What does it take to be a Best in Class Solution Provider Marketer? To answer that question we need to first understand the definition of a Best in Class Solution Provider: your pre-tax net income is in the top 25% of all other solution providers in your same predominant business model. There are many factors that affect your ability to become a Best in Class Solution Provider, and your marketing sophistication and effectiveness is the most important. Without an effective marketing strategy to maximize your lead generation outcomes, your overall growth and success will be limited. Over the course of this series we will cover the 16 Steps to Best in Class Solution Provider Marketing.
Step 1: Establish Your Target Market
Once you’ve determined your deliverables and pricing strategy, establishing the right target market is one of the most critical decisions you will make. The good news is, if you examine your existing client base, chances are you are heavier in one or two verticals than any other vertical you currently support.
Many Solution Providers subscribe to an indirect, passive referral-based marketing philosophy that leads to supporting any customer that is referred by others; or happens to come knocking at their door, regardless of their vertical. This approach is not always efficient and profitable, and it will eventually catch up with you. In addition, scaling your business becomes much more difficult, as you cannot forecast sales pipelines or predict growth with any accuracy
When you are spread across many different verticals, supporting each of these customers’ myriad line of business applications, network infrastructures, specialty hardware and vendors becomes costly and challenging. Because of the lack of standardization in your customer environments; and its resultant negative impact on efficiencies, will be forced to continue hiring additional engineers to support your customers. This will eat into your profitability and hinder you from reaching Best in Class profits.
A better approach would be to strengthen your lead generation outcomes by establishing a Direct Marketing approach to target ideal prospects in your desired verticals to standardize on the types of customers you support. This will increase your efficiencies and profitability, as your engineers will begin to specialize on these customers’ specific hardware and software solutions and understand their workflows and procedures, allowing them to deliver services much more rapidly and effectively.
The goal is to choose one or two verticals that you would like to specialize in, and become a subject matter expert in them. This will lead to faster sales cycles, the ability to command higher fees for your services, and supporting common environments that your engineers are experienced in supporting. This will result in the need for less staff to support more clients more profitably.
Join us for Part 2 of this series next month: Establishing a Marketing Budget for Maximum ROI