When initiating a new Sales Campaign it is best to cast a wide net. This requires a deep dive into what types of challenges your products / solutions solve, and what type of companies are most likely to encounter these challenges.
And it’s not just about the negative challenges they may have such as inefficient process(es), poor internal communication, and high turnover of Sales People for example. It also includes positive challenges such as increasing Sales, expanding product lines and improving an onboarding process.
Once you have identified at least three industries or ‘vertical markets’ that would typically experience challenges in the areas your products / solutions align with, messaging for prospecting each vertical should be created. The purpose of this messaging is to position your offering(s) with appropriate questions designed to reveal if they do indeed have challenges in the area(s) you are assuming.
But why do all this? Why not just start cold-calling on a random basis? Why identify at least three different verticals to focus on?
Two BIG reasons why planning this way is an effective approach when creating and launching a new Sales Campaign are:
- Even if you have had success with one particular type of customer in the past, it is important not to keep all your eggs in one basket. Many industries go through periods of adjustment that can affect your customer base. One very common agent of change are Merger & Acquisitions. Think how much ‘smaller’ the Office Equipment, Computer Hardware / Software, and Waste Management industries for example have become just over the last five years.
If you have traditionally provided a solution such as a Fleet Scheduling / Management software to the Waste Management industry and a wave of M&A activity with US firms acquiring independent Canadian companies for taxation advantages (think of Burger King’s acquisition of Tim Hortons), the Canadian operations will be consolidated.
Which means if they use a different software solution, and most likely do, your platform will be replaced. More often than not it is the company doing the acquiring whose systems are implemented on an enterprise level. And if you have many customers in a particular vertical, it can suddenly become one of high risk.
- This is not to say that a referral from an existing customer to prospective ones in the same industry is not a powerful way to open doors in a new vertical. However, many companies don’t particularly like to work with Vendors who supply the same service to their competitors, regardless of NDAs.
While referrals / testimonials may be the reason you have experienced success in a particular industry, it is imperative that you broaden your horizons before you get caught in a corner. Companies these days are particularly concerned about data breaches and leaking of confidential information, and many times deliberately seek out alternative Vendors rather than their industry’s ‘go-to’ supplier(s).
If you’re not sure how to plan for and effectively open new verticals, consider outsourcing this strategy to a company who has broad experience in multiple industries and can assist you in proactively hedging your bets by increasing your Sales Activities over several verticals. We will help identify new markets and create a strategy for you, including messaging / positioning, and coach your Sales Team on a Methodology to follow thus greatly increasing your probability for new business success!
About the Author:
Martin Beauclair is an Entrepreneur, Business Leader and Active Supporter of Start-up Communities. For the past 20+ years he has launched and managed numerous technology product offerings, serving as Sr. Vice-President of Sales & Business Development at IgeaCare Group of Companies, Vice-President of Sales and Marketing at GlobeStar Systems and Director of Sales & Marketing at Edwards Systems Technology (Now GE Security).
Today Martin heads up Access2Sales as CEO, and recently founded FalconRidge Trading, a related Strategic Sales company.
Martin is a certified ADMA (Accredited Professional Administrator), a member of the AMA (American Marketing Association) and both UPSA & CPSA Professional Sales Associations. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School (AMP), a bilingual BAA (Bachelor in Business Administration) from the University of Ottawa, and also holds an MBA in International Business Management from Laval University.
He is currently pursuing his PhD in Business Administration at the University of Phoenix, and is a self-proclaimed ‘life-long learner’.
But what ultimately drives him at the end of the day? Simply,
“To Grow Companies by Creating and Leading High Performance Sales Teams.”