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How Do You Know Your Solution's Target Market?


It’s almost 2013 and innovation has sky rocketed to an all time high.  Think of all the technology companies that exist now, solely because of the existence of the “Cloud”.  The number of B2B technology companies that have been created just from that one phenomenon is mind blowing.  But with so much freshness and unfamiliarity within the marketplace comes a very common issue:  “We have this awesome new product, but we’re not really sure which industry or which executives to target.” Target Markets, Cold Calling, 9 18 Ricca

So what are you going to do?

If the company is relatively new or just has no name recognition - something must be done quickly to gain some valuable insight to your potential market.  What good is your marketing budget if all you have to show for it are a few curious attendees on a webinar that your Sales people can’t even follow up with?

Sure, you can go to any of the marketing list vendors out there to start some targeted campaigns, but how are you going to have them segment your list when they ask what industries and what job titles to include?  (Cue the chorus of crickets)

Here are two pieces of advice that might help get you on the right track:

  1. Determine if your solution has any requirement?  What I mean by that is, does the potential company need a certain ERP or CRM, or do you plug-in or add-on to a particular type of technology or product.  You might need them to be an IBM shop or a user.  Also, identify your competition and see who their current customers are. If this is the case, there are list vendors, such as Netprospex and Insideview, that can segment a list at the company level and break it down by ‘Technology installed’, ‘Competitors in use’, and ‘Complimentary Technology used’.  This is a great first step to begin a targeted campaign to generate sales pipeline.
  2. Organize and implement a cold call campaign that lasts at least 3 months and segment the data by industry, company size, and job titles. There’s no better way to get immediate feedback than getting on the phones and talking directly with prospects and your potential buyers.  The intelligence gathered is critical to your success; you’ll begin to discover trends and reoccurring competitor names.  You’ll soon discover what industries you’re gaining traction with, whether it be Higher Ed, Retail, Financial, etc, so you can make an informed decision on the best markets to target.  If they already have something in place that adequately handles what your solution does then note when the contract expires and when they’ll look to reevaluate.  Even if they’re not interested right now they can still provide crucial feedback to help drive your marketing and sales onward.     

If you’ve been in this position before, what are some of the strategies you’ve implemented to discover your ideal target market?




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