One of ourcompanies had a sales consultant audit their sales team and methodology. Our portfolio company’s market has someinteresting traits: i) the market isgreenfield and almost all homegrown; ii)‘no decision’ is the company’s primary competitor; and iii) the market as it stands is currently small, but largeenterprises are the target customers. The consultant’s recommendations forapproaching the market were as follows:
Focuson one vertical. Target a particular vertical andonly focus on that vertical until you’ve saturated it. Go to every conference in that vertical, getindustry publications for your reps, and make you product as applicable aspossible to the vertical. In our case,tech companies are our initial vertical of focus.
Landa ‘buffalo’ in the vertical. Sign the industry leaders in the vertical,prove the ROI out to them, and then use that buffalo or buffalos as casestudies and references to win the rest of the vertical.
Moveinto other tangential verticals. In our particular case, the firstvertical to target was hardware and software companies. Once we dominate that vertical, the goal willthen be to move into IT Services and Electronics, which are complimentary. As you dominate verticals, the next verticalshould be somewhat related so that when you refer to past successes, newcustomers will be able to relate. Forinstance it makes no sense for us to go from hardware/software companies tofood companies, because food companies may not fully appreciate our pastsuccesses in the hardware/software space.
If your company isa SaaS business with similar characteristics as ours (greenfield market, nodecision is your competitor), then taking a sales approach similar to the abovemay be the way forward.
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