How to Develop a Micromarkets Sales & Marketing Plan, Part 1


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All Turf is Good Turf – You just need to work it differently. 

We spent the past week working with a company launching new products and sharing techniques on prepping their territories to find growth.  The sales team told us they were “killing it” and were in the groove for the past few years but, all of a sudden, they have found themselves in a rut and their turf is just not producing. 

With this in mind, I read the article entitled Selling Into Micromarkets from The Harvard Business Review. In this article, a chemical company broke down their sales territories into 70 micromarkets and using Big Data – which I like to refer to it as contextual data (not just big but useful) – they identified existing markets to locate synergies for increased sales. In doing this, they actually increased sales without increasing marketing costs, a remarkable accomplishment, i.e. doing more with the same or fewer resources. 

So how can you and your sales team develop your own micromarkets sales and marketing plan? This is the first of our series that will give you the steps you need to create an actionable plan. 

Step 1: Taking Stock
I suspect most of us don’t have the resources to break our territories into 70 micro markets but you can determine how to work your turf differently.  The first thing is to know what your customers already own. While this sounds like a pretty easy thing to accomplish, the data seems to elude most reps since it takes time to gather and then use this data. This is really all about “taking inventory” just as a retail company might shut a store down early to take stock.  Sales reps must take the time to do this, as well.  So how should you go about it? 

Create a spreadsheet, list clients and what they already own and then map what they don’t have against initiatives they are engaged with. By taking the time to understand the markets and industries your customers call on, you can effectively capture CBI’s (Critical Business Initiatives). In this methodical way, you have developed a micromarkets plan using contextual data and you can execute against this plan, effectively working your turf differently.  

Step 2: Become a Storyteller
When we developed these contextual data frameworks for each territory the sales reps were excited. But then the big question hit them:  Now what do I do? At this stage, we were able to develop a one-to-many prospecting and lead generation program for each micro market based on Sales Gauge Module #3; we made them story tellers!

We took each new product, industry and micro market and created a story that consisted of a problem statement for that market based on why we created the product or feature in the first place to solve that critical business need.

We then built the next part of the story by “name-dropping” a client that was successfully using that feature. These were then practiced so they could leave these stories in a voicemail that was less than 30 seconds long all while bringing the client through the industry pain you knew was there and then finishing with the successful solution: effective implementation that solved the problem. By making this incredibly relevant to your client, he/she will call you back to learn more. 

This series was inspired by one of our customers doing a cross selling session so I’d like to shout out a special thanks to C.J. Shirk, Area Sales Director at Solidworks. In part two of our series, we will provide the next steps for developing a micromarkets sales plan and also tell you how to put that plan into action. 

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tim Haller
Tim Haller has over 25 years of sales and sales management experience. He has delivered training and consulting to Fortune 100 clients across a variety of industries, including technology, business services, travel/leisure and biotechnology. Tim has trained hundreds of sales professionals to close business through the use of effective sales prospecting, negotiation, and closing techniques.


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