Are your ideal target profiles extremely focused? Do you know exactly who in an organization to call on? Do you really know his pain?

You are so ready for this sales call. You have prepared thoroughly, and it’s a warm lead. After all, you spoke at a networking event, and then followed-up via email, and LinkedIn, and you made sure he was on your email list. So, you pick up the phone, get this “warm lead” after the second ring, and…nothing. It goes flat.

What went wrong? Oh sure, you could say it’s the economy, or everyone has a miss here and there. While these may be true statements, more likely it is that you are working off of a loose or non-existent ideal target profile. Your organization probably does not have a profile written for every single person you need to touch in the buying process. Additionally, it is crucial to have an understanding of what makes someone buy and how you can be part of that decision. Without this information, how can you be sure you are even speaking with the right people?

In fact, you and your sales team are probably wasting a lot of time chasing prospects that are never going to convert. Why? Because you don’t know exactly who you are targeting, what they need, or why they buy.

Challenge the Norm: Marketing and sales must work hand in hand to create an excellent experience from the very first interaction. The most important step in this process is to create a well-defined ideal target profile. It begins with a true understanding of your target audience, and then drilling down into intimate details so thoroughly that you can name that person.

The first steps are well-documented and yet many companies still gloss over them. Who are you going to target? This goes beyond an industry or position within a company. Remember, you are talking to people, not buildings or business cards.

What are the pain points? What keeps this person up at night? Dig deep and really understand what challenges this person faces. Then you are prepared to present your differentiators. How your company is better than the competition to solve this problem.

But that only gets you started. You must know what the ideal target’s decision drivers are in order to be considered. Decision drivers are the primary motivators that cause your ideal target to make a buying decision. It’s how they decide who to choose. The only way to know what drives the decision making process of your ideal target audience is to ask. Which means…you must know who to ask in order to get the best information.

Once you know what these important decision drivers are, you can then go about the task of ensuring you are always in the consideration set. Add the information to your marketing message, which will help make it crystal clear. Also, make sure that your sales process includes conversations that will address this decision-making process. Finally, work diligently so that you are always in front of your ideal target. If you try to utilize this process with a different set of buyers, then you may fall flat. After all, the decision drivers may be different for highly varied target audiences.

People will buy from people they know, like and trust. Start with knowing and develop your ideal target profile so there is never a question about who you or your sales team should speak to. It’s guaranteed to improve your marketing and sales dramatically.

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