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MSP Marketing How-To #12. Know Your Target Audience

Posted by Galina Marcus on Jan 22, 2019
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Share this post with your sales team to help them communicate more effectively with their prospects in 2019!

In 2018, IDG published a report and infographics describing new strategies for IT decision-makers. This report has turned the traditional IT sales paradigm upside-down, as it shows at least 8 different LOBs (Line of Business) involved in the IT purchase process. If you are selling IT services and SaaS and are looking to grow your customer base, then this is your new realm – get used to it.


The days of selling to your fellow IT professionals, i.e. CIOs, IT Managers, and System Administrators, are over. Now your target audience is anyone from the CEO to HR to the VP of Marketing. In other words, your new primary target is now the head of the department that most benefits from the technology you offer. Learn how to speak their language.

At first glance, this sounds like a major headache. But don’t panic just yet! With the help of online resources and specialized partners, this whole situation will open new business opportunities for you.

Who Most Benefits From Your Solution?

As many MSPs across the US already do, you are most likely evaluating new technologies to add to your portfolio: UCaaS/CCaaS, DR, cyber security, various SaaS, CRMs and mobile applications. Great! Before you advertise these new additions to your existing customers and new prospects, think about the job titles with which you want to communicate. Which department’s life will become easier with your new solutions? Here are a few ideas:

  • CRM – Although CRMs obviously improve operations for the entire company, sales/account reps and marketing are going to be the primary users. Customer services as well, if the company has such department.
  • Cyber Security – This falls under the IT department’s jurisdiction.
  • DR (Disaster Recovery) and/or Business Continuity – This is the best problem solver for business operations, finances/accounting and the CEO.
  • CCaaS – This essential tool is best for customer service or customer experience departments. They may have different names in different companies.
  • UCaaS – This critical internal and external communications tool benefits business operations, sales and the CEO, especially for companies with multiple locations.

Some solutions are made specifically for accounting, HR, help desk and other departments. The providers and/or manufacturers of all these solutions already know their target audience and are happy to help you.

Keep these roles in mind, whether you are cold calling or upselling your existing customer base.

Influencer or Decision Maker?

As IDG stated in their report, there are 16 influencers in the average IT purchase decision process for enterprise customers. For SMBs, this number may range from 2 to 8. It is important to remember that a major IT purchase is never the sole decision of one person or department. Here are few things to consider when identifying influencers and decision makers:

  • Does the beneficiary department have its own budget? Depending on the company policy, departments may have an allocated budget for software purchases. You must understand these policies to be able to push the deal forward. If such a budget doesn’t exist or limitations apply, your beneficiary is a major influencer but not a decision maker. Make sure to learn who else needs to be involved in the conversation: CFO, COO, CEO, etc.
  • Is the business local, national or global? Make sure to identify the scale of your prospect’s business. What is their operations geography? How many locations do they have? Where is the headquarters? You may find that some companies have major decision makers dispersed across these locations while others have all the decision makers under the same roof. Additionally, some large national or global companies allow their local offices and facilities to make critical decisions by themselves. For example, a manufacturing facility may purchase a critical piece of software to optimize the production process without consulting HQ. Other companies require approval “from upstairs” for such purchases. Make sure to become aware of the decision-making chain before pushing forward.

Getting as many parties engaged in the IT purchase process as possible ensures the deal is closed quickly and successfully. Follow these tips and create a customized and more effective engagement strategy with your prospects.

Topics: Marketing, How-to, Insider