Quite often software houses have a few customers that they have built up over time. They may not be in similar industries, quite often they are different sizes and ultimately they all spend differing amounts of money on the products and services that you offer. When looking to grow the business the temptation is to just throw a load of money at marketing and hope for the best. This can work but usually it is an expensive failure.
If you want to dominate your market you need to analyse your existing customers and find the similarities. This will give you a good indication on how you need to target your marketing efforts to build a bridge to a specific set of prospects and give yourself the best chance of success.
So what do you need to look for in your existing customers to scope where future sales success may come from. I have found the following has helped me time and time again when opening up markets for my software products.
Before and after
Define customer scenarios. Look at the customers you have and really understand what their businesses were like before they bought and implemented your solution. Write down the problems you solved and how you solved them. What does their businesses look like now they have implemented your solution? What problems have you resolved, how are they benefiting? This will give you a good understanding of the problems you can solve successfully for new customers.
What is the makeup of your customer? Look at the industry sector they work in. What is the size of the business? Is it owner managed or a large corporate? Is it growing or contracting? Define a list of these questions and you will start to see a pattern of the type of businesses that you should be targeting.
Ideal customer profile
From the first two steps you should be in a position to write up your ideal prospect profile. This profile will be based upon the findings of your research and will highlight the most common traits of all your customers. Using this profile you will be in a position to develop messages and demonstrations that will resonate with your prospective new customers.
Following these steps as a proven process will help you breakout and dominate your chosen market. It will also be the springboard to help you move into new untapped areas and grow your business to the level that you want it to be at.