Unlocking Sales Among Untapped Prospects, Engineering Marketing/Sales Processes for Maximum Results
WHAT ARE “UNTAPPED PROSPECTS?
Untapped prospects are a) accounts and sites with the same characteristics as your best customers, but are not in your marketing database, and are therefore invisible to you, and
b) unidentified key player contacts within accounts and sites
you are already targeting who are in the decision-making group for your product or service. These contacts are especially
significant, because they represent a segment of your market you may now believe is visible to you but in fact, is not.
HOW THE STAUTS QUO CREATES BLIND SPOTS
Many marketing and sales techniques in use today practically assure that your company is overlooking major parts of
your available market, missing viable prospects in the part of
the market you are actively targeting.
DATABASE BUILDING BY DRIVE-BY
Sales people, including those that work for channel companies, generally build market knowledge through referrals and drive-bys. A “drive-by” is a situation in which a sales person
is on their way to an appointment and notices a large building
with an impressive logo and thinks, “They must buy what I sell somewhere in there.” The sales person adds the company name to a list of cold-call accounts. When business is slow, they might pull out that list of cold call accounts. Sales management works diligently to keep sales people from spending any time on untested accounts, and that is an absolutely correct posture for them to assume. Ideally, it is a salesperson’s job to close deals, not find and cultivate new opportunities. cho thue kho lanh ha noi
RELYING ON LISTS
Rented lists are one of the most common ways that marketing tries to build market knowledge and generate leads on behalf of sales. Have you ever taken the time to look at those lists? Massini Group has, and what we see is not encouraging. We’ve found that even list sources with relatively strict selection criteria can be 50% or more off target from how they were described. If you doubt this, look at the list of respondents
to your latest email or direct mail using rented lists. In one particular case, an enterprise software company found 53%
to 76% of its respondents were “off target”. In another, a
storage systems company found that eight in nine of the respondents was “off target” even though selection criteria were very strict and the source deemed credible. Worse
yet, you have absolutely no leverage to push list owners to develop contacts at accounts that are not presently in their list.
Another appealing source of information to tackle the problem of gaps in market visibility is a commercially compiled list or database. However, like rented data, in and of themselves they are not comprehensive.
A computer hardware company that uses a major provider of IT-installed base data recently estimated that the source had detailed information for just one third of its market.
COMMERCIAL DATA SOURCES ARE AVAILABLE TO YOUR COMPETITION TOO
Also remember that your competition has access to the same commercially available sources. And so does every other company that is marketing and selling any product even remotely similar to yours. This translates to a massive amount of competition for mindshare among the unfortunate individuals whose names appear in those databases.
“AUTOMATING THE PROBLEM” WITH CRM AND SFA
A growing number of companies are investing in CRM or SFA solutions with the expectation that they will improve marketing and sales operations. Unfortunately, these tools generally
only increase the velocity of the status quo. If no specific effort is made to change the culture, improve the methodology
or advance the science of market penetration, then a system
to automate the processes will not help–it will only automate and accelerate a flawed and ineffective process.
In our experience, these tools take significant time to implement and are initially focused on late-stage pipeline accounts and customers, thereby providing no assistance at all to individuals trying to grow their business, generate leads, or meet aggressive sales targets beyond the installed base.