Targeting – What if and Why not?
We could select the right account every time and it gave us a great return on our selling investment.
Every new product launch started smoothly and we captured new business immediately.
Sales managers and their teams talked openly about building a long term solution-based relationship – and they knew exactly how it was progressing.
Is this a pipe dream?
We started down the path of researching for this book after reading an article in 2005. The gist of the article was; companies who target are more likely to reach their financial objectives. Then fate struck. The very next day I was invited to attend an all day “Targeting” session held by a well respected distributor. The combination of those two points created a new direction in thought – Everybody “targets” nobody has a Targeting Process. Without a process there is no repeatability, no improvement, and no room for strategic coaching.
When we began looking into the most successful companies – companies who outperform their competition in the good, the bad, and recently the ugliest of economies – we couldn’t help but notice a process.
What do we cover?
First, we spend some time convincing the skeptic that Targeting works. Our research indicates that most sales teams are reluctant to put a process in place. The sales guys don’t like it, don’t want it and initially go out of their way to convince their bosses – “I have it all right here… in my head.” Sales managers get worn down. Only the hardiest of souls – swim against the current long enough to prove that a Targeting Process works. And how to:
Build a common vocabulary
Develop a common account strategy
Understand the difference between product targets and solution targets
Use product targets to “audition” customer behavior
Create a system that streamlines short term product target administration
Think about solution targets
Set milestones into the solution target world
Develop a working competitive strategy
New independent research indicates that sales organizations with a process in place out perform other organizations by as much as 30%. Can you imagine giving your competitor a 30% advantage? Targeting is the natural first step in building a real process.
Behind the Scenes:
Frank Hurtte speaks, writes and consults on Targeting in a knowledge-based sales environment. His first program, “Let’s Target some Accounts” went out to over 500 organizations in 8 countries. Research for this book involved surveys and in-depth discussions with hundreds of organizations over a two year period. Hurtte is the Founding Partner of River Heights Consulting and author of The Distributor Specialist: Customer Champion, Profit Generator!