How to build your sales pipeline within your target market

There’s often a belief that if you have had a great idea, and you go and build a product, that people will simply recognise that your product is exciting. That means that they should go ahead and buy it, right? Wrong.

As part of your research, there has to be a laser focus on not just the problem that you solve (this needs to be very clear in all communication) but first, what are the likely sectors (and companies within those sectors) that are likely to buy your product?

For example, if you have a piece of construction technology, is it relevant for housing associations, house builders or merchants? Is it just for those in the UK or does it go further afield than this?

Once you have identified the profile of the Target Accounts (even better the specific companies you are going after), then it is time to identify who within those organisations are likely to buy your technology, otherwise known as the Ideal Buyer Persona.

Having an intimate understanding of this person, such as their pains, issues, blockers that your technology could potentially unblock, makes your sales pitch significantly easier.

Once you have your Accounts and Buyers mapped, then you can start looking for contacts. This can be done through different pieces of B2B software (such as Cognism, ZoomInfo, etc.,), and then you can start the outreach. Your outreach cadences – i.e., how many times you attempt contact – are going to be governed by where your software sits in the price continuum.

If your market is <£100 per calendar month, so ‘self-serve’, then it can be low touch outreach and it is best done organically.

However, if you are enterprise, say >£10k per calendar month, then the higher CAC (or Customer Acquisition Cost) would be best executed by direct outreach. An example of this could be field reps using phone, email, social media, etc., to get in front of time-poor decision makers.

Across these different approaches there are four things you can try when it comes to building out your pipeline:

1) Social Media Engagement

Love it or loathe it, a firm social presence and an engaged one is a must in today’s B2B climate. Being seen as active by sharing, commenting, and posting on relevant topics for your buyers personas will create a brand that people feel connected with. Where do your buyers hang out? Which platforms? Become relevant there.

2) Thought Leadership

For example, if your product is technical then creating whitepapers, blogs, articles, etc., can offer valuable and interesting content for your market. You quickly become recognised as someone that is knowledgeable and therefore worth talking to.

3) Virtual Events

These opportunities can come in various formats. You can seek out the chance to be a speaker yourself or can try hosting an event directly. To support this, try setting up an email marketing campaign that drives traffic to the event you are hosting. This can really encourage buyer intent and beyond, plus is a low-cost way of raising awareness.

4) Website Trackers

Quite a tactical suggestion, but there are services like Leadfeeder or Lead Forensics that can add code to your website. This code can track who visits your site so you would be able to set up alerts, meaning that if someone from one of your Target Accounts visits the site, you would get notified.

This would allow you to get the ball rolling because relevance will always beat personalisation.

Using some, a combination or all of these methods allows you to convert those potential customers into your greatest supporters. Another way of looking at those stages is:

Suspects > Prospects > Customers > Fans > Evangelists

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