19 Steps to Building Your Ultimate Prospect Profile Template
I’m sure everyone is familiar with the mantra “when you try to sell to everyone you end up selling to no one“. Well although this is easy to say it can be difficult to do.
For some time now marketing departments have been creating personas to target everything from web visitors/users to sales prospects and they are great. Our concern though was that all too often
1. The personas were never shared with sales and if they were, sales never knew how to use them to sell more and…
2. From a sales perspective there was often information missing that could be used to make the sales persons job easier.
So we created our own template which you can have and use for free. Skip to the bottom of this article if you just want the template but, read on if you want to know how to use it (recommended).
1. Give your prospect profile a name. This is important because in most cases you will require multiple prospect profiles and naming them helps you and your team identify each one quickly and easily. For example you may have one prospect profile for each vertical market you deal with.
2. Know and understand your prospects personality profile. In B2B sales people buy from people so the more you know and understand your prospect the better your chance of a) building a relationship and b) making a sale. For example do they like and need lots of information before making a decision or do they respond better to bullet points?
3. Your best prospects will have common characteristics which will help you a)find them and b)relate to them when you make first contact. We helped one legal firm focusing on Wills & Estates by sponsoring a local Bowling club. (Lawn Green not Ten Pin).
4. “Triggers” are the compelling events that motivate your prospect into taking action. An example here is where a Board of Directors may have questioned or challenged a particular issue at a board meeting which then spurs the CEO into action.
5. Dreams & Aspirations are simply the “end game” that the prospect profile is seeking. These are bigger than goals and harder to get details on.
6. Goals & Desires are the business and personal outcomes the prospect is seeking and tend to be short term and operational in their focus. These are often the project deliverables.
7. Objection Handling. Most prospects have some objections and usually that is a positive thing because they are simply requests for more information or clarification. The sales team need to know these and more importantly know how to handle these objections off by heart.
8. Sales Roleplay. Most companies spend hundreds of thousands of pounds/dollars getting sales people in front of prospects. It is therefore a necessity that when the sales person is in front of the prospect that they maximise each and every opportunity. In order to do this we need to practice, practice and practice some more. If you don’t do this it’s like turning up at the Olympics and expecting to compete with the other trained athletes. If you’re sales people have already undergone training then great, however, like the Olympics you won’t win if you haven’t trained for the last six weeks, six months or six years. Winners train hard and consistently.
9. Disqualification. Rather than trying to qualify your prospects change your mindset and use this information to try and disqualify them. This helps remove the natural confirmation bias every sales person has. Sales people want to sell so by nature they will try to “qualify” everything. Especially if they have a weak pipeline.
10. Brand Alignment. This refers to both the organisation brand and the personal branding of the sales people. When you position yourself in the same way as your prospects you are subconsciously saying that you have things in common which helps build relationships first.
11. Networking. In many cases people get frustrated as they attend networking events and leave with nothing. It may well be that they are simply the wrong events and the prospects that you are looking for never attend these types of events. Use the profile to target the right events.
12. Thought Leadership is important because sales people need to stay up to date with their industry and their peers. Knowing what your prospects read and who they follow all contribute to a more interesting, engaging and value driven conversation.
13. Conferences, Industry Expos & Trade bodies can be expensive to attend or join however they are great places to meet and have face to face conversations with prospects. If budgets are limited you can attend as a visitor and simply network your way around the event and in the hotel afterwards.
14. Positioning is important as this portrays a message about who you and your organisation are. Done well this helps small brands compete with the big boys and makes selling much simpler as the prospect is part or fully presold before the sales person arrives. An absolute must read for everyone in sales is Positioning – The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries and Jack Trout.
15. Content Sharing is great because it’s free other than the time it takes to share the material. There are lots of digital tools out there that will do the hard work for you and this is great for keeping your name and brand in front of your target audience as an example on Linkedin. The best example of this is Russell Dalgleish who constantly shares interesting posts on Linkedin.
16. Warm Fuzzy is a practice taken from the great psychiatrist Claude Steiner and in sales this simply means sending the prospect or client something that makes them feel “warm & happy“. Needless to say this is about building and maintaining human relationships.
17. Lead Nurturing is simply maintaining contact with the prospect after an initial inquiry before they are ready to buy. This is best done by providing value and insight to the prospect all the time positioning your organisation and solution as the go-to provider. Speak to Scot McRae @ McRae & Co – he is brilliant at this.
18. Root cause analysis is a technique in Consultative Selling that helps the prospect uncover for themselves the underlying cause and impacts of their problems. Combined with Socractic questioning this is an extremely powerful tool.
19. Sales Messaging is simply what we say when we have first contact with our prospect. This could be on social media, networking, trade shows, events, telephone, email or even in an elevator. Your sales message differentiates you, positions you and draws the prospect in to simply say “tell me more”.
That’s it – 19 steps on how to build the ultimate prospect profile. The reality is if you don’t know what you are looking for and you simply won’t know when you have found it. Taking time out to do this will save you lots of time and money in the future and more importantly it will help stop your sales people chasing ghosts – poor prospects that will never buy but take up a lot of your time and energy.
This is just one of the templates we use in our Sales Enablement system. For a free copy of the editable template in MS PowerPoint please simply type YES below in the comments and we will get this sent over to you.
PS: Please like and share this post to help others in your network.