What questions to ask, what answers to find while choosing target accounts
Target accounts are those clients or accounts in which sales reps or sales departments perform over a given period. And, these can be quite sensitive given that commissions payments depend on sales reps meeting all the goals involved in their assigned target accounts. Location, importance, size, growth, competitors, past closed deals are some factors that influence the selection of target accounts.
Here are some questions you have to answer in order to define the right target accounts:
1. Who are our best customers?
When selecting your best customers don’t base that list only in the revenue the clients generate, also take product, selling and support costs into account. Why? Well, customers you thought were your best may not be contributing as much to the bottom line as you thought. Spend more time with those customers that could drive your success, and stop wasting the difficult ones.
2. What are their common characteristics?
Defining the characteristics of your most profitable clients will help you find and understand your target audience. Your services or products can comprise a wide range of personas, but having clear information about the common characteristics of your best clients will get you your initial business validation, momentum and traction.
3. Where are they located?
While determining target accounts, it is important to consider geographic variables such as urban, suburban, rural, regional population distribution and city size. Knowing your customers location will help you identify the most concentrated places of customers who fit your target market. Then, you can decide where to market your services or products based in your customers location and your ability to reach them.
4. Are they a particular size or in a vertical market where we normally have success?
We are talking about size in terms of revenue. Sales directors have to always be able to say in which vertical markets or niches the company is having higher grade of success. And, therefore, research to determine where can they find more customers with those characteristics.
5. Does our best chance for new business lie within our current portfolio of existing customers?
It is cheaper to sell to an existing customer rather than find new ones, buy a business can’t survive on existing customers alone. It is really important determining to what extend sales reps should focus on creating new customers or keeping existing ones. Sales directors should establish that balance. It is crucial to have a sales focus segmentation across various types of customers based on growth potential.
As I have mentioned in past posts, we have to make sure that there’s a strategic alignment between the business and the sales effort. Remember that even the best talent can fail if they are attacking the wrong targets.
- Book: New Sales Simplified by Mike Weinberg. First Edition, 2013: USA.
- Entrepreneur – Playing Favorites: Identify Your Best Customers
- Harvard Business Review – Know What Your Customers Want Before They Do