Why Profiling In Sales Works

This topic is worth revisiting. While “profiling” typically carries a negative overtone in contexts such as police activity and airport security, Merriam-Webster spells out that in sales, profiling is not only acceptable but central to achieving success. The dictionary defines profiling in sales as “The act or process of targeting a person (or organization) based on known traits, tendencies, characteristics, or behaviors,” highlighting its importance in effective sales strategies.

A thriving sales organization systematically targets customers by delving into their identities, aspirations, industry-wide obstacles hindering their progress, and purchase motivations. By understanding these “traits, tendencies, characteristics, or behaviors,” companies can effectively position their products or services within the marketplace, fostering a sustainable business model.  

It bears repeating – in a business setting, general targeting may work for marketing, but on the streets, sales reps need specific criteria to win. And be aware, it’s one thing to look at your audience from a high level, and quite another to evaluate ideal buyers at the granular level.  

Who are your reps prospecting? Are they using a haphazard approach within an organizational chart or do they have a wisely designed plan? Additional considerations: 

  • Is the team profiling the roles of those who truly are the decision makers or who will sway the buying decision?   
  • Are the reps attuned to how the influential roles might be evolving in the current marketplace?  
  • Do they know what obstacles these influencers may be facing, their overall objectives, and how to directly associate the unique aspects of their product or service with the specific roles?  

While the profiles of decision-makers may vary only slightly, a representative’s thorough understanding of these individuals, meticulously profiled, can significantly impact their success. 

We understand effective sales profiling can be complex which is why we offer Sales Process Definition Workshops. In our workshops we draw upon our research, joint industry experience and our knowledge to collaborate with clients to sharpen their profile aptitude. Here are our steps: 

  1. Working together, outline the profiles of the essential decision-makers and influences necessary to facilitate a sale.  
  2. Delineate the objectives, needs, issues and challenges of both decision-makers and those holding buying influence roles.  
  3. Help clients carefully determine how specific components of their products and services align with their particular targeted audience profile.  
  4. Build a customized strategy for reps to use when preparing for a conversation with the target audience. 

With clear targets, you can decrease the cost per sale. How? Profiling strategies accelerate the sales process by equipping representatives with the tools to deliver a targeted and consistent message. This facilitates quicker qualification of prospects, shortens the sales cycle, reduces setbacks, and enables representatives to efficiently close more deals. Strengths have been leveraged effectively, leading to optimized performance across the sales pipeline.