Great sales and marketing require a thorough understanding of your consumer audience. To get your ideal client, you first have to know everything about them.
Like all serious marketing agencies, we use audience profiles in our consulting. These profiles (also known as ‘buyer personas’ or ‘customer avatars’ depending on who you ask) are invaluable during many stages of strategic development.
If an MSP fails to define their audiences clearly, they’re going to screw up a laundry list of important things down the line:
- Branding their business
- Designing their website
- Creating their sales process
- Writing marketing emails
- Hunting new prospects
That’s just a few examples of what can’t be done correctly without applying sufficient time and thought to consumer profiling.
Buyer Persona and Client Profile Templates
Templates can help you get started with your audience profiling which is why so many are readily available. (Including ours!)
Of course, it is possible to get too wrapped up in this mental exercise. We can sit around and hypothesize about our ideal clients all day, but what really matters is how our thinking leads to better marketing and improved sales numbers.
That’s why I created our own audience profile temple in the first place. I was never fully convinced that speculating about an ideal clients’ favorite books, hobbies, or even level of education were all that helpful at the beginning of this process.
Knowing this information is useful down the line, but guessing it in broad strokes? Nah.
So let’s stick to the important info:
- What are their biggest projects or concerns? Most importantly, what are they willing to allocate valuable resources to? You’re going to be asking them to devote time, brainpower, and money to YOU, so make sure your MSP is somewhere on that list.
- How do they measure success? You have metrics you use to judge the success of your MSP. We have metrics that we use to judge the success of our agency. What metrics do your ideal clients use to determine their success in business? How can you influence those factors?
- What barriers and objections will come up? Yeah, you’re probably going to jump right over to ‘cost’, but that’s a cheap answer. Value perception can easily overcome cost objections, so you need to dig up the harder-to-find barriers before they get in the way of your next sale. Could it be competitor market share or specialization? Bad experiences with other IT companies? Lack of technical knowledge?
- What is the Buyer’s Journey? What steps does this consumer take to get from knowing nothing about you or your offering to signing a contract? How do they get from Awareness to Action in the good ole’ AIDA flow? Give this one a lot of thought! We dedicate many hours to perfecting this flow during each of our MSP Evolution Workshops because it’s super important.
- What influences will shape their buying decision? How do they actually decide what to buy — that last step before ‘Action’? Are they most likely to take input from industry peers? Are they going to look for recommendations in trade magazines? Will they consult internal resources or pitch to a board of directors?
Ask, Don’t Assume
One of the biggest marketing mistakes people make across the board is assumption.
They’ll assume that a client thinks a certain way. They assume that a product’s value is obvious. They assume that a certain approach will or won’t work.
Sales and marketing involve a lot of science — there’s no need to make that many uninformed guesses! Ask, do the research, run the numbers, or hire someone who will.
Before you shrug it off, go back to that list of things that won’t work for you unless you put in the effort. Can you afford to take that kind of hit to your sales and lead generation?