To find the best target audience that will convert is not an easy nut to crack. We wrote this article while having in mind companies selling their products and services when reaching out to other companies. The content is written for B2B scenarios but you can use it in a B2C environment as well.
We’ll cover the main questions being asked when finding the best target audience for your business.
Who are my existing customers?
If you are already in business with a database of existing customers you are in luck. With high number of customers you can identify dominant characteristics of those customers. Rule #1 – Don’t change what works. Use those characteristics and find more leads in that segment. If your sales strategy is already working than continue with the same pace while exploring other territories and strategies.
If you don’t have customers yet, then you are facing the first challenge of finding some. Always try to pick two or three industries you think your product would fit in. But try to focus only on one first when doing outreach (unless your market is too small).
If just starting try to focus on the following characteristics of the companies you are after:
- size (employees),
- Headquarters (geo)
As you grow you can expand those characteristics and add data points such as:
- and another data point relevant to your business
In which industry can I find my target audience?
Obviously, you might have a very niche product or service that fits only particular markets and industries. Nevertheless, this is not always very clear to all stakeholders, so it’s important to communicate that in a proper manner. It’s important to understand where to find the target audience.
On the other hand, some products can be sold to a wide range of customer profiles. In such case focus to industries, you know well and for which you can build a very clear value proposition. If you still have many industries on your list, pick just one or two. Especially if you are in the early stage of your sales.
While focusing on only specific industries, you will learn how to perfect your sales pitch over time. You’ll find out what works and how to present a story to a customer. You will learn how to communicate with those prospects and most importantly, you will learn where to find your target audience. Basic example; If you are selling hairstyle services you might find it useful to attend hairstyling fairs and events.
Examples of industries (following the LinkedIn classification):
- Computer Software
- Information Technology and Services
- Renewables & Environment
- Electrical/Electronic Manufacturing
- International Trade and Development
- Food Production
- Education Management
- Leisure, Travel & Tourism
On which geographical territory will we find target audience?
Finding a target audience on the geographical territory is less and less relevant with recent remote work development but it still matters. Especially for local businesses. It matters for several reasons. When you need to sell face to face it’s simply easier to sell to people coming from the same geographical area. They speak the same language, sometimes with the same accent. In some markets, these things matter a lot. So if you have a product that needs to be sold in those areas, make sure you pick the right sales reps. Your teams will be able to use that as an advantage.
Depending on your industry it is important to make sure that the market size is “big enough”. What does that mean? Well, try to pick multiple countries so you don’t run out of leads in a few months. That goes especially for smaller European countries, but not so much for the US market.
So for example you can focus on:
- Single country (United States, Germany, Australia)
- Regions (DACH, EMEA, …)
- Continents (Asia, North America, Europe, South America, Africa, Oceania, Antarctica)
As you grow you can expand. But at the beginning control your appetite and focus only on regions that are more fit to your type of business (considering the product, industry, language and market size).
What is the size of the companies our product and/or service fits best?
If you already have a customer base, then investigate what is the size of the companies where your product is the most successful. Check also where are you making a decent amount of upselling. Even if you just started with sales, then pick at least one or two categories of company size e.g. 11-50 Employees and 51-200.
Examples of employee company sizes (following the LinkedIn classification):
- 11-50 employees
- 51-200 employees
- 201-500 employees
- 501-1000 employees
- 1001-5000 employees
- 5001-10,000 employees
- 10,001+ employees
We know the companies target, who are the roles we are after?
If you already have a clear definition of how to find the best target audience, then you should do a similar classification for people and roles you are selling to. Sometimes B2B sales can be more complicated. You might need to go through several levels between departments before pitching to decision-maker and person with the credit card. It’s important to keep exploring what is the optimum way of closing the deals.
Now imagine you would have to go through the same process for all of the varies of industries and company sizes and markets. You would never be able to identify what really works for your case and what to focus on. You would be getting small pieces of the puzzle over time while your competitors will focus on the right markets and be closing the deals before you. How frustrating would that be?
Let’s say you have a sharp focus and you know what your targeted market is.
Let’s say we are focusing on companies in the;
- US market,
- on Computer Software and Information Technology and Services industry
- with 50-200 and 201-500 employees.
You are selling a SaaS tool that helps to optimize the processes in operations and saves tons of time and money. Smaller companies might be a better fit at the beginning since they have shorter sales cycles. With those, you are also able to get to the decision-makers directly.
In this case, your targeted decision maker and role in the company would be;
- Operations director or
- Chief operation officer or
- Head of operations …
The last focus for you would be to build a list of prospects you need to outreach to via various channels. One of the most effective digital channels is of course LinkedIn. And as LinkedIn messaging becomes very polluted with more and more sales people, it might need to be reinforced with a combination of email messaging, LinkedIn messaging and cold calls. Make sure your KPIs are in place in order to optimize that channel as well.
Finding the best target audience and building a list of prospects can be a frustrating task and more and more companies are outsourcing these tasks. It’s never recommendable to outsource it unless you have a chance to work with the good lead management team. They need to be properly onboarded with all information that supports your ways of sealing.
Sometimes you can’t afford the outsourcing so it’s better to do it yourself. In such case you can use a various tools that will make your life easier.
To generate a huge amount of leads in a short time you can try our first product – Prospect Role Chrome extension. It’s the fastest way of generating the largest list of role-based leads from a specific country with (or without) emails and LinkedIn URL profiles.
Know your market (focus on one or two regions or countries, focus on just some industries and company sizes with employees. After knowing your targeted companies, define the personas/roles that are decision-makers in the companies where you plant o close the deals. Once you have them, use the tools that will help you to find the best target audience, generate the list leads you can then send to your sales reps or marketers to nurture them in the sales pipelines and cold email campaigns. With the proper approach and strategy (and tons of tries and failure) you’ll become a closing deal expert in no time. Good luck.
This article is part of collection of answers about how to run cold email campaign.