There is one question I want to ask you today, does your current customer and prospect list qualify to be on your customer list? I ask this because I was looking at my list the other day and realized that some of the companies on my list really shouldn't be there. When I started creating my prospect list, everyone on it seemed to fit my customer profile. However, now I'm not so sure. Some of the prospects simply don't match my customer profile after all. This also came up with a sales coaching client when they discovered the same thing with their prospect list. All I had to do was ask a few questions about the prospects on the list. It was the perspective that made the difference. We couldn't match the ideal customer with what was on the prospect list. It was easy to discover the problem.
Do yourself a favor and measure your prospects against your sales plans criteria for prospects. Do it before it is too late. We can't get good results from bad prospects and if our prospect list needs to change, adjust it sooner, rather than later. One solution is changing the methodology and process of finding prospects.
Take a different perspective
If you're managing a sales team, any time is a great time to review your sales plan and prospect lists. Industries and businesses change and you might need to modify the contents if you know what I mean. The sales plan, any sales and marketing plan may have started with all the right logic and intentions. However, things change, markets shift and what may have started out as a good plan, may have gotten out of hand. Sometimes we need to step back a little to gain a better perspective on what we are doing.
If you don't have a target customer profile, shouldn't you have one? Think of your prospects as the building blocks for a building. We would be kidding ourselves if we didn't admit to wanting a few strong, massive and secure cornerstone customers. Most importantly, we want solid customers we can build a reputation with. Let's imagine that our original sales plan was to support 150 core customers. The strategy is to develop a community of customers that you enjoy working with and both parties profit from working together. Qualified strategic partners are out there and we should be looking for them.
Steve Martinez implements sales management strategies with a focus on automating sales for printing organizations. Selling Magic teaches businesses how to automate and customizing ACT or Outlook with the best practices of sales management while integrating email marketing and technology for greater profits. http://www.sellingmagic.com