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Begin by creating lists that rank your current customers in three categories:
This information will help you focus your efforts to find similar companies and decision-makers to target with your b2b marketing efforts. Determine what is unique about these leads so that you can find more like them.
In addition to looking at your current customer base, review your company's internal expertise and credentials to determine likely prospects for your solutions. If your company is a start-up and has no existing customers, you can leverage your own past experience and that of your people. Think about the kinds of companies you and your team have had success with in previous jobs.
You also can educate yourself on a vertical market (i.e., a particular industry, such as residential or commercial construction, banking, distribution or the retail clothing business), weaving the industry's concerns and buzzwords into your marketing-for-leads materials. This will suggest that you do understand the market and its needs. However, be prepared to answer the question, "Who else in my industry have you served?" It is bound to come up.
If you don't believe you can successfully sell into vertical markets, consider horizontal markets. These are markets that cross industry lines. For example, if your ultimate goal is to sell to the residential or commercial construction industry, you might want to first target small- to medium-sized businesses in need of material handling equipment.
Another way to look at the marketplace is geographically. Then you would focus on targeting companies within a particular area, whether it is a city, state, region or country.
Although theoretically every company, in every business, may benefit from your solution, you can't afford to try to be everything to everyone. You must pick the companies with which you are likely to have the best success and the individuals within those companies who are in the best position to recommend or buy your products or services.
The next step in targeting your marketplace is to
determine to which media the target audience is exposed. For example, what
trade magazines do they read? This may include national publications, regional
magazines or the regional editions of national publication.
In Addition, think about:
Each of these, potentially, is the source of a mailing list, Web site, conference or publication that would be appropriate for reaching your target contacts. You are now ready to devise ways to utilize these target resources to generate leads.
There are a number of marketing vehicles available to you,
ranging from newspaper advertising to putting your company logo on the Goodyear
blimp. However, some marketing methods have proven to be more successful than
others for business-to-business marketing. Once you have targeted your audience
and you've developed your marketing database, you are ready to put together a
plan utilizing tried-and-true basics of marketing for leads. These
M. H. "Mac" McIntosh is described by many as America's leading authority on inquiry handling and sales lead management. He is president of Mac McIntosh Incorporated, a sales and marketing consulting firm specializing in helping companies get more high-quality sales leads and turn them into sales. To request a free subscription to his newsletter, Sales Lead Report, contact him at: Mac McIntosh, Inc., 601 Pendar Rd. North Kingstown, RI 0-2852-6620 Phone: 800-944-5553 or 401-294-7730. Fax: 800-944-5513. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.salesleadexperts.com
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