As a B2B startup, it’s easy to think the whole world is your oyster. Then reality sets in and you realize not everyone is not beating down your door to be your customer. To be practical, you must get specific about the people who are most suited, and most likely, to buy your product or services. Your qualification criteria is based on your marketing segment, target market and audience personas.
To gain clarity about your marketing segment, you can base qualifications on various criteria like:
- GEO targeting
- Industry type
- Size of company
- Company revenues
- Departments within companies
For example, if you set a criteria based on location or company size, you might target those companies with 1,000 employees or more in a specific region. If your criteria is based on revenues, you could target companies with an annual revenue of $100MM or more. And don’t forget to target departments within companies. For instance, if you sell a software accounting system, you target the accounting department, CFOs or CPAs within a company. It helps to define the type of lead you want to target. A Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) is a lead who is deemed most likely to become a customer compared to other leads.
People often get in the trap of targeting only senior-level executive or decision makers. Naturally, you want to target the CEO’s or VPs, which is top down, but in doing so you may miss out on many other opportunities to reach stakeholders. Middle managers and people in departments like operations or marketing/sales are huge influencers for what a company decides to purchase. In B2B marketing, a buying decision typically involves 5-7 stakeholders and is usually a joint decision.
When creating the criteria for your leads, create marketing personas based on job titles, demographics, activities and behaviors that make up MQLs. Based on the lead definitions you create, you can assign point values for various MQLs in order to form the basis of your lead scoring system.
Determining your marketing segment, target market and audience personas ahead of time better defines your MQLs. This ensures your sales team is delivered high-quality leads so they can improve their productivity, while sales and marketing remain aligned in their goals.