As marketers, we are always looking for more ways to contribute to the success of our organizations. One of the most impactful things marketers can do is help sales bring in more business. To support those efforts, CBD Marketing is starting a multi-part series designed to better align marketing efforts with sales activity. We will explore ways that marketers can increase the value and contributions they bring to each step of the sales process. We begin today with defining and agreeing on ideal target companies.
Your Ideal Target Companies
Sales and marketing do not always see eye to eye - or see each other at all. Despite working for the same organization, they often are not sharing vital information, such as how the marketing department can support the sales department's goals and what those goals are.
Perhaps the most important issue sales and marketing leaders can agree on is the need to have sales qualified leads (SQLs) in the pipeline. When the marketing team knows the type and quantity of potential customers that are most valuable to sales, it can crystallize a strategy for providing sales with what it needs.
Defining Ideal Target Companies
Your best leads are going to come out of ideal target companies, and you have to be in alignment with what makes a company a good fit for your offering. An excellent way to do this is by creating an Ideal Target Company profile. This is a checklist of the attributes a company needs to have to be considered a high-quality prospect. This is a great opportunity for sales and marketing to come together to agree upon what defines an ideal prospect or lead.
Begin by looking at the traits of your best customers or best type of customers across your industry. Here are some attributes to get you started.
- Economic factors (Number of employees, revenue, customers, etc.)
- Market segments (Industry, vertical, etc.)
- Geographic locations (Country, region, continent)
- Perceived need or application
- Lifecycle stage (Early adopter, mature market, etc.)
- New certifications that allow for market entry
- Account growth/renewal potential
- Competitors they are already doing business with
You may need to look at more than a dozen customers and have several discussions with sales in order to see patterns. That is good for several reasons:
Once you have developed your Ideal Target Profile, you can set lead generation goals with sales to help them hit their revenue targets and demonstrate alignment between marketing and sales.
You'll also want to develop personas that represent the various stakeholders within these target organizations. You'll also be better prepared to segment them as you bring them to life using personification techniques. We will discuss goal setting and persona development in segments of our series.