How to Develop a Micromarkets Sales & Marketing Plan, Part 2


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In Part One, we provided the first steps in developing your micro markets sales and marketing plan. In this post, we will focus on the action items you can take to put this plan into action, as well as the results achieved by our client in our recent training session that utilized this process.

So, let’s take stock of where we are. At this point, you have taken STEP 1 – you have created an inventory of your clients, mapped your contextual data to identify Critical Business Issues (CBIs) and STEP 2  – you have developed your stories. Now, it’s time to use this information to drive sales results. 

Step 3: Tell Your Story

Next up: turn your story into a 30 second voicemail that highlights the problem and the solution and then hits the prospect with the knowledge that YOU have been here before and solved this similar issue with other clients. This builds your credibility and, when done correctly, sparks interest.  Great storytellers are charismatic and clients are inspired with curiosity when you can do this and hook them quickly. 

Practice your pitch before you start calling and leave yourself a message. Then ask yourself these questions before you go live:

A) Did my story flow smoothly in the message to address both the customer and industry CBIs?
B) Did I clearly tell the prospect that we have solved this issue with others before?
C) Did I end my message with a call to action, i.e. asking for a return call and leaving my name and number?

If you feel that these were not clearly communicated in your message, go back and rework your script. You may also want to do some A/B testing by leaving one message for half of your list and a different message for the other half to see which one is resonating. Be sure to note at which point you changed the message on the list of customers in order to properly track the return call responses and figure out which message resonated more.

Step 4: Calling Blitz!

This part of the process also takes time and practice on your part.  The most critical step is the creation of a call list from your oldest, coldest dead leads. Once you have this list as well as your new micromarkets plan, you can schedule and execute a high volume-calling blitz that requires no additional preparation if you have already taken the 4 steps previously listed.

Note that this does not replace your other prospecting efforts – the executive 1-to-1 prospecting calls that require detailed research. This of this blitz as a way to increase volume while still talking about what success you have had with other clients that are similar to them. Remember that in Part 1, we created our stories for the campaign so with our list, we are ready to get started.

As a sales manager, make sure you invite your entire team to participate with a calendar meeting request for a Friday call blitz early in the month. (I have found that sales people like to schedule meetings on Fridays only when we are doing call blitzes). During these sessions we have found the reps executing at an average of 16 calls per hour, per rep. Here are some best practices that we learned:

  1. Put a timer in full view so everyone knows the team is on the call blitz clock.
  2. Make sure the salespeople have built the call list before making calls and separate them by industry/product matched with the story that goes with these customers.
  3. Dial all clients on the list and then move to the next list/story.
  4. Stay out of Email and CRM during this 90 minutes so you can focus solely on dialing and telling the story.
  5. Often times, removing chairs from the offices during the blitz made for more passionate calls and messages (and they really want their chairs back so they have incredible focus!).

Here is a sample of a recent situation and the associated results:

  • The sales people spent 90 minutes in each session of focused calling time.
  • They made 4,000 dials, connected 1,000 times with prospects, and left 2,000 voicemails (1,000 bad numbers were also found in the data base – that’s another key issue and topic for a different post!)
  • This team secured 384 first time appointments with clients, significantly outperforming their normal calling efforts!  

The reality is that all turf is good turf. You just have to look at it differently! Remember to start with an inventory of your existing clients, target what they don’t own and then create call scripts that inspire curiosity and build credibility in your target micromarkets.

Have you tried the storytelling approach? Tell us about your results – we’d love to hear from you.

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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