect make. But a targeted list from Hoovers, DNB or vertical market list based on your well understood “best” customer profiles can mean the difference between striking a “Bonanza” or going Bust” in your sales efforts.