The best way to grow a B2B business is to handpick your ideal customers and call them up, writes Aman Naimat for Entrepreneur.com.
Don’t wait for customers to come and find you online because “in today’s noisy, overcrowded marketplace, you can’t hope to be discovered”, the author warns.
“Unless you have the leading SEO expert working on your team, there’s a good chance your startup will run out of money before your customers discover you.”
Instead, pinpoint those exact companies “you exist to serve”.
You need these dream customers to scale your brand; research by Edelman shows 84% of all B2B deals stem from referrals from existing customers.
Here are five strategies for finding your ideal customers:
1) Qualify your prospects. Work out who they are, what they do and how you can sell to them. Remember, your customers are long-term investments. “You want to know that a year from now, they’ll really need your product and you’ll still be adding value for them.”
2) Find potential referrers. Look for companies with large networks of customers, competitors and partners; find the customers that offer the greatest potential for new referrals.
3) Pick growing businesses. “IBM and Oracle didn’t become successful by focusing on dying markets.” For your company to have a future, your customers need to have a future too. You can quickly assess the health of a prospect by visiting the career section of its website. “If the company is hiring at a higher rate than its peers, that’s a great sign.”
4) Get real. It’s a waste of time to focus solely on aspirational customers who will never convert. “Eighty per cent of your list should be companies that will actually do business with you.”
5) Engage less. Too much emphasis on engagement wastes resources on prospects who will never convert.
Remember, no matter how great you think your product is, you need to be proactive to win customers. Getting out there is the only way to build a strong client base and guaranteed revenue stream.