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- 3 Easy Steps to Improving Sales Efficiency [ARTICLE]
Designing a “Qualified Suspect Profile” to Get to “Qualified Prospect Profile” Faster for Increased Sales Efficiency with Everything You Do!
Great sales professionals never run empty of qualified prospects and that is in part due to the fact that they are consistently putting their name in front of and mining areas where they know there to be “Qualified Suspects” in order to talk business with “Qualified Prospects”!
Professionals need to examine how they prospect for leads and where they tend to get such leads. Recognize that a “Qualified Prospect” is someone who at a minimum:
SECOND … Has the capacity to buy/join/want;
THIRD … Has an urgency to do so now!
With this formula in mind, the sales professionals job then is to ask two questions:
To accelerate ROI on your endeavors, recognize for both your personal efforts and the organizations efforts, identify the characteristics of the core customer base, who are they, where are they and how many more of them are there that are not being contacted.
ONE – “What do my leads look like that I would call a Suspect?”
SECOND – “How would I detail this description even better, if I were attempting to develop a “Qualified Suspect Profile” for contacting?”
Design a short series of questions that allow you to professionally, respectfully vet a person to determine if they are a Suspect, prospect or neither … We have designed a series of ten questions we ask in our business to determine if the person we are engaging is a fit for us or not, and that list of sequential questions has not changed in ten years – it is golden and aligns every activity we do.
Once you know the question to qualify or dis-qualify the Suspect to be a Prospect, then you can work to recognize your “Magic Number” – the number of contacts it takes to get from Contact2Contract!
Recognize that it is easy and simple for sales professionals to fall into the trap of waiting for the leads/contacts to come to them, and not many Suspects will do this. However, given that it takes time to find these Suspects and get them into the “Sales Funnel” and time to work the Prospects in the funnel to get a Customer to fall out of the bottom, that when a sales-professionals realizes that they have no new leads/suspects to work, because they have been all time consumed in the middle or bottom of the funnel, now they are at a stop to find and contact new suspects. You must realize the need for even and consistent work at all three levels of the funnel. In the final analysis, the sale can’t take place if they are not continually feeding the funnel with “Qualified Suspects”!
Successful sales professionals can’t be all things to all people, so a sales professional must understand what the characteristics are of that ideal candidate that they connect with best and personally tend to matriculate the greatest. This well-defined “Qualified Suspect Profile” then guides all future actions (marketing, networking, promotions, advertising, etc.).
Your responsibility is to recognize exactly what a “Qualified Suspect” looks like and then work to develop a “Profile” of each. This will assist in differentiating between a potential Suspect to engage in the Five Steps to Selling process in anticipation of that “Qualified Suspect” becoming a Prospect and avoid one who might merely be someone looking to talk and waste your sales professionals time.
With a clearer understanding of your targeted “Qualified Suspect Profile” in mind, you can examine the contacts they make to determine the level of engagement that is appropriate. As you examine how much time is invested in building the contact relationships forged at the suspect level, which transitions into the prospect level, which ultimately transitions into the customer level, the trained sales professional can channel efforts accordingly.
Most sales professionals invest a majority of sells energies where the easiest suspects-prospects-customer rich environments are. Studies done in the late 1990’s by Frank Ruck and Jeff Magee determined that most customers come from merely 10 percent of available market options.
Known as the Ruck-Magee Curve™(see below) the sales concentration business typically center on the known possible 10 percent. Armed with a better understanding of what a “Qualified Suspect Profile” looks like, sales professionals can invest more time in desired areas and avoid others.
View suspects to your offer as aligning into a sales curve, the “Ruck-Magee Customer Curve”, which indicates that there is always about 10 percent of the suspect pool that can be easily matriculated into customers. There will always be about 10 percent of suspects that will never become a customer for you. And the forgotten middle 80 percent that represent potential customers available from the middle suspect pool.
Sales professionals need to first ensure that they spend time prospecting with those “Suspects” that their experience and research indicates typically matriculate into Customers. Then invest time where most sales professionals forget to work, in the middle
of the suspect pool that calls upon the sales professional exercising diligence. Also, realize that there will also be a percentage of suspects that will never buy your offer, so don’t waste time with them. These are people that like your competition or don’t like your offer period.
With a clear “Qualified Suspect Profile” in mind, the sales professional will be better able to recognize a contact in the middle of the curve that best matches a solution which they offer. The bottom line, increased contact effectiveness, reduced miss contacts and increased sells. And with the following clarity you can accelerate your rate of growth by then tapping into the 80% factor that everyone misses, I refer to this segmentation as Market Potential or Market Opportunity. The 10% that will by you or a competitor is important, but very market miss leading and is what most comparison are drawn from or what is referred to as your Market Share.
Consider the following exercise then ...
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