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Marketing-for-Leads Guide: Step 9 – Who are your best prospects?

Step 9: Target the best companies and contacts with your lead-generation efforts.

Create three lists that rank your current customers using three criteria:

  • Gross revenue. Place the largest companies at the top of the list and the smallest at the bottom.
  • Profitability. List from “most profitable” to “least profitable.” Keep in mind that the most profitable are not necessarily those with the most gross revenue.
  • Fit. Which companies represent the best fit for what you are selling? This ranking is more subjective than the first two. It identifies the companies you know well, those with business you understand, those that are fun to work with, those you understand best and those with which you have—or could have-a great working relationship. Rank these companies in order, descending from the best fit.

Your ideal customers are those that are at, or near, the top of all three lists. While reviewing your existing customers, consider the following questions:

  • What industries are they in?
  • Are they small, medium or large businesses?
  • Where are they located geographically?
  • What is their Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code?
  • What are the titles or job functions of their decision-makers?

This information will help you find similar companies and decision-makers to target with your marketing efforts. Determine what is unique about them 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. To articulate a horizontal-marketing strategy, you could say, for example, “We are the inventory-control experts for small- to medium-sized businesses.”

Geographic markets are another possibility. You could combine horizontal and geographic marketing with a statement such as: “We are right here in Akron, Ohio, and we are uniquely qualified to help you with your inventory-control needs.”

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.

Download the complete Marketing-For-Leads Guide here

Need help with B2B lead generation, marketing and sales?
For more information, please call Mac McIntosh at +1-401-294-7730, send him email at or visit www.sales-lead-experts.com