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

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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