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Report Elements

Each report contains standard “ingredients” -- though precisely the same ingredients and metrics are sometimes difficult to obtain about every industry. For example, some larger industries are thoroughly examined by several industry resources (trade publications, membership organizations, and private research groups), and a plethora of useful data is available. The data gathered about the retail grocery or furniture industries, for example, may include in-depth information about market share by type of retailer, but the same share of market breakdown may not be available with regard to the office supplies industry or the home health care industry.

What we do is called “secondary research” -- which is the gathering of facts and statistics that already exist from one or a number of sources. We rely on what is available from these sources and we cite these sources as the originator of the data, so we are limited in what we can include by what is available through industry resources. This is not to say that reports are not full and robust and reliable and valuable. It is only to say that one report may differ from another in the specific data that is included.

Standard report elements are listed below, applicable to both our 3-page Quick-Learn Reports and our 1-page Industry Snapshots.


Standard Report Elements

Industry Overview
Key industry information is presented in the introductory Industry Overview section, including size of the industry, key segments, and other "lay of the land" data. Reviewing this section provides an understanding of the composition of the industry and the terminology used by participants and analysts and allows readers to "walk the walk and talk the talk" of the industries in which they are interested. 

Issues and Trends
The Issue and Trend section includes data on industry revenue, trends and forecasts, segment data,* growth drivers or reasons for declines, opportunities and obstacles to growth, and commonly-used marketing tools and techniques. Armed with insight about the industries into which they sell, sales reps and managers are better able to make compelling presentations and are more likely to be viewed as consultants or peers than they are as mere "order takers." Likewise, readers who are considering entering an industry find that decisions are easier to make once they have information from inside the industry about the state of the industry.

Value of Products and Services
Where average customer value and profit margin data is available from industry sources, it is included in the Value of Products and Services section. Where that data is unavailable, a sampling of the most commonly-offered products and services in the industry (and their associated costs) is provided to help sales reps make "return on investment" and "values and benefits" sales calls.

 

Critical Success Factors
The factors that are most crucial in the formula for success are provided in the Critical Success Factors section to identify the tools to that make successful companies successful. This information is helpful to sales reps who sell into the industries profiled, as it allows them to be more consultative in their sales presentations. Additionally, sales representatives can better illustrate how their products and services might help ensure their customers' success. Learning about success factors also provides inspiration and motivation to businesses currently operating in the industry by illustrating key characteristics that can help them succeed in the industry.

Source Data
To compile its reports, Profile America conducts secondary research, gathering information from a variety of sources -- including industry associations, trade publications and newspapers, and governmental agencies. In addition, our reports include anecdotal information and other observations collected during telephone interviews that Profile America conducts among industry participants.

* When applicable and when available.

“I used Quick-Learn Reports when I was in sales at Ameritech, and now I head up training for a direct marketing consultancy. The reports are instrumental in getting new sales reps up-to-speed on the dynamics of the businesses they’re designing programs for. Our customer-satisfaction surveys have revealed that customers are impressed with the professionalism of our reps and their recommendations for direct marketing campaigns. And our employee-satisfaction surveys show that reps appreciate these sales tools and use them to prepare for meetings with prospects – as well as to help create proposals.”

Vice President of Training and Development, direct marketing consulting firm

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