Ever wonder what your prospect’s real challenges are? Or what they are really looking to solve? What’s on the surface is not always the full story. By creating a 360 degree view of their challenges you can be more competitive and solution sell even more effectively. In this Whiteboard Video we share a framework we teach our clients to get to the real challenges quickly and brainstorm effective solutions as a team.
Want more tools to support your own ideation process? Download the Ideation Worksheet and use it to implement the process with your team.
Many sales leaders looking for ways to reach their revenue goals faster will say something like:
We need a team that closes more sales.
We need more leads in our sales funnel.
We need to convert more leads into customers.
We need to run better ads.
This way of thinking is a trap.
It’s an easy one to fall into. You look at your team, your funnel, or your outreach and see that they aren’t working the way you’d like. You immediately want to fix them.
But, as long as you’re working to solve your sales organization’s systemic problems by focusing on symptoms, your company will remain stuck.
Imagine you’re building a house. Your screwdrivers and nails keep rolling off your work table. You discover your floor is uneven. Now, you can put your tools in a container that stays put on the table. You can prop up your table legs with a book to counterbalance a slant. But, to really fix the problem instead of creating a makeshift solution, you’ll need to repair the very foundation of your house so that the floor is level.
Here are some questions to ask yourself and your team to begin to inspect and repair your foundation.
What value does your company create?
The answer to this question is the foundation of your foundation. You need a clear definition of the value that you provide your customers. You may think that this is a no-brainer, but unless you take a thoughtful, in-depth look at how you define and state your value, your strategy, messaging, and team may not be as aligned as you thought.
Who is your team’s target audience?
Once you have a clear statement on your offerings, next you need to define who you’re offering it to. Without a clear understanding of who you’re selling to, you and your team may be wasting time, energy, and money selling to the wrong folks.
Is your messaging aligned with your value, audience, and offerings?
Without strong messaging that clearly communicates your value, you’re keeping your company’s purpose a secret from your audience. It can be tough work to create succinct, attractive messaging that articulates the value of your offerings. But without that effort, you’re hiding your light under a bushel.
Does your marketing tell your company’s story?
Once you’ve got your messaging down, you need to make sure your marketing conveys that message to your audience. If you don’t, you’re still not accurately and effectively getting your word out there.
Does your sales team fit your company’s needs?
Imagine each member of your sales team sitting next to your ideal client. Do you feel confident in their ability to engage your ideal client? If not, you need to look more deeply into your team members, your team structure, your team’s sales resources, and your training processes.
Do you have a clearly defined sales process?
Now, once you have all of those fundamentals worked out, then, and only then, should you turn to looking directly at how your sales funnel operates. You can get to some of the questions you originally asked – how do we bring in more leads? How do we nurture our leads more effectively?
With a firm foundation, the answer to these questions will be more meaningful and the changes you make to your sales process more enduring. You will also be on your way to creating a more scalable, stable, and predictable sales engine within your company.
Is your sales organization guided by clearly defined and measurable goals?
To know if all of your efforts are working, your goals need to be tied to data you can measure. If you don’t monitor your leads, traffic, and close rate as they relate to your sales and outreach efforts, you will never get a clear picture of what’s working for your organization — and what isn’t.
If you put the time and energy into thoughtfully answering these 7 questions, you won’t just temporarily repair your sales structure — you’ll create an adaptable sales organization that will engage your audience, build crucial relationships, and boost your revenue.
Ready to get started on creating a high-performing sales engine that drives scalable, stable, and predictable revenue growth? Check out our article on defining your value or take the sales engine diagnostic.
Your team seems to be doing everything right. You know what you offer, what value you provide, and how those attributes align. But you just aren’t seeing the lead velocity you want.
Are you running paid search campaigns and finding the leads are a poor fit for your business? Or that your sponsored ads are showing up in the wrong locations? Are your sales teams having meeting with the right people? Maybe they bring you along to the meetings and when you get there you realize the lead will never buy your service. Do you get the feeling when you’re interacting with leads that something isn’t quite right?
These breakdowns may indicate that you haven’t found the perfect product-market fit. Here are some signs you might not be targeting the right audience — and what to do about it.
You’re targeting anyone who walks in the door.
You’re passionate about your offerings. You have no doubt that they could benefit a wide variety of people. Are you harder pressed to think of who you don’t want to contact than who you do? If that’s the case, your target audience might not be targeted enough.
Imagine you’re shopping for a gift for a teenager. Try and picture what you’d get that teenager. Tricky, isn’t it? Without knowing anything about the person except their age — not their gender, their location, their interests, their needs — it’s really difficult to buy an appropriate gift for them.
You might be thinking, Ok, but what about a car? Any teenager wants a car! And since our offerings are so awesome, anyone will want them.
Not so fast. Even if your products or services could benefit anyone, not everyone will really resonate with the value you’re providing or be drawn in enough to listen to your message.
Consider a small electric car and a full-size pickup truck. Neither is better than the other, they are just each aligned to audiences with completely different experiences and lifestyles. So their target audiences are completely different, too: an eco-conscious single mother with a tiny car budget for her teen daughter vs. a father whose teen son will use the truck to help with their family landscaping business.
Plus, if you’re casting too wide of a net, you and your team are wasting a lot of energy sorting through the flotsam and jetsam that you pull in. You may catch a fish or two, but not before discarding the tin can, the lost shoe, the spare bicycle wheel. And, if you do catch that big fish, you won’t know if it was because you were fishing in the right area or if you just got lucky.
On the other hand, if you research where a particular type of fish hangs out, go there and bait specifically for that fish, you can tie your success to your intentional efforts and repeat it in the future.
Raise the bar from “anyone with a bank account” to some really specific criteria that will guide you and your sales team to client gold:
You aren’t finding leads in the places you thought they’d be.
You’ve got your industry, demographics, and psychographics down, and you’re hot on your target audience’s trail. You’ve talked to your sales team, and you’ve heard that the group you’re looking for lives on LinkedIn. So, you do some targeted outreach, even join some professional groups on the platform, and nothing manifests. Sure, you have some good conversations, but deals-wise, you’re still coming up empty.
If your target audience isn’t showing up where you expected, it’s time to do a bit more research.
Your audience isn’t engaged.
But, maybe you’ve done all of that, you’ve found the right people in the right places and you’ve brought them to your door. And maybe they take a peek in, explore your website, read an email or two, and then wander away.
If you’ve found your ideal clients and they’re nibbling but swimming away, what you’re offering might not be attractive enough to hook them. In this case, you may want to take a look at your messaging.
So, there you have it — 3 key ways to tell if you don’t quite have a handle on your target audience. Looking for more on finding that perfect product-market fit? Check out our video on target audience and this target audience worksheet you can discuss with your team.
I’m Karl Becker and I help individuals and organizations improve how they sell. My focus is on clear, concise, actionable solutions.
In short, I'll show you how to increase performance and generate more revenue.
This blog shares approaches, tools, and ideas that I have seen create success.
If you’re interested in discussing anything, please reach out.