We are big advocates of implementing ways to work smarter rather than harder in all aspects of business.
One area you will want to apply this technique is when you are deciding which prospects to add to your weekly prospecting list.
If your current strategy involves calling a random list of prospects, chances are you are not seeing the results you want, or it’s the reason you procrastinate prospecting.
You know you need to make those calls and when you finally make time to do so – you stare at your phone or computer and ask yourself, “Who should I reach out to?” I have found that when I create my Hot Prospecting List in advance, it gives me a more compelling reason to make those calls. Doing this simple analysis will help you create your Master Ideal Hot List, then break it down and make at least 10 calls/emails each day as part of your 75 Day Prospecting Pipeline Challenge. Breaking it down into smaller prospecting activities will make it much easier to fill your pipeline by the end of this quarter.
Knowing who to add to your list is the key to getting the results you want and it can be achieved simply with a little research on your part.
You need a solid sales strategy that focuses your efforts on the right clients using your previous sales data to turn your cold call list into a hot prospect list.
What do you need to do to create your own hot prospect list?
Let’s trade in your hit-or-miss method for a more effective approach!
- Gather historical sales reports
Access your sales reporting or accounting system to review your sales by client for the past two years. New to sales? If so, reach out to your Sales Manager, accounting department or your colleagues for guidance on how to get that important information.
- Analyze your sales
Closely evaluate each area below so you have a clear picture of each client:
- Determine the increase/decrease for each client over the past two years. Can you account for any change in a client’s sales pattern?
- Total the sales by month for the past two years. Record which months are the highest and lowest and account for the disparity. Is there anything you can do to increase sales in the months where you noticed they were lower?
- What is your average sales dollar per order?
- What is your average account worth by sales dollar?
- Identify your top 20% of accounts and how much business they represent. For example, if you have thirty accounts, do the top six accounts represent 80% of your business?
- Establish the ideal annual sales dollar amount you would like to do with each client.
- Your current sales goal
Have a look at your current year’s sales goal. Your organization may refer to this as a sales objective, sales target, sales quota or budget.
As yourself: How did you calculate your sales goal? What is your strategy to achieve it?
- Analyzing the sales goal
List your accounts or your monthly sales goal to achieve your annual goal. Is your sales goal different than management’s? If so, why?
- Ideal target profile
There are numerous considerations to take into account when determining your target market.
Here are some areas on which you should focus when establishing yours: industry, demographic and psychographic characteristics, product positioning and attitudes. Completing the sales analysis that we have outlined in the first four steps will help you better answer this question.
- Ranking your clients and prospects
After a thorough examination of the information you gathered in the first five steps, list all your current and prospect accounts that you would like to generate more business.
Taking this list, place each into one of the three categories listed below:
A – Excellent opportunity to close business with them in the next 12 months and the account is worth $________________
B – Very good opportunity to close business with them in the next 12 months and the account is worth $________________
C – Possible opportunity to close business with them in the next 12 months and the account is worth $________________
You can further categorize this list by prioritizing the top 30, 50 and 100 clients or prospects with whom you can connect within the next 6-12 months.
This is your hot prospect list.
Your sales data is a goldmine of information and most people don’t maximize it to its fullest extent to further their sales goals.
Why not eliminate the haphazard approach to cold calling altogether that only proves to make it a frustrating exercise?
Using this strategy reduces the guesswork in prospect calling. It provides you with a warmer productive list that is effective and strategic resulting in increased sales for you.
How do you ensure you are reaching the right clients for your sales? Let me know in the comments.
Lisa is a Certified Sales Professional with Distinction (CSP²) and is an accredited training partner with the Canadian Professional Sales Association. Lisa carries the distinction of being the first female speaker to earn the dual designation of Certified Sales Professional with Distinction and Certified Speaker Professional in North America.