Your boss says “We need Leads!”. You reactively say “What’s my budget?”. How much of your budget will be lost on guesses and how much will result in qualified leads? Why does your boss want more leads; what’s wrong with the ones he has?

After reading this post you should have a roadmap as to how to identify your target customer to generate more leads and sales.

Assumptions:

  • You have already sold your service or product to a few customers.
  • You are looking for warm leads. Leads that have raised their hands.

Goals of Identifying your Target Customer

  • Focus Marketing efforts
  • Find Marketing efficiencies
  • Sell more widgets
  • Increase revenues
  • Improve profits

Your Roadmap to Finding Your Target Customer

Step 1: Analyze What You Offer

Make a list of the features and benefit for each service or product you sell. Yes, this is rudimentary step, but so many business owners take it all for granted that their employees and customers know these. A simple table will do!

Step 2: Analyze Past Customers

Take a few moments and pull a list of who you have sold your items to. Work in a spreadsheet program and create a tab called “Past Customers”. Add columns for demographics of the company and the contact who ultimately made the purchasing decision. Some key demographics to consider are:

  • Company demographics: size, yearly revenue, location, industry
  • Contact demographics: job title, department, management level

Step 3: Analyze Past Product or Service Sales

Add more columns to the spreadsheet you listed your past customers in to characterize customer specific sales. Some examples are:

  • Size of order (quantity of widgets), type of service sold, length of project, repeat orders, profit on sale, customer communication style, subjective impression, which marketing channel was the sale through

Step 4: Stalk Your Competition

You should have an idea of who your competition is. After all they are winning the contracts you aren’t, they are selling similar products to yours and they are providing your customers with a service that you can’t beat. You don’t have to win every sale to be successful but you need to win enough to stay in the black and that means knowing what you are up against.

  • Look at their portfolio: what do they sell, who do they sell to
  • Google search a few keywords: Who is top advertiser, what approach did they take
  • Click a few offers and go through the motions to understand how they capture leads and therefore sales.
  • Determine their price points for similar items to yours.
  • Check out their social media profiles of a few competitors and see what they share.

Your Target Customer is in Your Roadmap

Time to digest your spreadsheet. Review and cross out those characteristics that didn’t sit well. Maybe those with low profits, or those that are difficult to reach. Maybe eliminate those who only produce small, one-time orders.

You have to be willing to understand that some people are not your target customer. What you are left with are your target customers.

The next section will talk about what to do now, but what if your target customer is not what you want to be selling to? That is an entire blog post planned for the future and numerous authors have penned books on the topic. However, in a nutshell, you’ll have to look internally at your product and service offerings and tweak their features and benefits to match that of your potential target audience.

Let’s Kickstart Those Warm Leads

Now what do I do with this list of target customers? Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Run directed ads on social media using the parameters you identified
  • Run Adwords with the same parameters
  • Make a list of names, purchase a list if you prefer for good old fashioned cold calling and emailing.
  • Find trade publications (mail or electronic) and see if ads there would do you good
  • Snail mail is still valuable and can complement the above idea.

Conclusion

We hope this roadmap helps you identify your target customer and that you begin to generate more leads and land new clients! Below is a recap of our four step process:

  1. Analyze What You Offer
  2. Analyze Past Customers
  3. Analyze Past Product and Service Sales
  4. Stalk Your Competition

If you would like to learn about next steps after landing a new lead, check out our post: A Marketing Automation Tool Tutorial.

Danielle Rydberg

Danielle Rydberg

Danielle, a scientific thinker, received her MBA from UMass and has focused on Marketing since then. She started off with basic market research and competitive analysis and has expanded her skill set to include customer success, campaign management, CRM administration, lead generation, sales support, and customer training.Danielle, a native New Yorker, now lives outside of Boston, MA. She is married and has twin daughters and a son. She enjoys sports, the beach, warmer weather, reading fiction, scrapbooking, sunny vacations, volunteering, cooking and baking.