As any soldier will tell you, identifying targets and threats is critically important to a mission’s success. The same can be said for a sales team in business. Your targets are your potential customers and your effectiveness to win them over depends on your ability to mark them.
There are no uniforms in urban warfare, so knowing your target is of paramount importance. Imagine walking through crowded streets while in enemy territory. Can you quickly pick out targets in the chaos of rush hour? People are bumping into you and walking in all directions. Street vendors are vying for your attention, and most may be speaking a language you don't understand.
Just picture the last networking function you attended. Do you see the similarities? Perhaps, you get the privilege of developing a new territory. If your targets are not well defined, you will waste precious time talking to the wrong people and visiting the wrong locations. The consequences of these delays can be the difference between getting the sale and missing the sale.
Define Your Targets.
Who is your customer?
Who is your ideal customer? Be the solution to someone’s need or want. Think outside the box. Can your product or service be used in a new way? If so, a new type of customer is born. You must always work towards defining new ways your product or service can be used.
Where is your customer?
Aside from understanding your defined market and operations capability, have you located the decision makers? Many local offices centralize their purchasing. Do you know how to find these people quickly? Don’t complicate this step. Sometimes it's as simple as asking the person’s name that does ______.
What weapons (sales tools) do you use to help increase your scope?
Have you streamlined the process of managing relationships? Beyond a spreadsheet or CRM system, are you efficiently performing your day-to-day tasks? Could you do anything to reduce wasted time? Apply time gained to making new contacts.
Repeat & expand
Generating leads should be part of your regular routine. When you’ve grasped your current guidelines, then go ahead and push the boundaries. This can be done using any scale. Consider, expanding areas such as your geographic territory, revenue, customer size, country, or product field.
In the military, Combat Identification (CID) can be summarized as the ability to differentiate potential targets as friend, foe, or neutral in sufficient time to appropriately engage. In the sales field, your success is reliant upon your capability to study the environment, define your target customer, and engage.