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Where Should a Business Focus Sales Efforts to Get the Best Results?

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Companies, both large and small, can get caught struggling with this question. However, small businesses struggle with this question more, because for them resources are typically more limited. When he or she is a business owner who wears a variety of hats at any given moment, from sales and marketing to finance and operations, the answer to this question can actually make or break a ''salespreneur.'' ''Salespreneur'' is a term used to describe the following:

  • solopreneurs
  • entrepreneurs
  • companies with fewer than 12 sales reps
  • independent sales reps
  • outside sales reps who manage their own territories
So if you are a salespreneur, where should you focus your efforts? On that one big fish that could feed your company for the next five years? On 10 new clients, so as to develop a more diverse customer base? Should you focus your efforts by going after a more profitable market? The options are endless.

The answer is that you should focus on where there is the most opportunity. Although this is an obvious answer, defining your ideal opportunities is the key to identifying "real" opportunities. Real opportunities are not simply companies that have a lot of volume or markets that you feel are more profitable, etc.

Before determining where to focus your sales efforts, you should first define your ideal client and list other criteria that might help to identify your best opportunities or targets. Here are some examples to help generate ideas for your business:
  • Who is your ideal customer?
  • What additional products or services does/do your current customer/customers need that you can provide?
  • Is your prospect attainable within your normal sales cycle or sooner?
  • Have you sold products or services to the prospect before?
  • Would the potential customer be profitable for you?
  • Do you have any relationships that can be leveraged to get the customer?
  • Does your product or service fit the need of your target market or customer?
These questions may or may not be appropriate for your business; the objective is to pick those key items and then align them with your list of customers (existing and new). The easiest place to generate sales is from your existing customer base; however, in order to grow to meet your goals, it is necessary to continually bring in new customers. By going through this process, you are strategically aligning yourself with the best opportunities.

Conducting a SWOT analysis for each of these opportunities will help you to develop a clear plan to acquire your target customers. VantaEDGETM has a unique SWOT form that walks you through the process. This is a free tool available to anyone who visits the website. Just keep in mind that when you have identified the best opportunities, you can focus your sales efforts to maximize your results.

About the Author

Henry Pellerin is the president and founder of VantaEDGETM Inc. and co-author of The Strategic Selling Process. VantaEDGETM Inc. provides customized sales training, consultation, and facilitation services. Henry personally has had more than 17 years of experience in sales, sales management, and business development, and he shares his expertise with clients to help them receive the same results he has attained year after year.

You may want to sign up for the VantaEDGETM monthly sales tips newsletter, VantaEDGE Monthly, from which you'll receive valuable selling tips each month along with the special report "Avoid the Top 10 Selling Mistakes That Lose Sales." To do so, visit Henry can be reached at 864-254-9300 or via email at
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