What do sales reps do if sales management hasn’t prescribed the buyer personas they should be selling to? 

If you’re a sales leader, that question probably has you conjuring up all sorts of terrible thoughts about what a rep might do. If we think long and hard about it, we know the answer could be… anything. 

As leaders, how do we guide our reps to sell to the buyer personas we identified who deliver the most revenue to our sales organization?  

There are three things sales leaders must provide their teams to be successful and optimized for selling success :

  • Buyer persona definition. 
  • Your selling universe. 
  • The strategy & operations to prospect and sell into this universe.  

Let’s look at these in more detail and see how Tohoom can help you supercharge your buyer persona sales efforts. 

Buyer Persona Definition 

In working with hundreds of sales leaders, we ask each of them this question:  

If we asked your salespeople, “What are the top 3 buyer personas you sell to?” would they all give the same answer? The most common answer sales leaders give us to this question is, “Probably not… but, I hope they know.” Their answer is revealing and is usually followed by an uncomfortable silence as the gravity of what their answer means sets in. Some sales leaders are so shaken, they physically squirm or fidget in their chairs.  

Company sales and marketing leaders create buyer persona definitions knowing that doing so creates clarity, focus, and direction in how and who salespeople prospect too. When salespeople prospect only to the highest value targets who fit the buyer persona role and definition, their efforts are more likely to result in substantial increases in the quality of pipeline activity.  

Of the three 2020 emerging sales leader themes reported on by Gartner in their Q1 2020 Chief Sales Officer report, two of the three of them are focused on the improvement of sales development activities, along with improving early pipeline and lead management. Every sales leader is keenly aware that healthy sales pipelines lead to a higher percentage of sales opportunities to advance and move to close more quickly. As a result, revenue and profitability margins tend to increase. Less time moving a sales opportunity through each deal stage, coupled with consultatively selling to the right stakeholders decreases the need to discount your product or service 

Given the critical importance of getting the “target” phase right, companies often need more sophisticated, external help developing or refining their buyer persona definitions. Leveraging Tohoom’s Stakeholder Lifecycle Management software (Target – Find – Connect – Collaborate) and participating in Tohoom’s Targeting Workshop, sales leaders determine and select the buyer personas that they believe will deliver the most revenue and profit for their company. These are the individuals they want their salespeople to focus their business development efforts on engaging. At the same time, sales leaders identify the characteristics of people they know their salespeople chase resulting in wasted effort and time. Excluding these individuals further refine the quality of the target stakeholder list being pursued. For tracking, scoring and measurement purposes high-value stakeholders are called Targets in Tohoom.  

Your Selling Universe 

With target buyer personas (individual stakeholders) clearly defined, sales leaders and their marketing counterparts must select the ideal accounts to sell into.  

Account Based Selling and Marketing is based on the understanding that all potential company accounts are not created equal. Marketing typically defines the Total Addressable Market, the number of companies that “could buy” your product or service. Defining your “selling universe” requires moving from a mindset that everyone could buy from us to we only want the right companies to buy from us.   

  • Less ideal accounts may follow outdated buying and decision-making processes that lead to lengthy close times or expensive lost opportunity costs when deals stall or never close at all.  
     
  • Less ideal accounts may have unreasonable expectations about pricing and terms that would erode your revenue and profits.  
  • Less ideal accounts will not have the same win rate percentages of other accounts who better fit your profile.  

Companies must do intensive research and analysis on industries and market segments they believe they can win.  Following the data from this analysis, ideal account profiles emerge.  

The final step in this process is establishing your sales organizations prospecting and sales strategies based on your data-driven analysis. Multiply the targets you identified by your ideal account profiles, and the result is your “selling universe.” These are the Buyer Personas and Accounts that your salespeople should sell too to for as long as your company’s product lines exist. 

Conclusion 

In our conversations with sales leaders in a variety of industries, they are generally shocked to discover that not only are their salespeople not pursuing the company’s target buyer personas 100% of the time, but the characteristics of those buyer personas are often not as clearly defined as they thought. Adding fuel to the problem is that reps without clear guidance often waste time chasing less than ideal accounts.  

Finally, most sales leaders admit that their prospecting and business development strategy is either very loosely defined or non-existent. Without a clearly defined strategy, process for salespeople to follow and the right tool to manage the prospecting efforts of their teams, it is clear why sales leaders find themselves frustrated with the quality of pipeline activities.  

When companies use Tohoom’s platform and follow our strategic prospecting advice, they can expect the following outcomes:  

  1. All sales reps understand who the key buyer personas are that they should sell to 100% of the time. 
  1. The ideal Accounts and Buyer Personas that their company should sell to… forever… are captured and organized as part of a unified prospecting strategy. 
  1. Everyone in sales, marketing and executive leadership understands the prospecting mission. Prospecting efforts are supported by a prospecting process that ensures salespeople maintain their business development focus on the right Accounts and Targets. And sales leaders use Tohoom to coach, track and measure prospecting performance in an easy and strategic way not possible with traditional CRM systems.

Ready to take the next step to see Tohoom in action and talk to one of our strategic sales partners about your strategic prospecting goals? Visit www.tohoom.com, call us at 949-864-6660 or email: connect@tohoom.com  



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