The #1 reason why SaaS sales and customer success managers never get traction in their careers is they aren’t focused on a specific audience with a specific problem.
Instead, they are wildly unfocused.
In this guide, we’ll teach you 3 different methods to “niche down” and target a specific audience with a specific problem you can solve.
It doesn’t matter if the software or product company that you work for is typically a broad-audience product. You can still define your target audience with the niche-down method.
“Broad audience → niche → sub-niche”
Method 1: Choosing a sub-niche by an audience
A sub-niche is a smaller subsection of a broad audience.
Generally, it works like this:
Broad audience → niche → sub-niche
You can apply this formula to the audience you’re looking to attract.
For example, let’s say you’re a SaaS salesperson looking to sell a CRM to businesses.
Instead of targeting all businesses (broad audience), or small businesses (niche), you could focus specifically on small businesses in the finance industry (sub-niche).
This example assumes you have deep knowledge of the finance industry and can speak about the topic.
Method 2: Choosing a sub-niche by product or service
You can also apply this to the product or service that you are selling to arrive at your audience.
Instead of your product being a CRM (broad product), or a CRM for small businesses (niche),
you could focus specifically on a CRM for small businesses in the finance industry (sub-niche).
Or, rather than offering a generic customer success service (broad service), or customer success for SaaS businesses (niche), you could focus specifically on onboarding customer success for small businesses in the finance industry (sub-niche).
The result? Once you narrow down to a sub-niche, your audience will likely have the same challenges and, therefore, the same wants and needs. That’s where you come in.
Now what? Once you’ve narrowed it down to your sub-niche audience, you can start learning more about them. Where do they hang out online? What jargon and language do they use? Who is already serving this audience i.e. who are your competitors?
Method 3: Top-Down vs. Bottom-Up Approach
When it comes to SaaS sales and customer success, there are two main approaches: the top-down approach and the bottom-up approach.
The top-down approach is all about going for the long deal with high commissions. You target larger companies and try to sell your product to decision-makers and executives.
This approach requires a lot of effort and a high level of skill, but the rewards can be significant.
The bottom-up approach is all about going for volume. You target smaller businesses and individual users and try to get them to sign up for your product on their own. This approach requires less effort and skill, but the rewards can still be significant if you can scale your user base.
Both approaches have their benefits and drawbacks, and you should choose the one that works best for your sub-niche audience and your product.
For example, if you’re selling a CRM for small businesses in the finance industry, the top-down approach might be more effective if you can get a large financial institution to sign up for your product.
On the other hand, the bottom-up approach might be more effective if you can get a lot of smaller finance businesses to sign up for your product.
Here are some additional examples of the “broad audience → niche → sub-niche” formula for common software products:
1. Email marketing software:
- Broad audience: all businesses and organizations that use email marketing
- Niche: small and medium-sized businesses
- Sub-niche: e-commerce businesses that sell pet supplies
2. Project management software:
- Broad audience: all businesses and organizations that need to manage projects
- Niche: creative agencies and design firms
- Sub-niche: web design agencies that focus on building WordPress websites
3. Customer relationship management (CRM) software:
- Broad audience: all businesses and organizations that need to manage customer relationships
- Niche: B2B sales teams
- Sub-niche: enterprise sales teams that sell to the financial services industry
4. Social media management software:
- Broad audience: all businesses and organizations that use social media
- Niche: marketing agencies
- Sub-niche: agencies that specialize in managing social media accounts for restaurants and bars
5. Accounting software:
- Broad audience: all businesses and organizations that need to manage finances
- Niche: small business owners
- Sub-niche: freelancers and self-employed individuals who work in the creative industry, such as graphic designers or writers.
These are just a few examples of how the “broad audience → niche → sub-niche” formula can be applied to common software products.
By narrowing down your target audience to a specific sub-niche, you can create more targeted marketing efforts that speak directly to that group’s unique needs and challenges, ultimately increasing the effectiveness of your sales and customer success efforts.
Now that you understand how to build a profitable niche, it’s time to take action.
Here’s a quick recap of the steps:
1. Choose a broad audience and then narrow it down to a specific sub-niche.
2. Identify the problems and needs of your sub-niche.
3. Create a product or service that solves those problems and needs.
4. Develop a distribution system that reaches your sub-niche.
5. Build a relationship with your audience and listen to their feedback.
Remember, creating a profitable niche takes time and effort. But with persistence and consistency, you can build a successful online business.
Don’t let the fear of being too specific hold you back. By targeting a specific audience with a specific problem, you’ll be able to understand their needs better and create solutions that truly resonate.
So go out there and start building your niche of one today.