In a hyper-competitive business environment, any edge you can achieve over your competitors is worth its weight in gold.
Of course, the key to achieving successful sales lies in meeting your customer’s needs better than anyone else – and that’s a concept that extends well beyond basic product or service fulfilment.
Ensuring your sales channels are aligned with customer preferences, knowing that your reps are hitting the highest value markets with the right offer at the right time, and maintaining the flexibility to do business as your clients desire are all critical considerations for your sales coverage model.
That is, sales coverage is not only about fishing where you know there is fish, but it’s also about ensuring you are using the right bait and casting your line when the fish are most likely to be biting.
Here’s how to maximize your sales coverage model in five easy-to-follow steps:
STEP ONE: Categorize your customers
By categorizing your customers into specific segments or tiers that define customers based on spend, growth opportunity and closing potential – or any number of other categories that are relevant to your business goals – you can build a picture of the selling landscape and gain valuable insights into the obstacles and opportunities that are presented in each category, and the specific sales strategies that should be implemented for each.
STEP TWO: Prioritize customer segments
With your customers divided into well-defined categories, it will become clear which categories present the most short-, mid- and long-term opportunity to your organization. Align these customer segments to your company goals and prioritize accordingly to identify which customer segments call for the closest attention from your sales team. When prioritizing, also consider the time your sales reps spend on selling low-margin products versus more complex solutions.
STEP THREE: Set a sales strategy
Use existing sales data to analyze customer buying habits and needs in each segment, and identify similarities. This will help you set customized sales strategies for each customer segment and assign resources based on the segment’s priority. This will ensure important or high-value customers receive appropriate attention, while low-priority customers don’t drain resources. Also consider the contact preferences of your customers at this stage to ensure you’ll get the best possible return from the resources you assign to each segment. That is, if a customer prefers phone contact, dispatching a mobile sales rep will be wasted resource.
STEP FOUR: Define territories
With your customers segmented and prioritized, and a sales strategy in place for each, it’s now time to define territories for your mobile sales reps. Since face-to-face sales calls are typically the most expensive, you’ll now have a clear view of which high-value, high-priority customers justify face-to-face attention and which can be better served by your telesales team for the best return on investment. During this process, the highest value territories will naturally be revealed and you’ll be able to determine those which require the greatest resource deployment.
STEP FIVE: Integrate with an SFA solution
Managing a mobile sales team deployed in a range of territories comprised of customers of varying priorities and requiring different sales strategies is no small task. Equipping your mobile sales team with a best-practice sales force automation (SFA) tool will keep your sales reps on message and beam back the real-time sales data that will underpin the evolution of your sales strategies and customer segmentation activities.