Enhancing your Market to Sell Your New Cloud Service Model

After implementing a new product, it can be difficult to distinguish your new target audience and sell specifically to them. In some cases you can utilize current customers and contacts, but in others it's more difficult. Below, I pinpoint five ways to identify and establish a relationship with your target customers upon offering your new cloud service model.

1. Use a targeted marketing approach

As mentioned in How to Use the Cloud: Preparing your Marketing Plan, creating a marketing plan is the first step to successfully sell your new cloud service model. In addition to the points made in that post, you should also consider implementing an inbound marketing, or content marketing, plan. This separate, yet related marketing plan, is based around your website and social media outlets and drives your potential customers to resources that teach them more about your cloud service model.

Acting as a resource in the cloud space by providing educational materials to your audience generates more qualified leads that are passed on to your sales team and significantly reduces both your sales cycle and the cost associated with lead generation. In short, you receive more qualified sales leads for a smaller amount of money than using traditional lead generation methods. Clear communication and a solid plan between your sales and marketing departments helps perpetuate a cohesive message to your audience and allows the company to reach its goals more quickly than if they were working individually.

2. Talk to existing customers

Start by reaching out to existing customers and sell your new cloud service models to them first. Your sales team has already established a relationship with these contacts and knows their unique needs. Extending your latest product to existing customers helps solidify your relationship with them by showing them that you understand their needs and want to fulfill those. Additionally, you are giving them the first opportunity to your service as a benefit of your partnership. These customers are leads that you have already paid for, and may have the same needs as your new target audience.

3. Leverage current contacts

Using an "each one, reach one" tactic, you rapidly develop a long list of potential customers for your new cloud service model. This works by asking current customers for contacts to companies they are connected to that might be interested in your services. This is an easy way to expand your market using the contacts you've already worked so hard to establish. Additional bonuses to using this method - new potential customers that are referred by friends are more likely to be qualified, and they will be more trusting of you since you're coming to them based on a trusted source that they've already established a relationship with.

4. Revisit your dead leads

Reconsider visiting "dead" leads in your sales funnel that may now be a fit after you've implemented your cloud service model. Reading through comments about why the lead was moved into this category can help you determine which you should contact with information about your new solution. These are people you already have a relationship with, so reconnecting saves your sales team from the time of nurturing a new relationship and reduces your lead generation cost.

5. Join a networking group

Finding a group of professionals within your target market and listening to their conversations is an easy way to determine what they are looking for and establish a relationship with them. You can then leverage this relationship by using the "each one, reach one" tactic to find extended connections that are interested in purchasing your cloud service model. Social networks to follow might be on LinkedIn or Facebook, but don't forget to search for local associations within your target market.

At the end of the day, your product sales come down to the relationships your sales team has with potential customers and their need for your product. Establishing long-lasting relationships with your customers through educational resources, referrals from friends or by using tactics you've already implemented reduces the cost associated with lead generation, and results in potential customers that are already familiar with your product or that you know have a need. A smart sales team is an effective one.