4 Signs You’re Selling to the Wrong Market

August 17, 2015
min read time
Sam Aparicio
Sam Aparicio
Co-founder & CEO, Ring.io
4 Signs You’re Selling to the Wrong Market

Honing in on the right targets requires patience, and a willingness to think critically. It’s also a constant process. As your business evolves and grows, your ideal targets might change, too. There will always be opportunities to add new targets to your list, and to “trim the fat” by removing targets who aren’t providing the necessary return on your investment of time and resources.

By removing targets who aren’t yielding results, your team will save time, become more efficient, and focus their energy on targets who are more likely to convert. The challenge comes in separating the targets who might just require some extra convincing, from those who are unlikely to convert no matter what you do. Making that distinction requires an honest look at whether you’re targeting the wrong people, and you can start the process by keeping your eye out for these four common signs that it might be time to look for a new target.

They Don’t Speak Your Language

While the use of jargon is generally discouraged in marketing, it can be quite valuable in sales, especially if your product is industry specific. Using the right language shows your target that you understand their field, which increases their confidence that you can address their needs. If your target seems confused by relatively common jargon, it’s often a sign that they might not be a fit.
Look for prospects who use the same terms, processes, and technology as your current customers. Educating your prospect on your solution is an important part of sales success, and you can only do that if they’re positioned to understand what you have to offer.

Your Target Lacks Purchasing Authority

Targeting the right types of businesses is just a first step. You also need to reach the right people within those businesses. If your target lacks the authority to make a purchase, the best result you can hope for is that they’ll pass your solution on to someone who does have that authority. Even in that best case scenario, your conversion rate is going to be very low. Save time and improve your team’s odds of success by making sure that your targets have the authority to purchase your product.

Your Solution Isn’t a Priority

Ideally, your product will solve a meaningful, high-priority challenge that your prime targets face. If your target doesn’t have to deal with that challenge, or if addressing it isn’t a priority, you’re going to have real trouble selling to that target. Your solution should be a high priority for the people you target, plain and simple. When your solution is a priority, your team is more likely to earn repeat customers, and less likely to chase leads that are unlikely to yield results.

Too Much Churn, Too Quickly

A low level of churn is natural, and to be expected. It’s just not possible to hang on to every new customer you earn, as nice as that would be. If you’re constantly losing new customers, however, there are likely some underlying issues that need to be addressed. The good news is that to have a high churn rate, you have to be winning new customers. A high churn rate may be a sign that your initial sales process is effective, but that you’re using it to target the wrong people. By working to understand why you’re losing new customers, you’ll gain insight into who you should be targeting.

Analyzing your targets isn’t just a way to improve lagging performance. It’s something you should be doing regularly to keep your business healthy. Even if your team is performing well generally, optimizing your targets can help turn good performance into great performance.


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