So much sales and marketing energy is wasted on people and mediums that are never going to provide a return for your time, effort and energy.

You must be doing more of the right activity with the right people at the right times if you want to achieve major sales growth without sacrificing your health, personal life and all the other things that should matter to you.

A great place to start is considering all the people or businesses you’ve done business with in the last twelve months. Both success and failure leave clues on where we should and should be spending our time.

Write out a list of all the people you did business with and consider the following questions:

1. What are the similarities between the customers I won and lost?

Consider things like where the lead came from, the industry the customer is in, the gender and age of the person or people you dealt with, the problem the customer would say you solved for them and ease or difficulty in winning the business. Generally, this type of analysis will give you some great insights into where you’re more likely to succeed.

2. Which customers are you most able and likely to deliver significant value to?

Take some time out to consider this as if you were a potential customer. As an example, I don’t do sales training for salespeople that carry out large enterprise sales. There’s plenty of money to be made in that space, but I don’t have a competitive advantage in training these people. I leave that to Miller Heiman because that’s what they are very good at. I prefer to focus on salespeople that engage smaller businesses and individuals. I love working with call centres where every word matters and my skills in developing powerful and compliant scripts can make a big difference. I love working with large scale teams because over a decade of experience in training salespeople with online video and social coaching tools, means I can add significant value in these types of opportunities. If you focus on the people you can deliver the most value to with the skills and products you have, you’ll be a lot more successful.

3. Consider which of your customers you’re passionate about helping

Once again, I don’t focus my marketing on sales strategy projects with CEO’s and executive teams. I have the skills and over the years I’ve had great success in these projects. But they just don’t excite me. I get a lot more passionate about helping front line salespeople and small business owners trying to get this thing called sales handled in their lives. I get excited when a salesperson sends me a message telling me that a strategy, they viewed in a video worked for them. I get excited about helping people that are new to sales. That’s why I love video sales training so much, because it enables me to work with thousands of these types of people each week.

4. Consider which types of prospective customers are easy to identify and access

If you can’t easily build a list and make contact with your target customer, you’re unlikely to be successful in new business prospecting. It is a lot easier to identify and access every Dentist in a 25km radius of your office than it is to identify and access high net worth individuals in your state. It’s a lot easier to identify and access the business neighbours of your existing customers, than it is to chase every business in your territory. It’s a lot easier to identify and access the Accountants of your customers than it is to chase every Accountant in your territory.

The easier it is to make a list of specific people or businesses the smarter your targeting is. The easier it is to access people or businesses on that list the more likely it is you’ll be motivated to do your new business prospecting.

5. Consider where you got your best RoE

Which type of customers gave you the best returns for the time, effort and energy you had to put in. And remember that return is not just dollars. Return includes how much you enjoyed working with them, whether having them as a customer was great for your brand, whether they refer and whether they’re likely to remain a customer for the longer term.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of everything you should consider but if you ask these questions, you’re significantly more likely to be smarter in your targeting.

To summarise all of this, the question to get the smarter targeting conversation going at your sales kick off is “What type of people or companies am I MOST able to deliver value to AND capture my fair share of that value?”

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Dean Mannix
Dean Mannix has delivered sales performance projects in over 25 countries and is recognised as one of Australia’s leading sales performance coaches. In 2007, he co-founded SalesITV and pioneered online video based 70:20:10 learning and social coaching programs in Australia. He is a leading authority on blended approaches to learning, performance and coaching for salespeople and sales leaders. Over the past two decades Dean has worked globally with a diverse range of clients including Goldman Sachs, Westpac, Oracle, Canon, News Corp, Commbank, Macquarie Bank, Fairfax, Meridian Energy, Westpac, Nomura Securities, Deutsche Bank, BT Financial Group, NAB, Suncorp, Bank of Queensland and the Boston Consulting Group. Dean holds a Law Degree from QUT, an Executive MBA from the AGSM, is an international best-seller and is also a qualified Yoga teacher.