In a previous article, I gave some background on how we see IT companies often conduct their commerce. The emphasis here is very much on knowledge, technology and thus features and functionality. his approach historically applied to IT resellers selling products, but strangely enough, it also applies to IT service providers. This is strange because we believe that as a provider, you offer a service that should provide value to your customers every month. Customers pay for a service that should help and relieve their organization every month.
As marketers, we often say that most IT marketing activities, such as websites, mailings, events, are all aimed at the conscious buyer. Whether skilled or unskilled, they understand what you do and are specifically looking for a specific solution. This approach may have worked in the past. However, the IT market is now relatively young, and in the early days of service providers and IT resellers, positioning knowledge and technical/operational benefits was differentiating. Finding new customers was relatively easy back then, for example, through a cold call campaign or a direct mailing.
That time has passed.
The gap with your target audience
Due to the much larger supply and the fact that the knowledge gap is no longer bridgeable, differentiation lies much more in your value for customers and who you are as an organization. As a result, in our view, attracting new customers is the commercial problem in the IT sector. IT companies are still growing, but they are mainly growing with existing customers.
Finding new customers is now a combination of chance, smart bidding on tenders, or having a few good salespeople on your team. It is much less the result of a consciously designed and well-planned go-to-market campaign. Marketing usually involves shooting with buckshot, and sales often stubbornly explains what they offer and which functional benefits it has. This creates a gap with your target audience, assuming you know who your target audience is.
Selling your value
And to be honest, successfully creating new business is not easy, and you need a lot of perseverance for it. The sales process itself already takes a long time, let alone approaching a new target audience and successfully converting them into new customers. Based on our many years of experience, our out-of-the-box mentality, and our insight into the IT provider market, we have five tips for attracting new customers:
1. Look at yourself
This may seem contradictory because we are talking about target groups and new customers. However, success begins with recognizing the value your organization can offer. Your ambitions and your DNA. That is the basis for making further choices. New customers must fit your organization.
2. Discover your ideal customer
Not every customer fits your organization. The best customers are those organizations where you can offer direct value in their business, operation, and development. Technology is a derivative of this. Your ideal customer is related to the size, dynamics of their organization and business, and their DNA/culture. You should preferably speak the same language.
3. Find coherence in a target group
Once you know what the ideal organization for you is as a customer, you can see where they are grouped. These are logically branches but can also be a combination of regions or just the size of organizations. It is essential to understand the dynamics of that target group and whether the size or potential for you is large enough.
4. Discover your value to your target group
Where can your services add value within the target group you have chosen to approach? What is your value proposition? This is where you should start. The buying process of your new customer begins with awareness and recognition. Triggering relevant developments and themes that play a role in your target group, and then explaining how you can be valuable.
5. Organize and activate your commerce
Finally, it’s time to organize your marketing and sales efforts around your target audience. Organization, planning and value. Organize your campaigns with Marketing Automation centered on your website and LinkedIn. Plan your campaigns with marketing automation as the foundation, using your website and LinkedIn as your primary channels.
Some steps are a little easier to perform than others. All, however, have to do with conscious choices, and organizing to bring in new business. Do you want to know more about how to organize this properly? Read our Whitepaper here about choosing your Go-to-Market strategy when acquiring new customers.
As an IT company, you want to grow and acquire new customers. It is essential to focus not only on technical knowledge and functionality but also on the value your organization offers. By making conscious choices in your go-to-market strategy and organizing your IT marketing and sales effectively, you can successfully take steps towards acquiring new customers.
At Force21, we have years of experience in the IT market and an out-of-the-box mentality to create new opportunities. We are happy to help IT companies discover their value and ideal customer, find coherence in their target audience, and explore their value proposition.
Do you want to know how we can help your organization acquire new customers and optimize your go-to-market strategy? Please feel free to contact us for a first business scan. Our IT marketing experts are ready to brainstorm with you and help you further. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will contact you as soon as possible. Or, book a meeting directly in my calendar using the calendar button in my profile.