The Importance of Prospect Profiling in Sales Management

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The Importance of Prospect Profiling in Sales Management
Prospecting is the first stage in the personal selling process and is defined as the sellers search for and identification of qualified buyers. Potential prospects come from a variety of sources, including existing customers, personal contacts, directories, computerized databases, trade publications, and trade shows. Prospects may respond to advertising by placing a telephone call or writing for more information. Such responses, called inquires, are often assigned to salespeople for follow-up. A qualified buyer must be reasonably accessible to the seller, able to afford the purchase, and at least willing to consider making it. To define qualified prospects, salespeople or companies
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Ranking criteria will vary from company to company, but typical factors to consider are the size of the orders, the potential of future business, the ease of servicing the account, and the prospect influence in the market place. By applying ranking criteria that are in line with the company goals, salespeople avoid wasting valuable time on unprofitable prospects-and good prospects will not slip through the cracks for luck of attention. Sometimes in Prospect profiling, salespeople engage in Pre-call planning, where the salesperson focuses on learning more about the customer’s situation. Salespeople may visit the prospects place of business to learn more about their needs, to ask about facts or explore the buyer’s present situation; and also deal with problems, difficulties and dissatisfaction the buyer is experiencing, and also ask about the value or usefulness of a proposed solution. After the proper information is gathered the sales representative plans a sales presentation to be delivered at a later date.

MTN Ghana, has used detailed prospect profiling to market its product and services and as a result has taken over several corporate accounts since its business inception in Ghana. MTN used its prospect profiling to determine the problems and inconsistencies its competitors were offering corporate institutions. An example is Nestle Central West Africa (NCWA), where MTN used its prospect profiling to develop a formidable
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