To 5 Tips for Identifying Your Ideal Software Customer
Customer identification is one of the most basic, essential activities that must take place anytime you start a business. Your market research should have identified a consumer or industry segment where there’s high demand for what you plan to offer. This is as true in the B2B software industry as it is in retail, wholesale, or any other type of sales.
After identifying high-demand segments, though, you still need to narrow down an exact definition of your ideal customer. There are several reasons for this, but the most important ones have to do with your sales and marketing efforts. You don’t want to spend resources trying to reach people who are not likely to ever become customers. You’re much better off focusing your marketing and sales budgets on the people who will truly find your software useful.
Here are some of the best tips we’ve learned about how to figure out who your ideal customers are, and how to reach them.
1: Put yourself in their shoes
What does your software look like from the customer’s point of view? Imagine what the conditions would have to be like in your customer’s office, what workflow problems they would need to have, for your software to represent an elegant and cost-effective solution. This customer identification strategy helps you to see exactly the kinds of problems you can solve, with the side benefit of helping you discover potential flaws and areas where you could refine your product for either wider or more specific appeal.
2: Where does your buyer stand?
You may be offering software solutions to other businesses, but it’s important to remember that at the end of the day, you’re also dealing with individual human beings. Not only do you need to identify the exact sort of company that would find your product useful, you also need to figure out which person in that company you’ll be dealing with. Where is this person in their career? What role do they have in their organization? What kind of budget will they have at their disposal?
You also need to be able to relate to this individual on a more personal level. How old are they and what kind of education and skills do they have under their belt? Are they a business major, or were they a coder who’s risen through the ranks? Knowing this in advance can make a huge difference during the sales process.
3: What’s in it for them?
You’ve done the market research, so you know your competition. You know who offers products like yours that are either cheaper or have more features. Why does your ideal customer care about your software, then? What do they find in your product that makes it better for them than what your competitors are peddling? Are they looking for better customer service? Something that doesn’t crash all the time? A local provider instead of a faceless multinational blob? A sleeker UX? Discover what sets you apart in the mind of your ideal customer, and your sales pitch practically writes itself.
4: Speaking of local providers…
You should be targeting customers in a specifically-defined geographical area. Eventually, that specific area could just be “Earth,” but not likely when you’re first starting. Facebook famously started out serving only Harvard alumni, then other Boston-area universities, where Mark Zuckerberg and associates lived and studied. For the first two years of its existence, it focused on serving only individuals at educational institutions, before opening up to anyone in the world with an email address.
The lesson here is to focus your customer identification at first on an area that you know well. Make it as easy as possible for yourself to serve that market. This is because once you do open up to new geographies, you’ll need to become as familiar as possible with the idiosyncrasies of each market you enter. Focusing on what you know at the beginning greatly simplifies this step.
5: Customer identification includes strategy identification
Not only do you need to know who your customers are before you ever meet them, you need to understand what they’re going to do. How are they going to buy your software, and when? If their work tends to be seasonal, when will it be best for them to make a change? Learn from your customers’ experience buying similar products in the past, ad find ways to make it even better for them this time.
At Boom Demand, we help our clients through this process of customer identification. We use outreach strategies like sales development to hit the ground running and funnel qualified prospects to your sales team for deal closing. We also develop powerful experiential marketing events that get your brand out there in the wild of the market and bring interested customers on board. Contact us today to start driving new leads into your sales funnel!