I don’t want to sound really cheeky but are you creating a wish list or are you actually creating a Target Account list because if I think about what it takes to create a Target Account list I am going to guess that about 20% of reps really develop a proper Target Account List. The rest are creating a wishlist of companies that have nice names.
What does a Target Account even mean?
When you target something, you give it special attention. So by default, you go over and above for this specific set of accounts. You typically have some criteria or reasoning behind why you’re identifying an Account as a target. You set up aims or hypotheses and then you develop a plan to qualify or disqualify them.
Call me cynical, but I just don’t believe this level of thinking goes into creating Target Account lists, so they are pretty much a waste of time from the outset. Just another list, but with a special label - wonderful. Let’s change that.
If you want to create a list of Target Accounts and give yourself the probability of closing opportunities with 20% of them - try this instead. I promise you, spend one afternoon doing this and it will give you so much confidence when engaging with these accounts.
- Look at your existing customer base. What types of companies do you sell to the most? What is the profile of those existing customers?
- Buying profile - why did they say yes to you? What is the biggest problem you solved for them? Why now?
- Who signed on the dotted line? Who was the main champion?
- Go find 50 companies that fit that exact profile - you’ll quickly wittle out about 10-15 of them.
- Do the research - internal - What is the state of your organisation's relationship with them at present? External - what’s going on in their business that shows you there’s a potential fit? What is your value proposition for this company? Be SPECIFIC!
- Put this in a doc - it should be about 40 - 50 pages long and also reflected in your CRM in some way (make the bosses happy). 1 page on each prospect.
- Develop your GTM - land and expand? Pilot or lighthouse? standard annual contract? Split up the tasks with your junior sales reps (SDRs/BDRs) - be explicit - hey, here’s a great contact - get me a meeting with him/her based on these key findings.
Let me know how you get on.