All too often, people in sales tend to be bullish. Confidence is a vital asset when you have something to sell: you need to believe in the product you’re selling, and the market you are asking to buy it. If you’re going to succeed and your confidence isn’t backed up by expertise, by data and by nuanced understanding, then your sales and marketing efforts are doomed to failure.
Today we’re looking at injecting a degree of nuance into your understanding of your audience, your products and how you bring the two together, for reliable, long term success.
The first thing you need to do is start substituting hard data for gut instinct. Backing your instinct makes a compelling story for when you’re looking back over your career but at the sharp end of decision making, you need confidence that is based on fact, not feeling good. For every one successful entrepreneur that backed their gut feeling and started an international brand, there are ninety-nine who were let down by their convictions.
The only way to feel confident about that decision is to make sure you base them in fact, and the only way to do that is to let data into your processes. Data, derived from market research, from tracking your own previous performance, from smart use of publicly available statistics lets you predict the likely outcome of your choices, and choose the ones that are most likely to offer success.
All the data in the world won’t help you if you don’t try to develop a nuanced understanding of what it has to tell you. One of the most important principles you can learn to apply is audience segmentation, a more nuanced understanding of who exactly makes up the audience for your products and marketing.
The conventional view of an audience doesn’t go beyond the first significant fact about the largest group within it. You might think of your market as being composed of people over 65s, of students, of homeowners and so on.
In reality, this may be the biggest group in your audience but it’s not the only one, and may not be the most significant one! A group that’s smaller in size but with more spending power may be more worth your time pursuing! Applying the principles of audience segmentation lets you understand your audience as made up of different groups, with different links and dislikes, different needs and different amounts of spending power. This lets you prioritise, and come up with plans to appeal to the most rewarding groups with an appropriate amount of resources.