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Do you still believe your sales team should be able to sell to anyone?

You can find countless videos and books on how to sell anything to anyone. The point they are trying to make is that people make buying decisions based on their emotions and afterwards try to rationalize their purchase. Which is fundamentally ok.

The misunderstanding in this sentence lies elsewhere. Having this in mind, sales leads define the size of their market far from reality. Potential clients will often only be determined after industry and budget-spending size. They will send off their sales team to pitch to all of those alleged leads. This should work perfectly fine, since a good salesman can sell anything to anyone.

What most sales leads underestimate tremendously though is the fact that using those practices, valuable resources are burned, planning insecurity is created and the reputation is jeopardized:

1) The sales team is wasting precious time to talk to clients, who are either not in a position to buy the product or simply don’t want to. Budget is usually less of a factor than culture, structure or company strategy actually is. It also depends on the contact person’s and his Leadership’s mindset.

2) Poor leads tend to phrase requirements often times like this: “If you changed item ´X´, then maybe I would be interested in it…” The sales team then takes those requests back to their development-teams. What happens next is clear to see: They lose sight of the priorities and invest their time in rather inauspicious adaptations.

3) The sales person’s pipeline is filled with poor leads, which distort the realistic value of that input. Bad conversion-rates as well as bad forecast accuracy are natural consequences.

4) Even if the salesperson made the sale to a customer, who never really wanted to buy the product in the first place, you can expect a very low Customer Lifetime Value. Those types of customers will be the most demanding before, during and after the implementation.

5) On top of this extra time and effort put into supervision, it’s very likely that the client is unsatisfied and also won’t be quiet about his discontent.

Openview partners from Boston conducted a study with 500 SaaS leads to measure the current state in SaaS Marketing & Sales. Over 62% of companies said that they don’t have an alignment in their company to client segments. Only 15% executed sophisticated data analysis and market research.

Businesses, that want to grow in a scalable way long-term, should change that. Because a well-developed customer segmentation allows not only for a higher ROI, but also for:

1) Focused Product Development: A clear image of the ideal customer will help immensely to further develop the product more precisely and valuable upselling potential becomes accessible.

2) To the Point Value Proposition: Parallel to the improvements to the product, a customer segmentation will help you develop a better value proposition and more focused marketing messages.

3) Action Plans: Because you know the specific obstacles of various buyer personas, you can define and act on specific measures, to overcome them.

4) Planning security: The sales pipeline will reflect a more realistic picture. Your team will raise conversion rates and get better at sorting opportunities into specific stages.

Therefore: Don’t hunt every target out there – Invest in data and smart customer segmentation

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