Maximizing Your Sales Strategy: Targeting Prospects and Solving Customers' Problems with Data-Driven Insights

In a previous article, we touched on four keys to a successful sales strategy including goal setting, a positive mindset, a keen understanding of your product/service and your customers as well as why video content should be the focal point of your sales strategy. These elements were mainly focused on all the work that must be done before you connect with your prospects but introduced us to the first step in making those connections.

We continue the discussion by delving deeper into customer interactions focusing on differentiating and appropriately targeting prospects at different stages in their customer journey and how data-driven insights can help you solve your customers’ problems. We will also explore how you can gain a greater understanding of the value you bring to customers and use this to price your services appropriately.

Focus your pitch on Motivated Customers

It’s important to inquire whether your prospects are interested in getting their pain solved now. This helps to distil the persons who are more likely to make a purchase decision from those who are not so interested yet. Most salespeople get into selling too early in the process which can turn prospects off.

Sales coach, Jarrod Best-Mitchell shared how he uses this strategy on LinkedIn.

When prospects interact with his content, he pitches: “thanks for taking the time to engage with my content on XYZ. Is this something you would be interested in placing focus on in 2023?”

Of course, you should never accept surface answers so if your prospect expresses interest, ask them to quantify their interest level on a scale of 1-10.

Persons who rate their interest at 9 or 10 are who you should focus on converting at that point in time. These prospects are likely closer to deciding on working with you. You should do further research on these prospects to add context to your pitch.

7-8 may still be researching their options and may need some more persuading before they decide to purchase from you. Ratings from 0-6 are perhaps still discovering they need a solution for their business problems and should thus be introduced to any content you have that helps them recognize that they truly have a problem and how you can help them address it.


Create content that Transforms Latent Pain into an Immediate Danger

Out of your total addressable market, only 5% are looking for a product or service to solve their problem right now. The balance of customers is described as being in latent pain and is likely those persons who expressed a 0-6 rating on their level of interest.

What that means is although the problem still exists, the signs and symptoms of it have been reduced so the problem is less apparent and a solution, less urgent.

As an example, old, damaged or weak trees are a hazard to buildings and property due to how easily they can uproot or fall and threaten lives.

Brian Burns shared a story of a community whose members were encouraged to trim and chop the trees on the street that needed maintenance. One week later, the community was hit by a storm that uprooted a tree which fell on someone’s car. By the end of that week, there were so many tree-cutting companies on the street that residents couldn’t find a park.

Transforming latent pain into immediate danger is how you capture a larger share of the remaining 95% of the market. In the story, the storm, subsequently fallen tree and the damaged vehicle made the pain active and real.

As a salesperson, you must figure out what will trigger the remainder of the market to buy so you can convert them into sales. You must be able to show prospects how various triggers can potentially happen to them and describe how they may occur, bringing the intangible future problem into a present issue.


Use Data and Insights to Solve your Business Problems

Datacamp states that data is important for various reasons including:

  • informed decision-making;
  • tracking business processes and system performance to solve emerging issues;
  • measuring business performance against KPIs and goals;
  • understanding & improving business processes to reduce wastage and;
  • understanding customer behaviour.

Jarrod shared in his interview that many organizations regrettably aren’t in the practice of curating business data which leads to an inability to solve major business problems.

He shared the example of a client with an air conditioning company whose initial business model was based solely on personal relationships. While the company did have a CRM system, it failed to follow up with prospects and ultimately wound up with cash management problems.

They were advised to build out that process, focusing on identifying their ideal client based on the types of successful quotations. As a result of this, the company earned $100,000 in additional revenue and $1 million within the next 30 days.

Based on the data, they were able to identify and target clients that matched their ideal customer profile, tailor communication and quotes targeting this persona and increase their sales.

Companies sometimes run into cash management issues because they are losing sales and do not know where or why the sales are being lost. No data means they are unable to accurately identify the specific product or service that is leaking sales revenue or for how long this may have been taking place. Consequently, they cannot develop an effective strategy to address it.

Any attempt to address business issues without a data-driven understanding of the situation is basically shooting in the dark.

Unfortunately, some companies encounter these issues and are still apprehensive about undertaking data discovery exercises due to the cost.

Not knowing anything about your company can cost you the company in the long run.


Understand your Value and Price Appropriately

The best way to get a clear understanding of the value your product or service provides is by mapping out the process involved in its creation. This exercise will aid in visualising just how much work (time, materials, skill, etc) goes into its development and help you quantify a fair price for your trade.

Service providers don’t typically raise their prices as often as needed because they look at their service as intangible. Most also have not done this process mapping work or quantified the value of that time.

It’s important to consider if you can live off your work based on its per unit cost, the time taken to create as well as the number that can be produced.

A good indication that you are undercharging for your product or service is your booking capacity. If you are overbooked, it may mean that people find your offering very affordable and are thus subscribing in droves. Making price adjustments can help you charge a more premium price while producing a sustainable amount of work.

On the other hand, if you are under booked, it could be an indication that your price is too high, that you have insufficient prospects or that you aren’t targeting the right market. A pricing issue can be fixed by adjusting prices downward to an equilibrium, but insufficient prospects imply the need for improvements to your prospecting process.

If people find you too expensive to work with it can also mean you’ve been targeting the wrong market. If this is the case you should brainstorm about who you can create the most value for, who you like working with/or have easy access to, and who can pay you a premium for your product/service. When this is done, identify their pain points to understand how best to service them.

As a rule of thumb, anytime people agree to your price immediately your price may be too low. Everyone seems too afraid of raising their price but in the process are undervaluing themselves.

In conclusion, a successful sales strategy includes setting goals, nurturing a positive mindset, as well as becoming intimately knowledgeable about your product AND customers. With this as your base, create content that shows prospects how you can fix their problems. Note well, in the current digital environment, video content is KING, and as such, this should be the focal point of your sales strategy. While prospecting, aim to identify your prospects’ current level of interest in investing in your business solutions and use their ratings to differentiate between your motivated customers and those in latent pain. Focus your pitch on the former and create content that transforms latent pain into an immediate danger for the latter. Let data inform any business solutions you provide to customers. Ultimately, a major key to success is understanding the value you bring to customers and pricing your products or services appropriately. This may mean raising your price but when done effectively will have a positive effect on your bottom line and the sustainability of your business.


Every year, Jarrod Best-Mitchell and Lyndon Braithwaite produce and host “Sales as a Profession (SaaP)” the only Caribbean Sales Conference focused on driving sales. The conference features top local sales performers who provide practical examples of what they are doing to improve their sales.

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