How Do I Find My Niche? 8 Questions to Ask Yourself

As an account strategist, I often see clients with really great solutions that often go overlooked because they’re trying to talk to everybody instead of honing in on one vertical. Focusing in on a particular sector of a target market can help amplify your message to those that have a real need for your business.

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Regardless of what industry you’re in, you need to establish yourself as an expert in your field. In doing so, you’ll also define your niche, which is an essential part of your business’s growth. If you’re struggling to locate your niche (or you don’t know what a niche is) you aren’t alone—it’s something that many entrepreneurs and business owners struggle with. Here are a few tips on how to find (and continually refine) your niche.

What is a niche?

Your company’s niche is the specific area in your target audience where you position yourself as the expert. This is also where you focus the majority of  marketing efforts for your products and services — and where you can differentiate your company from your competitors. This is the space where you really shine—bringing value and providing something no one else can do as well.

Why is a niche important?

Nailing your niche is the best way to gain a competitive edge against other companies. Whether you are a consultant, a small business owner or an entrepreneur, there will always be competition. And the best way to beat your competition? Be the leader in your domain. Your niche (because of your expertise, unique skill set and services) is also the reason why potential clients should buy your products or services over someone else’s. Finding a niche also helps you grow your expertise in a specific area within your industry. Not only does this benefit your business, but it also helps filter out prospects that aren’t a good fit. Once your niche is defined, only relevant prospects come forward because it’s clear that your business is right for them.

How do I find my niche?

To discover your niche,  ask yourself and your team these key questions that help identify areas on which to focus; these will ultimately bring you closer to your niche:

  1. What are your use cases? List your products and service offerings to figure out in what ways your products can be used.

  2. What are your customers’ common pain points? If you have an idea of what your niche is, this is a great exercise to figure out exactly who your target audience is. Find out what frustrations your prospects have in common and use these pain points to define your niche.

  3. What are your key differentiators? Why should someone buy your products or services over your competitors? What sets you apart from the crowd of similar offerings? Distinguish and highlight these differentiators.

  4. What is your solution to the pain points? Once you understand the pain points in your market, it’s time to figure out the solution. Craft this message as simply as possible—your solution needs to be crystal clear. The clearer it is for you, the more clear it will be for a customer.

  5. What is the result of your solution? People love statistics and they love to quantify good results. Find concrete numbers and case studies to prove that your solution is what they’re looking for. For example, “We helped this company save X dollars, generate Y% more sales, and we deliver Z in under 7 days.” Make it memorable.

  6. Who are the decision makers and internal champions? Find out who the key contacts are that you want to speak with and determine what it is about your product that they should care about. Do you solve a personal or a business pain for them? If not, find new prospects. If so, contact these people and work to track down more similar leads.

  7. Where are you hitting home runs? Find out who your top customers are. Do they have something in common? Zero in on this community and learn everything you can about them. What are their pain points? What do they have in common? Is there a trend with your top customers?

  8. Why do your customers love/need you? Don’t just be a ‘nice to have’ company. You want to get to a place where your customers need your product to be successful. Find a way to refine your current offering so it’s a ‘must-have’. It may take some tweaking and refining, but the result will be worth it.

Once you have asked yourself these questions, take your responses and use them to help craft your niche. This will separate you from your competitors and make it easier for your potential customers to decide that you are a better fit for their needs.

During this process, you may hit a wall—but don’t worry, this will give you the opportunity to discover where your business can grow. Even once you feel you’ve nailed your niche, return to these questions and see if there’s room for even further improvement. A niche is specialized, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room to continually refine it.

9 Key Sales Metrics to Track

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When business owners and entrepreneurs ask themselves how they can increase sales, despite being proactive, many fall short of an actionable answer because they overlook the obvious: The secret to increasing sales is understanding your sales metrics. Having a good grasp of your metrics empowers you to recognize areas of improvement; crucial to increasing sales growth.

All aspects of your sales are important, but certain metrics give you more valuable insight than others. While it’s vital to have a handle on your weekly revenue, there are metrics you need to focus on in the long term to improve and reach your goals.

Here’s a look at nine critical sales metrics to track and why it’s important to track them.

Sales Metrics You Need to Be Tracking

  1. Cost per lead – What is the average cost per new customer or lead?

  2. Number of SQLs – How many sales qualified lead do you have per month?

  3. Sales cycle length – What is the closing ratio of all new prospects?

  4. Retention rate – What is your customer churn?How many customers are you losing?

  5. Total outbound emails delivered – How many net new contacts are coming into the pipeline?

  6. Positive responses to emails – How effective are your efforts? Focus on those who have expressed interest in order to determine this.

  7. Conversion rate – Are your emails converting? Figure out the number of qualifying emails to handoffs.

  8. New opportunities generated – How is your campaign performing? Figure out the handoff rate, specifically the number of handoffs for every “x” amount of emails delivered.

  9. New closed deals in the month – How much new revenue is generated each month?

Why metrics matter and how to track them

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By tracking the right metrics, you’ll gain an understanding of where to put your energy and what to adjust in your pipeline. Rather than always looking to the bottom line, you may be able to identify an area on which you can improve easily that will allow you to increase revenue more simply. Small tweaks to your sales process can have a big impact on your overall growth. Moreover, focusing on smaller components makes any increases or decreases easier to track and thus, easier to celebrate or remedy.

It’s also important to ensure that you’re tracking metrics for every campaign at both the team and individual levels. Doing so will give you greater insight into what’s working and what’s not and can also help with professional development, training and new hires.

Although having a handle on weekly revenue contributes to your business’s overall success, focusing on these nine metrics enables you to recognize and develop areas in need of improvement. Tracking them will help to ensure that you reach your goals and that you don’t miss any opportunities.

email marketing tips to increase open rates

The following is an excerpt from The Predictable Revenue Guide To Tripling Your Sales:

what happens after you click <send>?

 sendThe apps you buy should help you and your team see more clearly through clutter, not add to it. eMail add-ons help salespeople do two critical things:

1.) Monitor Email Effectiveness by tracking open rates (to identify subject lines that work) and reply rates (to identify email body content works)

2.) More Conversations: Reps who called a prospect after the prospect opened an email, clicked a link, or opened an attachment connected with that prospect 34% of the time. Acquia improved reps’ call connection rate by 29% with Yesware’s insights.

These apps helps identify actionable insights into how your prospects and customers are reacting to your messages.

5 Email Tips

•  Increase your chance of opening by sending to 2+ ppl: “Is there someone you want me to copy on this?”
•  Send emails on Friday afternoon: weekend open rates are highest
•  Don’t wait days for a reply – after 24 hours, your email is all but done
•  Only 12% of emails get forwarded; knowing which do helps in targeting efforts
•  Email reading happens 24×7 – schedule your sends for very early in the morning

want more tips? download the full eBook here.