Mobile devices, constant access to the Internet and customer review sites are changing the way businesses work with customers and handle direct marketing. Whereas before your call center agents memorized or read a script verbatim, now agents are asked to adapt and keep the flow of a conversation going. In order to do so, they must have the right information. Accurate information begins with identifying your target market.
Defining Your Target Market
Market definition is essentially honing in on a vertical or a collection of verticals by identifying your company’s ideal customer(s).
Think of it as a series of concentric circles with the smallest circle being the bullseye. Work your way from the outside in, from the largest circle to the smallest. You may be thinking that a smaller market automatically means fewer leads. That’s not necessarily true if you targeted the market properly. In fact, the leads you do get will be more qualified and more likely to convert to customers.
Think of it in terms of fishing. You go fishing to catch fish, not birds or bunnies. Casting your line into the trees or under a rock doesn’t make sense. But that’s exactly what some companies do with their cold calling efforts. It doesn’t matter to them that the people on their list aren’t eligible to be members of any retirement community. They’re providing the information about their retirement community, just in case. What a waste of money, effort, and opportunity!
There are plenty of fish in the sea, but what if you only want to catch sea bass? You could throw a wide net in hopes of catching one, but chances are you’ll catch a lot of other finned friends that have to be thrown back. You would have a better chance of catching sea bass if you did a little research to find out where they’re most likely to be and what they like to eat.
Then go to that location and use that bait. In so doing, you’ve narrowed your “market” considerably, but you’ve actually improved your chances of catching what you most want. A little work on the front end makes the rest of the effort more efficient and productive.
The first step in lead generation is identifying your target market like we discussed above. In other words, what’s your sea bass? Do some research to determine what your current customers all have in common. Your best prospects will likely share a similar trait.
What if you’re a new company or you’re looking to expand to a new vertical? Ask yourself who would most benefit from what you have to offer. What are their pain points? Where do they live? How do they spend their time? When are they frustrated? Who do they admire?
Aiming direct marketing efforts to specific target markets is much more efficient and more effective than blanket coverage because those efforts can be customized to address specific pain points and felt needs.
Move from the available market to the qualified market. For example, not every parent of an elementary school aged child can afford to send their child to private school. The available market might be parents of elementary school children, but the qualified market will be limited (narrowed) to those above a certain tax bracket.
Next, narrow the qualified market to the target market. You’re moving closer and closer to the bullseye with each narrowing. Who are the ideal customers your product or service best suits? In the case of the private school, your target market might be families who have children with an interest in the arts. Do you see how marketing to kids in families with a certain income and an interest in the arts would be more targeted than simply marketing to families with kids in general?
The Value of Targeted Lead Generation
Targeted lead generation avoids the problems that come from cold calling customers. Your goal is to discover new ways to reach your target market so they hear your message above the noise from other companies offering similar products and services. If you’ve defined your market as concisely as possible, then you can tailor your lead generation methods in ways that are more likely to reach customers who want to buy your products.
Targeted lead generation provides the following benefits:
- Saves time for the sales team who is more likely to close warm or hot leads than they are cold ones
- Sends qualified leads to the sales team
- Preserves your brand reputation by not harassing folks who aren’t interested in your product/services
- Looks more like good customer service than it does sales (Nobody likes to be sold to.)
- Improves the bottom line because your work has been more efficient and effective
Leads are, essentially, a group of people or companies who have shown interest in what you have to offer. Any of the following methods could be sources of potential leads, depending on who you’ve identified as your target market:
- Filled out an online form
- Participated in a special promotion
- Scheduled a meeting or appointment
- Clicked a link on an email blast
- Posted on or “liked” your social media page
- Surrendered a business card at a trade show
- Gave their email address in exchange for a free download/webinar
- Attended an event your company hosted
- An existing/previous customer (Current customers offer a retention/upsell opportunity)
- Asked a question of your live online chat
How We Can Help
At Alliance DMS, we provide call center consulting services that improve performance, recruit, and provide best practices for running a call center. We specialize in appointment setting and lead generation to improve your ROI by providing a wide range of solutions for managing all your call center’s needs. Call us today at 800-706-0608 to learn more.