While you’re reading this one of your competitors is working on a sales opportunity in your target market that you don’t even know exists.
Every year you lose large deals that you could have won. Either because you didn’t find out about them until they were over or because you got into the deal too late and you were just there to make up the numbers.
How many times has one of your sales team called a company that’s a perfect fit for your solution only to be told “we just signed a contract last week” or “we’re too far into evaluation to include another vendor”? How often have you received an RFP or tender that was obviously written for (or by) another vendor?
How much time, effort and money have you spent chasing deals you were destined to lose because you got in too late?
These things happen because, if you’re like most companies, you aren’t covering your entire target market effectively. There are probably large chunks of it you aren’t covering at all.
Virtually every B2B sales company has a massive Sales Coverage Gap. Based on our research and on industry statistics up to 80% of prospects are never contacted. That’s because sales people only have the bandwidth to cover around 20% of the companies that are theoretically in their territories.
They rely on luck, timing and digital marketing to fill the gaps – and it isn’t working.
Certainly digital marketing is important. But there’s no way it can completely close the sales coverage gap by itself because;
- Everyone is doing it
- Your message is competing with hundreds of other messages from everyone who is targeting the same people – not just your direct competitors
- Many senior executives don’t respond to digital marketing
- Once someone is researching a solution they are already well into the buyer’s journey
So yes, digital marketing is critical to sales success. But there are a lot of people in your market that you won’t reach that way, for a wide variety of reasons.
In particular, if you want to speak with C level executives in your ideal customers about how you can help them solve their business problems you need to go to them, not hope they will come to you.
And your sales reps aren’t doing that in all their accounts – sometimes because they don’t know how, more often because they have more accounts than they can effectively cover.
This Sales Coverage Gap means that right now there are people who desperately need your help but they don’t know you can help them. Some of them may not even know you exist.
Others will have formed an opinion about you that’s out of date or just plain wrong. If you’re small and not very well known prospects won’t know how you can help – and won’t have time to look. If you’re big and well known prospects will jump to conclusions based on who knows what and these will often be to your detriment.
It’s possible – in fact fairly easy – to close this Sales Coverage Gap and cover your entire target market much more effectively with the same resources with the right help. By communicating directly with more executives in your target companies, you can generate more leads with trusted relationships in place, become involved earlier in the buying process, win more deals – and close the loop between digital and more traditional marketing.