Benefits of Vertical Selling over Horizontal Selling

Are you a Newbie just delving into your Sales Career?
Are you a Sales Manager looking for assigning a territory to a newbie in your team?

Are you a Newbie startup looking to start with Selling your Product or Solution?

If answer to any of these questions is "Yes", 
Then you should focus on Vertical Selling instead of Horizontal Selling!

Surprised? In this post, I would tell you why is that so!

Vertical Sales is selling to a certain specific Vertical which can be any one of the many sectors like Banking Sector, Automobile Sector, FMCG sector, Pharma Sector, etc.

Unlike Horizontal selling where you sell to clients from every sector be it Pharma or a Banking sector client, the Key here is to sell to a specific vertical during your initial days of selling until you get traction.

There are many reasons as to why you should consider this instead of selling horizontally which might give you access to a broader and bigger market. Some of these reasons are:

1. You must select a Niche

This is one of the basic principle for an Entrepreneur just starting up. The reason is if you don't select a niche for your business, you would end up creating a too generalized or commoditised product which is useful for none of your end users. But never overwork on your niche selection, otherwise it would become difficult to find new customers if your niche is a very small market.

2. It helps your Marketing & Sales Enablement team to focus

If you are catering to a specific vertical, your marketing team would become more productive, since they can now focus on a single vertical and prepare all their sales enablement materials like marketing collateral, marketing documents, marketing messages targeted towards a particular category of audience. While in the case of Horizontal approach, they would have wasted their time preparing multiple marketing messages for different category of clients for selling the same product or solution. 

Now that you would focus on a single vertical, you would channelize all your marketing efforts as well as marketing budget towards this single vertical which would improve the RoI of Sales Enablement.

3. It helps your Sales Team achieve their Quota faster

If a newbie sales person or a member of a new sales team is assigned a specific sector, then he would be able to close deals faster. This is because, in order to become a deal closer the salesperson should act as a consultant or a helper to the prospect. This is possible when the Salesperson acts as a subject matter expert in his field of operation. Limiting a Vertical assigned to him enables him to focus on one and become expert in that. This helps him close more deals and achieve quotas faster. Otherwise in case of horizontal approach, he would have spread his domain expertise across many verticals thus pulling him away from becoming an expert in a particular vertical. This would impact his ability to close deals in the long run.

Remember the saying, 
Jack of all trades. Master of none.

Being Jack of all trades is not going to help newbie sales team members. But becoming an expert in a particular sector will help them a long way in their careers.

A Word of Caution:

While going vertical, you should keep in mind to never over do that. Additionally, this approach is applicable when your startup is new in the market. Once the cash inflow starts, you can move on to fish in the bigger ponds but yes, every sales person should have his own unique vertical in which he holds an expertise. At this point of time, your startup will go horizontal but division of territory among your sales team members should be vertical. 

For. e.g. Your startup can move on to Banking sector clients after having served Pharma sector clients. But your Sales team members should have their unique vertical assigned to each one of them. Dedicated team members for Banking sector and Dedicated team members for Pharma sector.

I hope this post helps you grow faster in your business. Do let me know your thoughts on this...
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