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6 Proven Customer Targeting Strategies to Boost Your Pipeline

Are you looking for a fast way to add high-quality prospects to your pipeline?

A customer targeting strategy is your best bet.

By narrowing in on one segment of your audience and making them a highly relevant offer, you can quickly turn even the remotest of strangers into curious potential buyers.

In this article, you’ll learn six of the best customer targeting strategies, as well as some tips for finding the right customer targeting partner for you 👇

What is customer targeting?

Customer targeting involves reaching out to a portion of your customer list to drive sales, often through methods like direct mail and email. These customers usually have something in common: company size, last purchase date, location, or product tier.

To illustrate, let’s look at a simplistic example:

A quick example of customer targeting

Imagine a real estate software company that wants to boost sales for a newly released product that helps property managers handle resident move-ins.

They could email blast the promotion to their entire audience and call it a day. But that would be unstrategic and a waste of resources. The reply rates would likely be a letdown.

They’d be better off compiling a list of the companies that will get the most value out of the tool and then reaching them with a strategic outbound campaign.

They could slice and dice their CRM account data to create a list of residential management companies and exclude the commercial and retail clients that would find no use for the tool.

Better yet, they could narrow that list even further with technographic data to exclude accounts with tenant move-in software.

After building a prospecting list, they could craft a six-part email sequence that speaks to the needs of residential managers and send it out over several weeks while also having SDRs make calls to the primary contacts on the accounts.

This approach will lead to much higher conversion rates than the spray-and-pray method, and it’ll also avoid wasting your sales teams’ time — they won’t have to talk to people who will never buy the solution.

Customer targeting challenges and benefits

Like any powerful sales strategy, customer targeting comes with challenges and benefits.

Key challenges of customer targeting

You might lack the right data

You can’t assess them for fit if you don’t have the necessary B2B data. For example, if you don’t know a company’s revenue but you know that you want to target high-revenue buyers, then you need more sales data to proceed.

Your targeting criteria might be off

Sometimes, your idea of what qualities make highly qualified customers is slightly off, so you end up targeting many apathetic buyers while assuming they’re the perfect match.

You may target too small of a customer segment

While specificity is important, you don’t want to get so narrow in your targeting approach that your prospect list is too small to seriously impact revenue numbers, even if all of them bought the solution (which is unlikely).

Major benefits of customer targeting:

Save time and money

Running a targeted sales or marketing campaign improves your conversion rates, regardless of which channel you use, and this means fewer hours and dollars spent for greater results.

Boost sales team morale

When you target strategically, a higher percentage of sales conversations are with interested buyers, and therefore, reps make more sales and feel better about their jobs. And that boost in morale leads to high retention and better productivity.

Cultivate strong customer relationships

Reaching out to your customers with hyper-targeted campaigns (think ABM) makes them feel like you understand their needs. Even if customers choose not to buy, they’ll still appreciate the personalised outreach and feel closer to your brand.

Improve pipeline value

A pipeline filled with good-fit buyers is valuable, and customer targeting campaigns make this the status quo.

6 customer targeting strategies for high-quality prospects

Let’s go over six customer targeting strategies you can use to fill your pipeline with high-quality prospects, from upselling based on past purchases to leveraging industry shocks and events.

1. Figure out what your audience is searching on Google

Keyword research can be a great way to identify new customer segments.

With tools like Ahrefs, you can quickly find questions that your customers are asking in Google search, and then you can help that audience by producing content that answers the question. 

For example, a CRM company might uncover that many people are searching for “best easy-to-use CRMs.”

Supposing they have a company research tool, the company could target this customer segment by producing blog content that answers this question — for instance, a list of five easy-to-use CRMs, with theirs as number one.

The CRM company could then create a lead magnet that appeals to their target customer profiles, place it in the blog posts, and capture contact information.

Another idea is for the company to send cold emails focusing on how simple it is to implement and use their tool, thereby converting this segmented audience into paying customers.

Pro Tip: Some customer targeting partners, like Cognism, give you lead intent data that lets you know which accounts are searching online for solutions like yours. This allows you to identify and target hungry leads quickly.

cognism-intent-data-cta-Mar-18-2024-02-25-03-3320-PM

2. Work with influencers in your industry

Partnering with B2B influencers is a fantastic way to target new customers.

Usually, these influencers help their followers do something specific, whether growing an online business or training dogs.

If your solution can help these people achieve that goal, then the influencer should be happy to recommend your product or service to their audience for the right price, of course (if you’re curious, here’s a guide on influencer marketing costs).

Since you’re in B2B, you’ll probably want your marketing team to work with influencers on more business-friendly channels, like LinkedIn or YouTube — in other words, platforms where professionals learn about new products and services.

Consider working with micro-influencers if you want to use a hyper-targeted influencer strategy while driving down costs.

They have smaller, more niche followings, so they charge less but often have more dedicated followers interested in one specific thing.

Say your targeting strategy involves selling sales coaching services to new SaaS sales reps.

If you found an influencer who created content specifically for these people, your offer would likely resonate with their entire audience, and you could easily get some new meetings booked on your sales team’s calendar.

3. Re-engage late-stage sales cycle dropouts

Prospects who made it deep into the sales process but failed to reach the finish line are excellent for customer targeting campaigns.

In your CRM, simply filter for accounts that were closed/lost in your later stages.

Then, reach out to them to re-engage them.

The best way to do this is with a phone call.

Since they’re already familiar with your brand, they’ll likely answer and engage in a conversation with you.

A phone call allows you to quickly figure out why they didn’t buy your solution, an answer that’ll help you pitch them on re-evaluating it.

Sometimes, during this conversation, you’ll find that the person didn’t buy for a reason that now doesn’t make sense.

For example, maybe they had a problem with the pricing model, but since then, you’ve changed the model to something they can work with.

Or maybe at the time of investigation, they decided to go with a competitor they’re now fed up with.

You never know!

These “almost customers” are great for a marketing targeting strategy because they’re low-hanging fruit and already warmed up. So, build a remarketing list and have your sales reps restart the conversation.

4. Upsell based on a past purchase

A customer’s one-time purchase tells you a lot about their interests.

If a customer bought an SEO audit from a digital marketing agency, they’re obviously trying to improve their website’s ranking on Google.

An intelligent sales team will leverage this insight to sell them more products that help them with this goal, preferably higher-priced products that bring in more revenue than the original.

You already have their trust. Now it’s time to capitalise on it.

This account targeting strategy is known in sales as an upsell.

In this example, the upsell might be ongoing content writing services.

Consider whether you have a product or service that would pair nicely with another.

Then, educate customers about the solution through email campaigns, sales calls, or other targeted promotion strategies.

This is an easy way to fill the sales pipeline quickly, especially if you have happy clients.

5. Revive stale customer relationships

Every once in a while, reach out to the segment of your customers who seem likely to churn.

This might not boost your pipeline, but it will keep you from losing revenue.

To identify and target these customers, track the following indicators:

  • Frequent complaints about the service or price.
  • Low product usage.
  • Less email engagement.
  • Drop in communication.

Often, you can prevent churn simply by reminding these customers of the value you’re offering them.

People become used to a solution’s benefits when they’ve been using it for a long time.

Unless you’re sentimental, the car you’ve owned for five years is rarely as cool as the one you just bought.

Sometimes, a reminder in the form of a customer success story or a snapshot of the customer’s progress can bring them back into fandom.

Even if you’re not using a recurring revenue model, reaching out to past customers you haven’t spoken with in a while is still a good idea.

Consider creating a list of customers you haven’t interacted with in the last six months and reaching out to them to see how they’re doing and if they need help with the goals they initially needed your business for.

6. Create a timely campaign for accounts in a specific industry

Sometimes, a shift in your customer’s industry will make your solution more valuable to them.

Either that’s because a new opportunity has opened up, and your business helps them seize it, or a new problem has arisen, and your solution helps them adapt.

Take advantage of this. Target those businesses affected by the change and promote your solution to them.

For example, when selling compliance monitoring software (a tool that helps NYC building owners track hard-to-find violations on their buildings), you can run outreach campaigns targeting customers whenever NYC creates a new law or policy, making compliance failures even more costly.

Get as targeted as possible.

If the law involves water boilers, target businesses with many large boilers (commercial buildings) and hit them from all angles (educational blog posts about the law, warm emails, phone calls, etc.) to spread the word.

As an added benefit of this customer targeting strategy, you also come off as a true problem-solver and industry insider.

You show your customer base you’re paying attention and watching their back.

How to find the right customer targeting partner

Customer targeting is much easier when you have a partner who provides accurate data on your customers, contacts, and accounts.

After all, you must understand your audience to segment, target, and impress it.

Here are some features to look for when finding the right customer targeting partner:

  • Custom list building: This will allow you to quickly build targeted lists using various filters like company size, revenue, location, and more.
  • Technographic data: Segmenting and engaging your customers based on which technology they’re using can be a great way to get their attention.
  • Intent data: Some tools (like Cognism) tell you when leads are searching for solutions similar to yours, so you can strike while the iron is hot.
  • Accurate data: Bad data will lead to mistargeted campaigns and lower hit rates. Find a tool that refreshes their data frequently and is known for its accuracy.
  • Integrations: Find a tool that integrates with your current sales tech stack, CRM data, and sales engagement tools to seamlessly reach out to the customers you’ve added to your targeted list.

Lower your cost per lead, Get a verified contacts list to reach your conversion goals. Try Cognism!

Examples of successful customer targeting

Below are two examples of companies nailing customer targeting that can serve as role models for your targeting strategies.

CoPilot AI

CoPilot AI is an AI-powered sales outreach tool.

It runs hyper-targeted YouTube ads to freelancers, BDRs, coaches, and other business people doing cold outreach on LinkedIn.

Quickly, the ad names a prevalent problem that its target audience frequently experiences — not getting enough meetings from cold LinkedIn outreach — and then explains how the AI tool can help them fix this problem.

Because the ad is a video of someone sharing their success story with the sales tool, it comes off as authentic and relatable to their target customers.

Data Driven Marketing

 Data Driven Marketing asks for a survey in exchange for a free report about how to sell and promote online courses.

In that survey, they might discover that you’re still a beginner in the space and don’t have a big enough email list to work with them.

Armed with that information, they’ll add you to a nurture campaign filled with helpful articles and videos that relate to problems beginner bloggers usually face. This way, when you have a big enough email list, you’ll be happy to sign up with them again.

Here’s one:

email nurture campaign example for customer trageting

They’ve strategically segmented their email list into various buckets based on the lead’s experience level, which they learn from the survey and likely other B2B data tools they use.

Then, they send each segment different content using an automated drip campaign. They are, after all, email marketing specialists.

Whatever happens behind the scenes, their customer targeting strategy is working - there’s always helpful advice inside.

Consider targeting based on a customer’s growth stage as well.

If, for example, you sold sales tech, maybe you’d create one campaign for a sales team smaller than five people, one for six to fifteen, and another for large sales teams.

This can be a great way to ensure everyone gets helpful content and your leads stay warm for more pitch-focused outreach.

💡Fuel your marketing targeting strategy with more inspiration - check out Cognism’s top email campaigns.

Target the right customers with Cognism

An effective customer targeting strategy relies on accurate customer data.

Without it, you don’t have the information you need to segment your audience correctly.

You’re working in the dark.

Or, more likely, you’re spending hours hunched over your desk prowling company websites and LinkedIn profiles to manually collect the data and add it to an Excel file when you could be reaching out to a pre-built targeted list.

So, get a data provider that makes targeting a breeze.

Thanks to its accurate B2B database and numerous filters, Cognism helps you build highly targeted account lists so that your main focus is sales and marketing, not company research!

Give it a try - book a call with a data expert today 👇

Reach your ideal customers with Cognism’s data. Click to speak to a data expert today!

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