How to make sure you hit your business-to-business sales targets – part 1

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Here are two things you can do, that do cost money, to give yourself the most chance of hitting your sales targets.

Here are two things you can do, that do cost money, to give yourself the most chance of hitting your sales targets:

  • Undertake market research
    Create an Ideal Customer Persona (ICP)
  • Undertaking market research is about identifying the segments in the market so you can target them effectively. Creating an ICP will give you a deep understanding so you can design your marketing, sales and product to fit the needs to the most profitable segment.

A great example is CVS Pharmacy, one of the most successful chains in the USA. Through research they found that 80% of their customers were women so they redesigned 20% of the stores offering shorter wait time for prescriptions and wider shopping aisles.

Business-to-business (B2B) products tend to be more complex than business-to-consumer. The B2B segments have key characteristics:

  • More complex decision making units
  • More rational decisions
    Smaller audiences
  • Personal relationships are more important
  • Longer term buyers
  • Innovation requirement
  • Fewer behavioural needs

A typical B2B market can be segmented into four

  • Price sensitive
  • Quality and brand
  • Service focused
  • Partnership bias

When you look at your market you will know if your segmentation will work by asking four questions:

  • Are the segments truly different?
  • Are the segments big enough?
  • Do companies clearly fall into one of the categories?
  • Can each company be easily identified as belonging to a specific segment?

When you have your segments you can score each 1-5 on segment attractiveness and competitive advantage to give you the best one to focus on.

Next we will look and the insights by developing an ICP.

Image from Flickr by Greg.

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