A “Market Opportunity Profile” Insures Your Sales Team Hits Quota

A “Market Opportunity Profile” Insures Your Sales Team Hits Quota


By Mark Allen Roberts

How prepared are your salespeople to “hit their sales numbers“ this year?  Studies indicate as high as 70% of salespeople will fail to make sales quota this year. One leading reason is they do not adequately understand, identify, and prioritize potential sales and new opportunity accounts in their territory. One “old school” tool I provide my salespeople is a Market Opportunity Profile that takes the guess work out of sales achievement.

A Market Opportunity Profile is a living sales road map that insures your team meets and exceeds sales quota and creates sales velocity in the future.

Market leading sales organizations provide sales territory plans that include Market Opportunity Profiles.

What does a good Market Opportunity Profile include?

  • sales by current customers, ideally over the past three years segmented by product groups
  • current customer list segmented by A, B and C customers with sales history
  • identify elephants, rabbits and squirrels in each territory
  • targeted A accounts positioned for growth, with growth strategy and tactics
  • list of potential new customers in territory
  • new potentials ranked by dollar opportunity and probability of having problems your product or service solves
  • list of known market influencers (influencers your clients turn to)
  • list of new products that will be introduced , and when
  • new product sales targets by current customer
  • new product sales targets by net new customers
  • current and targeted new clients by physical location
  • sales goal by current customers
  • sales goal for net new clients
  • sales goal new products or services
  • activity profile based on known product sales cycles
  • activity profile based on new product launch(s)
  • salesperson input in each category

This sounds like a lot of work, however once you create this tool it will create a profile of the market your salesperson serves, and will build a living document to create meaningful discussions with your salespeople. Your sales by current customers /current products, current customer/ new products, new customers/current products, and new customers / new products must exceed your territory goals. You can create Market Opportunity Profiles with the help of your salespeople to make sales less of an art and more of a science.

Or…

You can take the goal given to you, divided by the number of salespeople you manage, possibly weighted by sales history, and throw it at your sales team and tell them to “make it happen” like most companies did last year and had 70% of their salespeople fail to achieve sales goals.

What does your team provide salespeople to create a roadmap to insure sales goals are met and exceeded?

Does your team provide a Market Opportunity Profile? What does it include?

What % of your sales team achieved or surpassed sales goals last year?

What % of your sales team is at 50% ( or greater) of their sales objectives mid year?

They say if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Market Opportunity Profiles create a snap shot of how to achieve and surpass sales goals based on your market knowledge when created. As your team executes their plans, you will create additional learning’s by salesperson, account and territory. Who knows, after a few years of blowing your goals away corporate may just ask what you have been doing, and once you are promoted, you can use this process to create market driven sales goals instead of boardroom extrapolated goals pushed down.

Are your Salespeople Focused on Landing Elephants While Rabbits and Squirrels Run to Buy?

Are your Salespeople Focused on Landing Elephants While Rabbits and Squirrels Run to Buy?

By Mark Allen Roberts

hunting smaller accounts

In my previous post I discussed a problem: “One common problem I am observing in the market today is salespeople are “hunting elephants with BB guns” and getting frustrated when they fail to bag their trophy. The market is tough and salespeople are hired to make it happen, make the sales number. Far too many salespeople focus on selling elephants to help bring their sales to quota back in line and this tactic backfires.I shared how ill equipped and poorly trained most  salespeople are calling on large key accounts ( elephants) , and they are not only destined to fail, but there is a high probability they are also damaging your brand in the mind of key account buyers. Another,  problem  that compounds the focusing in on elephants is the opportunity cost lost  rabbits and squirrels running to buy.

Do your salespeople clearly understand the market they serve and the opportunities that exist?

What I have personally experienced helping sales teams is everyone knows who the elephants are. This is a problem as all your competitors are just as likely focusing their scopes right now to bag what you thought was your elephant.

In the background of your market, there are smaller accounts, (rabbits and squirrels) running to buy.

I like selling smaller accounts as well as elephants.

Why do I like selling smaller accounts?

  • sales cycle is much shorter
  • the equipment and training is less expensive
  • you are dealing with the economic buyer ( the owner) in most cases
  • they are busy, and value your consultative approach as an expert in the solutions you provide
  • they are more profitable as a % of sale than elephants
  • they appreciate your solutions to their problems more
  • the buyer is in the market you are hunting in and not “corporate” some where
  • higher close percentage, higher probability to win the sale
  • they rarely use RFP’s
  • they are less likely to source complimentary products, accessories and parts
  • the salesperson does not require a great deal of training and experience
  • they often grow into bigger accounts

Market leading sales organizations balance their focus on elephants, rabbits and squirrels.

How about your sales team? Do your salespeople have a balance of elephants, rabbits and squirrels?

Does your sales team focus only on landing elephants or do they also fill their commissions on rabbits and squirrels?

Have you segmented accounts by lifetime sales opportunity?

Do you have an inside sales model that helps identify where the rabbits and squirrels are hiding?

As the sales leader, are you equipping your salespeople with a complete market opportunity profile, or is your lack of market knowledge showing?

Insure your salespeople hit their numbers by providing a market opportunity profile that includes elephants, rabbits, squirrels and any other varmints you can land in your market.

Failure to do so and you are setting your salespeople up to be road kill in their year end performance review.