Not all Opportunities are Equal
Focusing on the right companies at the right time is the best way to generate more business results for you – whether that’s more revenue, greater margins, industry prowess, or simply better customer satisfaction.
But to make sure you’re putting all your eggs in the right prospect’s basket, you need a simple way of measuring likelihood of conversion. Create an account-scoring system to generate those – the higher the score the more likely that company is a good fit for yours.
The trick to being even more successful? Categorise your ranked companies even more, by territory. That’s where you can also capitalise on maximising your ROI on trip planning (we have a handy blog to learn more about that).
13 Things to Consider when Ranking Companies in your Territory
And these outcomes won’t necessarily be revenue based. To build out relevancy, here’s a few things to consider when prioritising companies in your territory.
Are they a good product market fit? This is probably the most important consideration of all. When looking at prioritising your prospective customers, relevancy needs to be key to pursuing them above every other. But what is product market fit? It’s having a product that serves the particular needs of the market in which it’s designed for.
Are you being time-sensitive?
You may have found some news that will affect your prospects’ buyer journey, meaning you need to adjust your own sales cycle to accommodate. A new director could be joining, they may be experiencing a merger or an office move. Get on top of whatever changes are being made as quickly as possible.
Where are they on their buyer journey?
Did you know that when a B2B buyer approaches your sales team, they’re likely to be 57% of the way through their buyer journey already? That means you’ve got to consider that certain organisations in your territory will be further down the buying process and therefore further up your priority list. Or, perhaps they’ve been in an active sales process in the past, so here you’re looking to re-engage. It may be useful here to pair your market analysis with ‘lead score’ data compiled by marketing (e.g. website sessions, downloads etc).
How much do you know about that specific company?
These may be organisations that you’re familiar with through affiliations with their directors, or they lie in certain sectors that you have a significant amount of experience in.
They may already be customers
Because they already transact with your company to a certain extent, it’ll be easier to provide an upsell or cross-sell. Though they may be also buying off your competitor and want to move fully across to you, so there’s importance in getting it right and acting at the right time.
Look out for intriguing connections
Some of the companies in your territory may be subsidiaries of existing customers, connected through shared ownership. Both scenarios offer opportunities for referrals which typically close at 4x the rate of non-referral opportunities.
Red Hot Referrals, straight into your inbox and to your revenue contribution.
They may be in spending mode
They may be in spending mode with a surge in department funds – their company may have just raised significant funds. If they’re ready to start spending, you need to take initiative and increase the urgency, as they’d likely be a goldmine to any company they scout out for your product or services. That’s also the case at the end of the quarter or financial year – there may be budgets they need to spend to prevent it from disappearing.
How big will the deal size be?
If it takes the same amount of work closing a bigger deal than a smaller one, then your time is better invested building the sale here. But you may not only be dealing with larger organisations, these may be smaller companies with a greater need for your services.
Like opportunities – not all revenue is equal either
What’s the profit margin on the products or services that a prospect is interested in? You may find that to hit your targets you have to consider how much revenue will be eaten up by overheads.
How long is the sale cycle for a particular prospect?
Some deals may close quicker than others. Identify where those shorter deal cycles lie – are they in a particular product or service of yours, does it depend on the industry or sector? Depending on where you are in the year or against quota, your company might change focus on large vs small opportunities
Is there great upsell potential?
Here we’re looking at the longevity of the prospect and whether there’s room for growth. Certain companies may represent a smaller upfront opportunity by carry ‘implied odds’ – meaning access to other internal buying groups. Or, the prospective company may have a small but urgent requirement for product A, which naturally lends itself to a larger requirement for product B down the line.
Look for strategic advantage
Some companies may offer a stronger strategic advantage to you. An example of capitalising on this is when a new product launch has given you a first mover advantage over your competition and there is an opportunity to land-grab. Some organisations may carry significant prowess i.e referencing them as a ‘beach-head customer’ may offer a gateway into sectors you’ve yet to succeed in.
Some companies are simply a joy to work with
Mental and work-life balance are also important considerations in sales. Revenue and profits may be a priority for businesses, but not at the expense of your health. Companies that are more enjoyable to work with may have an easier time using your products or services (so they’re easier to support) or they require onsite work, and are closer to home. Life’s too short to not prioritise the things that’ll lead to negative mental health in the long run.
Once you have all these tied into a score, you’ll see they rank from best opportunities to least critical.
What’s the Deal by Ranking Companies with Account Scoring?
You get more of what you want to focus on. Every time you return to a list, you’re automatically drawn to the top. If that list is ranked alphabetically, you will spend far more time focusing on companies that start with the letter A than the letter Z. Unless that is a crucial part of your strategy, bringing the best opportunities to the top of your list will offer far greater returns in the long run.
Once you have your best opportunities mapped out you can build a strategy for approaching those companies in the best way. You may have identified trends in the highest ranking opportunities, which might enable you to utilise specific case studies, plan business trips and attend events that could offer lucrative returns.
How can you Rank Companies Effectively?
So we have the what and the why, but now we’re getting to the how. The simplest way to get started is to create an account scoring system on a spreadsheet.
Pull a list of every appropriate company in your territory into a spreadsheet. And by ‘appropriate’ we mean those companies that have the fundamental criteria you need to do business.
Add in an additional column for each of the above considerations you would like to rank your list by, and assign a score from 1 to 5 in each column for each company.
Be sure to keep the score parameters consistent, otherwise certain scores might greatly outweigh others.
Add an additional column to sum up the results per company.
You now have a score you can use to effectively rank the companies in your territory and therefore have a proxy for determining how to best spend your time.
If you want a visual example that also helps you build this out yourself, use our handy checklist.
All this being said, you may not have the data you need in order to apply scores to companies in bulk. Plus, the information you gather now may be different to the market reality in a month’s time.
This is where Zint’s strengths lie. Not only does our platform aggregate real-time data on the entire UK market, our propensity modelling tool offers sales teams highly customisable account scores that update in real time and enable them to close better business more regularly.