The Comprehensive Guide to TAM Prioritization

1 Jan
6min read

You have identified and centralized your Total Addressable Market.

Now, it's time to take action.

Sales reps often find themselves in a conundrum: where to focus their time and energy for maximum impact.

According to Chet Holmes, only 3% of any market actively seeks solutions, while 40% might consider switching solutions.

So, how do you navigate and identify who to target in the 97% who aren't actively shopping?

Unsurprisingly, prioritizing opportunities is one of the most time-consuming tasks for sales reps, according to the Salesforce State of Sales study (Must read!)

Here are three proven strategies to segment your Total Addressable Market effectively:

  1. Industry Verticals: Focus on sectors with high win rates.

  1. Intent Scores: Leverage B2B signals or intent indicators.

  1. Scoring Models: Utilize ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) and behavioral criteria **to detect which accounts/leads should be engaged

Let's jump in.

1. Industry-Based Targeting: The Classic Yet Effective Approach#

The industry-based prioritization strategy is simple and effective.

The strategy:

To start, perform a win/loss analysis to pinpoint the most promising industries where your closing rate or sales velocity is above average.

The main advantage of this approach is the ability to align sales & marketing to craft a coherent end-to-end journey.

Secondly, as you choose whom to target, you can personalize your approach according to the company size, industry, and use case, ensuring resonance and relevancy.

The icing on the cake?

Prospect journeys with a mix of Marketing and sales touchpoints have a higher chance to be signed and a shorter sales cycle, as well as fewer sales touchpoints needed before converting into opportunity. More concretely, from my experience, I noticed that (analysis made on 700 accounts outreached over one year):

  • Full sales journey type has the lowest win rate at 23%, while mixed initiated with marketing has the highest win rate as 39%.

  • On average, Mixed initiated with Marketing prospects take 13 days less to win than full sales one

  • Number of sales touchpoint needed before opportunity creation for full sales prospect type is 7, half of what needed for mixed initiated with marketing prospect type one which is 3.

Last but not least? this strategy is repeatable: You can scale it to all top-performing industries and segments.

How to identify the right industry?

Two steps:

  • Win/Loss Analysis: In your CRM, generate a report covering the last 6-12 months’ opportunities and categorize them by deal status (closed-lost, closed-won, etc.). You will distribute that information by industry (see below)

  • Market Depth Assessment: Evaluate the market depth of each industry in relation to your CRM records to gauge the opportunity size.

⇒ By understanding this information, you can direct your attention toward segments performing well and having a significant volume to target them legitimately.

How to target your chosen industry?

Here are the main steps to follow for a typical cohesive “all-bound” journey mixing sales & marketing touchpoints:

  • Audience: Identify the accounts you want to address in your TAM (or PRM).

  • Pre-targeting: Run ads to this set of accounts before reaching out to them. It will boost open rates, response rates, and overall outbound performances.

    ==> Awareness: Target multiple stakeholders within an account with social ads to promote valuable resources such as ebooks, videos, webinars, or collective demos (with a lead gen form). Pro tip: Use LinkedIn Matched Audience for this

    ==> Consideration: Create retargeting campaigns to move your leads toward the bottom of the sales funnel.

LinkedIn allows you to retarget leads who interacted with your awareness campaign using different options based on content format or sources.

  • Sales outreach: Qualify the account with a bottom-up strategy and secure internal referrals to decision-makers.

  • Nurturing (optional): Nurture campaign work leads until they're ready to buy. SalesLoft AEs have closed 30% of accounts using this strategy. The most effective combines timely sales follow-ups with industry-specific content (see below)

2. Intent-Based Strategies: The Power of B2B Signals#

👉 An intent or buying signal is an event we identified as a good momentum to contact a company.

The Strategy:

Think of it like an automated engine that empowers sales reps with qualified leads that convert the best.

During my time at Spendesk, the timing was among the top lost reasons in our CRM. If you can calibrate the right timing to reach an account, you start with an unfair advantage and a better chance to convert your prospect.

Intents allow you to contact companies with a targeted message at the most opportune time, leading to higher reply and conversion rates. Typically, we noticed 3X more conversions on an account with intents vs. the average.

it’s also a way to personalize your copy at scale based on the specific momentum. You can also anticipate company challenges more easily. For instance, say a company is fundraising; you know it involves structuring the company, hiring new people, and implementing processes to support company growth.

Common Buying Signals

Free gift: Intent Matrix

Account signals:

  • Fundraising activities

  • Employee growth

  • Job offer listening

  • Tech stack changes

  • Web traffic spikes

  • Website visitor

  • Common VCs

Contact signals:

  • New hires

  • Champions

  • Behavioral triggers from your first-party data (saw pricing page, downloaded content, attended webinars)

Bref, you got the idea!

This involves creating a dedicated sequence per intent (or at least sequence snippets) that your sales reps can use to scale their outreach effort.

See below an example we've used on the champion's intent.

Something worth mentioning is that intents not only populate new leads into your CRM but also reactivate closed-lost accounts in a relevant way.

How to find signals worth tracking?

  1. JTBD / Qualification framework: Either you conduct Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD) interviews to understand the precise context of the purchase triggers of your prospects. Or, you could listen to your sales reps' qualification call recordings to understand the prospect's mindset when purchasing + analyze close-won customers.

  2. Do tests that don't scale: Kickstart the project with some ad-hoc scrapping for B2B signals. Once you validate the assumptions, then you can scale it.

  3. Custom Object: Once you're ready to scale, creating a custom object to store those pieces of information in your CRM is a great attribution strategy

How to use it to build pipeline:

  1. Audience: New hire - Extract Linkedin or segment your audience in your B2B data providers or PRM (no scale so far)

  2. CRM update: Upsert the data in your CRM/ You can scale personalization with the variable related to the momentum. In that case, it would be the {{previous_companyName}} and {{new_companyName)}}.

  3. Lead Assignment: Assign to the specific sales squad for this intent experiment.

  4. Routing: Route to the specific sequences

  5. Scale: Once everyone shows the uplift, you won't have problems asking for time to make it systematic.

3. Scoring-Based Strategies: The Science of Sales#

The Strategy

Have you ever heard of MQL or PQL?

These are methods to assess a lead's maturity level, whether from a marketing, or product perspective.

Ultimately, you want to know how likely the lead is to become a customer and allocate sales efforts accordingly.

Often, it can be traced back to a scoring model.

The main advantage is its flexibility: You can evaluate how closely a lead or account aligns with your ideal customer profile or measure product activity that correlates with growth.

Basically, combining the two previous logic: weigh specific industry or B2B signals as part of your scoring model.

Here, I left you a freebie for reading this far

💡 Scoring Template

It is best practice to have two separate scores: one for fit based on Ideal Customer Profile attributes and another for likelihood to buy based on behavioral data.

Sometimes, product-led sales companies use a scoring model for each playbook in the flywheel model framework instead of a global fit or PQL score.

Hint: Whether it's about mastering your scoring model or streamlining your lead routing process, Cargo is there to lend a hand.

Decoding the Score

Ultimately, score ranges are labeled to be easily understood by end users, as just a number won’t be meaningful for sales or marketing folks.

How to execute your scoring framework

  1. Define Criteria: Establish what constitutes a high fit or high intent score.

  2. Scoring Model: Implement the scoring model in your orchestration tool

  3. Labeling: Use easily understandable labels for score ranges.

Prioritizing your TAM doesn't have to be a daunting task. Start simple with one of the frameworks above.

And once you're comfortable and begin to be nostalgic of the future, mix it up. Observe the illustration below. This was how I did it at Spendesk.

In such a way, you employ a mix of industry-based, intent-based, and scoring-based strategies, to confidently navigate the complex landscape of sales opportunities and drastically improve your outbound performances.

For the next article in this series, we will talk about how to nail outbound outreach.

Read the EPISODE 3 on how to nail outbound outreach

MaxMaxJan 1, 2024

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