Sales is evolving quickly as consumers make smarter, more conscious buying decisions by the day. The impact is visible, particularly in the B2B landscape, where the buying cycle is longer, and the decision-making team comprises young members who put extra emphasis on value-based choices. With these changes in mind, B2B enterprises now need to optimize their sales processes for improved targeting.
Sales success is largely dependent on the B2B demand generation teams’ ability to target the right prospects. Without a well-defined prospect targeting strategy, the B2B sales team would be wasting their time and resources on contacting the wrong prospects.
The biggest challenge enterprises face is identifying who their ideal prospects are, where they are in their customer journey, and then engaging meaningfully with them. Let’s take a look at the six key sales targeting strategies to connect with the right prospects at the right time:
Create an Ideal Customer Profile
The first step toward a sales prospecting strategy is to build an ideal customer profile. Enterprises must who their best customer is and what drives them to buy a particular product/service. Mapping the attributes of an ideal customer helps both marketing and sales teams to build personalized and targeted outreach campaigns. Study shows that around 71% of companies that exceed sales goals have mapped out their customer personas.
These documented profiles help establish trends and behaviours of the ideal customers, including demographic details, preferences, pain points, goals, and purchase patterns. Using the accurate B2B marketing database from a reliable B2B database company like Denave, enterprises can build an extensive prospects’ lists with details like technographic, firmographic, buying intent, B2B email lists and phone numbers.
Many organizations use a lead scoring mechanism to understand the prospects’ level of interest in their offerings. However, it doesn’t necessarily answer whether they are the right fit for the company. This is where a prospect grading strategy can help them address the question.
The typical grading scale maps a prospect’s fit based on how closely they match with ideal customer attributes. For B2B companies, the grading criteria include job title, industry, company size, seniority level, and location, among others. It is essentially an assessment of the prospect’s interest in the company. It allows sales teams to effectively filter out bad matches and focus on the prospects with higher grades first.
Enterprises should prioritize B2B sales leads that can be moved down the sales funnel. Cold leads who don’t respond to sincere marketing messages should be let go. B2B demand generation teams will get better results if they can channelize the sales targeting efforts to high-value and quality leads.
Identify the channels to meet ideal prospects
B2B sales leads belong to certain ideal customer profiles. They have similar attributes that make them recognizable to a company’s sales process. They also have some preferred channels where they research and talk about different products and services. Depending on the industry, a company’s target audience can be scattered across multiple channels, such as social media, trade shows, seminars, webinars, expos, etc.
It is critical for the B2B digital demand generation teams to identify the channels where they can meet their target audience. Depending on the identified customer channels, marketers can build tailored customer outreach campaigns for better targeting.
Focus on prospect quality over quantity
Enterprises have a tendency to aggressively work on their B2B lead generation campaigns to strengthen their sales funnel. They think that the more leads they can generate, the higher their sales will be. However, the reality is that a bigger prospect list leads to diluted messaging and wasted efforts trying to connect with the prospects with limited potential.
It is up to the enterprises’ demand generation teams to optimize the sales funnel by including only the top-quality prospects. This will allow the sales teams to build better rapport with each prospect and nurture longer with more personalized conversations.
Leverage the power of social selling
Almost 84% of C-level executives use social media to research products and support their purchase decisions. Such customer behaviour warrants B2B businesses to leverage social selling in their sales targeting strategy. Social channels like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter offer features much more than sharing content with their audience network. They allow digital marketing and sales teams to identify and target the right prospects in a far less invasive way than cold calling.
Prioritize customer experience
Customer experience is the most vital element of any sales process. It has to do with the way existing, and potential customers are engaged throughout their buying journey. It is about understanding their pain points and providing them with meaningful, relevant interactions.
Before connecting with a vendor, prospects conduct research of their own. And they will only buy from a vendor if they feel that they will get an exceptional customer experience from the said vendor. This means that enterprises must look beyond basic details and leverage advanced analytics to understand the behaviours that customers exhibit. They must meet their customers where they are in their buying journey and across all channels.
There is no uniform, blanket solution to a successful sales targeting strategy. Every business is different, with different systems and customer outreach mechanisms. The ideal prospect of one business might also differ from that of its competitors. It is all about the processes and tools that companies put into place to ensure that personalization is built into every step of the prospecting.
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