Choosing the right target audience may seem obvious, but many companies rush through it because “everyone can use the product” or the focus becomes the equally generic “CEO’s in Financial Services”. However, taking a more detailed approach and doing the research is probably the critical step in a successful sales campaign. We suggest considering the following:
1. Look at your current customers. By seeing which customers bring in the most profit, are easy to work with and are actually using the product, you can see patterns and the key criteria that makes them the right target to narrow your market.
2. Consider who has the need for your product. Examine industry verticals, key positions in the company, number of employees, company culture, geography, etc. Remember that not only should they have a need for your product or service, but also the budget to purchase it.
3. Who are your competitors targeting? Are they missing a market you can take advantage of? This of course begs the next question of who/what is your real competition? What are they doing today to solve the problem your product or service addresses?
4. Research! Find out what current surveys, studies or blogs are saying about your product, service or industry and who is interested in it. Better still, identify a couple of different segments and talk to a handful of prospects in each of those segments. They will tell you if you have anything that is compelling to them. If you can’t get them on the phone, go to segment conferences and events.
5. Be selective. Narrow down your target audience so that you have only those who would benefit today from your product or service. Remember, you can have more than one target audience, but be critical to assess if you have all the necessary resources to win in each.
6. Measure your results. Once you have chosen your target market, track your sales funnel to keep track of your success rate or lack thereof. You might need to make changes to your target audience if you are not getting the results planned.
Your goal is to narrow down your audience so you are addressing only those customers who are interested and have a current need for your product or service. If you cannot easily identify who is NOT your target audience, then go back and get more specific. Once you choose the right audience, you can then choose the right sales strategy to drive revenue from that group. If you want a cost effective and scalable sales process, make sure you are focusing your sales efforts on the right audience.
Author: Steve Litzow, Partner