So, you’ve got a great new product suite. You’re excited to show its capabilities to the world…but you’re not so sure where to start. Which of your products should you promote, and to whom? Cold lists are available by the dozen, but they often yield a less-than-stellar result. How can you gain traction, leads, and, ultimately increase revenue?

The answer lies in properly profiling your audience. Ensuring that your products and services are well suited for your target market seems like a no-brainer. But sometimes, just a single misstep can lead down the wrong path. Below, we’ve compiled an overview guide to profiling that is both easy and efficient – we use profiling as a daily planning tool here at AFV, and hope that you will, too.

1. Who?

The first step requires a bit of honest introspection on your part – to whom are you most likely to sell? Sure, we’d all like to land the CEO of a Fortune 500 company as a lead, but that simply isn’t a reality for many of us. Is your company best suited to sell to small organizations, medium business, or enterprises? A good look at your historical sales patterns and existing customers can help you discover which type of organization is the best fit.

The second step is to look at contact titles. Many times, we’re tempted to target all (and only!) C-level executives. While they make a great addition to any prospect list, we recommend maintaining a broader focus that also includes Director and Manager level contacts. Let’s face it: C-level execs are extremely busy, and often work through a gatekeeper. While it would be an amazing opportunity to hear from them, you’re much more likely to connect (and successfully set up a meeting) with mid to senior level contacts.

2. What?

Next, compare your offerings with your target audience’s “gaps”. A little extra research now will have a significant payout down the road. Remember: your target market likely receives solicitations on a regular basis, and your objective (whether you have a pre-existing relationship with the prospect or not) is to stand out from the crowd. Did anyone ever get the “if you want to be special, you’ve got to be different” lecture as a child? Your mother wasn’t wrong – find out what you’re best at, what capabilities make your company/product/service unique, and run with them.

Are you an expert in VMWare NSX? If so, your target audience should include companies that want to virtualize and secure their network.  You can’t sell ice to an Eskimo (they’ve already got it) and you can’t sell ballet shoes to a lumberjack (safe assumption it wouldn’t make their job any easier). Make sure your services and capabilities as an organization accurately reflect the audiences you serve – this will lead to a greater return on leads in the long run.

3. Where?

By “where”, we’re talking about good old-fashioned geography: is your business local, or do you have the ability to service customers throughout the entire country? It may be tempting to take a “come one, come all!” approach to targeting, but you’ll yield significantly better results with a streamlined, thought focused approach. If 90% of your business is within a 100 square mile radius of your office, your target audience should reflect that geography, too.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, it’s vital to remember these three things when profiling your target audience: “Who-What-Where”. It’s straightforward. It’s easy to remember. And, most importantly, it works.

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