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. This has traditionally been true primarily of IT resellers selling products, of course, but oddly enough, it has also been true of IT service providers. Funny enough, because we believe that as a provider you provide a service that should provide value to your customers every month. Each month they pay for a service that helps and relieves their organization.
As marketers, then, we do say that most marketing expressions and activities, website, mailings, events, are all aimed the at the conscious buyer. Whether competent or incompetent, but he understands what you are doing and looks for a specific solution in a very focused way. It used to be possible. Of course, the IT market is relatively young, and in the early days of service providers and IT resellers, positioning knowledge and technical/operational advantages was also distinctive. Finding new customers could still be done well with a cold call campaign, for example, or a direct mailing.
Those days are over.
The gap with your target audience
Because the supply has become much greater, and the knowledge gap is really no longer bridging, the distinction is much more in your value to customers and who you are as an organization. With that, in our view, contracting new customers is the commercial problem in the IT sector. IT companies are certainly still growing, but they are growing mostly with existing customers.
Finding new customers is now a combination of chance, clever bidding for tenders or having a few good sales people on your team. It is much less the result of a deliberately designed and thorough go-to-market campaign. Marketing mostly shoots with hail, and sales often stubbornly keeps explaining what they offer and its functional benefits. This creates a gap with your target audience, if you even know what your target audience is.
Selling your value
And fair is fair, successfully creating new business is not easy either and you need a long breath for it. A sales process an sich already takes a long time, let alone approaching a new target market and successfully converting it into new customers. From our years of experience, our out-of-the-box mentality and visibility into the IT provider market, we have a five tips for bringing in new customers:
1. Look at yourself
This seems contradictory, since we are talking about target groups and new customers, right? Sure, but success starts with (re)knowing the value you as an organization can bring. Match your ambitions and your DNA. That is the basis for making further choices. New customers must fit in with you.
2. Discover your ideal customer
So not every customer fits you. The best clients are those organizations where you can provide direct value in their business, operations, and development. Technology is a derivative of this. Your ideal client is related to size, dynamics of their organization and business and their DNA/culture. You should preferably speak the same language.
3. Find consistency in a target audience
Once you know what the ideal organization is for you as a customer, you start looking at where these are grouped. These are logically industries, but can also be a combination of region or just size of organizations. What is important is that you understand dynamics of that target audience and that the size or potential for you of this is large enough.
4. Discover your value to your target audience
Where can your services add value within the target audience you have chosen to approach? What is your value proposition? This is where you have to start. Your new customer’s buying process starts with awareness and recognition. Trigger on relevant developments and themes that resonate with your target audience, and only then explain how you can be valuable in doing so.
5. Organize and activate your commerce
Only after you have completed the 1st steps can you begin to organize your marketing and sales to target, and convert, this audience. Organization, planning and value. Organize your campaigns with Marketing Automation centered on your website and LinkedIn. Plan campaigns with relevant content-informative mailflows, and share your value through your marketing and sales.
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.
Do you have any immediate questions about this, or want to know what’s smart for your organization to do? Let us think with you! In a 1st business scan look with you at how you can make successful strides in bringing in new customers. Please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org