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Sales Leadership
How Well Do You Really Know Your Clients?
Aug 20, 2017 | Canadian Professional Sales Association lock

How much do you really know about your customers and target markets? What do you know about what motivates them? How in-depth is your understanding of their interests? Do you know where they consume information? Can you confidently state that you know the best ways to engage and convert your prospects and customer base?

In this CPSA article, we’ll consider some big factors which help salespeople better understand existing and potential clients.

Profiling

While most good salespeople can articulate the features and benefits of the products and services they offer, far too many fail to analyse and construct customer profiles. Profiles or ‘personas’ are representations of your ideal or typical imagined buyer.

Some good questions to ask yourself when looking to develop customer profiles include:

  • What does your typical customer looks like?
  • If you’re in B2B sales, which sectors do you currently penetrate with the most success?
  • How do your customers vary, based on the products or services you supply them?
  • Who in the target organisation is most likely to be receptive to your business?
  • What additional products or services are your customers likely to be interested in?

By building client personas, you can better understand their motivations, demographics and the most effective ways to engage with them.

Data

To really understand your customers, you need to have a deep understanding of your contacts database. It is within your customer data that you are likely to uncover trends about how certain leads or customers find and consume your content.

With the right categorisation and segmentation, most good CRMs will be able to break down your customer data and sales funnel to provide valuable data on such factors as source (how they got into your customer database in the first place), buying behaviours, and preferred communication channels. If you’re a B2B sales pro, you can also get info on industry, job title, company size and a lot more.

When creating forms to use on your website to capture leads and additional info on existing customers, use form fields that capture important persona information. If, for example, all your personas vary based on company size, ask each lead for information about company size on your forms.

Feedback

Average sales people focus on selling. Good salespeople educate their markets. Great sales pros listen and learn from customers to ensure an agile and sustainable sales approach.

While big data and high-level strategies are important, sales people should never ignore their biggest asset when striving to understand the needs and behaviours of their clients. That’s their existing customers.

Sales pros should monitor reviews, dissect survey results, welcome customer feedback and learn from the end user what really motivates them to buy.  While AI and increasing levels of automation are streamlining many of the touch points in the sales cycle, gathering and learning from actual customer feedback remains vital to the ongoing relevance and success of a product or service.

Communication Channels

It is incredible to think that many sales teams still blast out impersonal sales emails in the expectation of making sales. Even before CASL changed game in 2014, en masse emails to 10,000s of unqualified, unsegmented contacts was already a major turnoff for most consumers. Social media changed the game. Social media gave the power to the buyer. Buyers can now choose the messaging and channels they wish to be exposed to and block (e.g. spam filters) or ignore old-fashioned direct marketing techniques like email and direct mail.

One good approach is to begin with segmenting customers according to the specific products they have purchased and the channels from which they came such as Facebook, video marketing campaigns, PPC or a conference. From here you can identify the audience most likely to respond to future direct marketing campaigns and the best ways to engage - helping you to increase ROI.

By understanding your buyer personas, identifying trends from your CRMs, and acting on customer feedback, your sales and marketing teams can build more targeted messaging designed for specific mediums and which measurable touch points. 

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