It’s a big world out there, filled with all kinds of prospective customers. That doesn’t mean that every prospect is right for a firm. All too often, organizations fall prey to extrapolating a target market from one-off opportunities or letting anecdotal information drive strategy. As a result, resources are dispersed and used ineffectively. The end result can be lack of success even in segments that do represent the highest potential. How do you decide where to focus your efforts? Three key factors that provide a starting point are:
Be strategic. The ability to analyze the opportunity in terms of product demand and micro-segmentation of prospects has never been greater. Take advantage of the internal and market analytics to identify the highest potential opportunities and create targeted sales and marketing to maximize awareness, lead generation and point of sale metrics.
Maintain brand clarity. Chances are there is already a perception in the marketplace regarding your brand and target market(s). This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t enter new markets; many a firm has prospered because of their willingness to evolve and adapt to changing market conditions. Unless you are abandoning your existing targets, however, you need to make sure you’re not causing confusion and hurting efforts in your core market.
Filter out the noise. Opportunistic sales are great, but just because you won one huge institutional client doesn’t mean that is your natural segment. If your core competency is midsize retirement plans, then directing your sales and marketing resources there, while taking advantage of sales that come your way outside of this segment, gives you a greater chance of success.