Every business will have at least an idea of which companies they’d love to work with – and this is the foundation of a ‘dream’ prospect list. However, there’s more to it than this, which is why it’s so important to carry out a comprehensive review process and use criteria to determine if a prospect company really is a ‘dream’.
With the rise of activity such as account based marketing, dream prospect lists will become increasingly important, so now’s the perfect time to lay the groundwork and separate the dreams from the nightmares.
Establishing the criteria
In order to decide if a company is a dream prospect, you first need to determine the criteria by which they’ll be judged – and this starts with your current customers. Begin by reviewing your existing customer base and look for the organisations that you would have previously considered ‘dreams’. This can be based on the size of their spend with your company, or even their profile level within their industry.
From here, look for their similarities and general demographics. For example, their industry, turnover, staff numbers, even their location. Now, delve deeper and review their buying cycles and decision-maker group size. Did they previously have multiple suppliers? What were the pain points which you addressed that gained their attention? In addition to this, review their financial situation and media coverage around the time of their conversion to a customer. Were they going through a merger? Were they expanding their business into new markets?
Now start dreaming
With your dream prospect criteria in place, you can now start looking for companies you’d love to work with. And more importantly, you can start pre-qualifying them. For example, you’d really like to work with the fleet industry’s biggest supplier of vehicles. However, upon further investigation, you find that they’ve just signed a 3-year contract with one of your competitors and have invested heavily in new vehicles. This means that they are contractually unavailable for 36 months and they will be unlikely to have budget to invest in your business at this precise moment. So, does that mean they are off your dream list? Well, perhaps for the time being. But, you can always add them back in nearer their contract review period. Ultimately, you should look to have a dream list of 5-10 organisations which meet all your criteria.
Now that you have your list, you can start looking to get your brand in front of them and begin building relationships upon which sales can be made.
To find out more about using your dream prospect list for account based marketing activity (ABM), check out our free tipsheet...