Improve sales through a strong understanding of customer markets


Many people, whether they are growing their business or their sales pipeline, face an uphill battle to build momentum to quickly create real opportunities where the products and services offered deliver real value to the customer.

Most of us commence this process by identifying opportunities from a targeted customer base and then meeting with them several times to understand their needs.  But it is often only the high performers that take the time and energy to understand the markets in which their customers operate.

So why is this important?

Understanding the Customer's market will help you anticipate where the next opportunities lie, thereby avoiding the costly resources required to target areas that will generate little opportunity.

For clarity, a Market can be seen as a group of businesses that have something in common such as their activities (e.g. tourism, dairy farming, mining, etc), the location of the businesses or the size of the businesses.  In fact, a Market could potentially be defined as a combination of several of these elements.

So, what information regarding a particular Market will impact on your Cadence (Operating Rhythm)?

Whilst is preferable to know as much as you can about a particular Market, we find that the high performers will consistently understand:

  • Changes to Regulations in that impact the market

  • Changes to the key players in the market

  • Growth or decline measures of the market

  • Innovation and technology impacting the market

  • Current trends in the market

  • Political and economic issues impacting the market

The high performers invest time reading appropriate newspapers, journals, newsletters as well generally observing changes in the market.  They also take the opportunity to include these issues in their discussions with customers, prospects, suppliers and their networks.

With the new financial year kicking off, take a moment to consider the markets of your Customers and how much you understand these Markets and then where you can improve that understanding.

Investing the time and energy will certainly payoff in the long term.

Tips from John Buchanan, Beyond 19, Coaching Practicing Lead:

  • Know your customer's market better than anyone else through observation, conversation, data and the trends - this is part of your overall Game Plan to be a market leader

  • Convert these insights from your game plan into daily set plays, that is the actions and behaviours that you must execute to give yourself the best chance of success

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