B2B Positioning For Professional Service Firms — Your Step-By-Step Guide


Creating a strong market position for your professional services firm is the key to success in a crowded B2B marketplace. It’s how you connect what you sell to the problems your customer is facing, and how you communicate that connection through your marketing channels (including the who, what, where, why, and how).

Positioning matters: if you order a beautiful Picasso painting and it comes in a million pieces, you’d be horrified! However, if you ordered a Picasso puzzle and it came in a million pieces, you’d be pretty satisfied. How you describe what you’re selling is all a part of how you’re positioning yourself in the market. Position yourself well, and you’ll have happy clients. Position yourself poorly, and you can end up doing more harm than you know.

How to Unlock Your B2B Professional Services Firm’s Growth with Strong Market Positioning

It’s not enough for professional services firms to simply communicate what they do and who they do it for – they need to make a compelling case for why their firm is the most qualified, and they need to ensure that message is visible to their specific audience.

Here are a few steps to improve your market positioning today.

Step 1. Determine Where Your B2B Service Firm Is Currently Positioned In The Market

In order to determine where your firm is currently positioned in the market, you’ll want to start by documenting all of the reasons a client should hire you.
Here are some questions to guide that process:

  • How much experience does your team have?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • What are your value propositions?
  • What are your three uniques – the three things that make you different from your competitors?
  • Where do you fall on the price, quality, and convenience spectrum?

Understanding your position also requires understanding your customer preferences and where potential customers seek information about service providers:

  • Are they researching their problems online?
  • Are they talking to industry groups?
  • Are they attending events or trade shows?

Understanding your consumer’s buyer behaviors is instrumental in ensuring you’re reaching the right people in the right places.

Step 2. Research and Audit Your Competitors

Once you have a solid grasp on why someone should hire you, it’s important to perform a thorough competitive analysis. 

You want to assess how your competitors are positioning themselves in the market so that you can understand how competitive your current positioning really is.

For example, if you position yourself as “a family-owned business for 35 years,” but all of your competitors are also family-owned and have been in business for a long time, then your position is going to be weak.

By taking the time to understand where your B2B professional services firm stands in the marketplace, you can craft an effective positioning strategy that will help you stand out from other organizations.

Market positioning is key to creating a successful B2B service firm. By quickly defining why potential customers should choose you over another provider with similar offerings, you can develop an informed strategy that supports growth goals while distinguishing yourself from competitors at the same time.

Woman at a table with a notepad

Step 3. Determine Your Key Differentiators

Once you understand where you are currently positioned in the market (and what makes that position strong or weak) and how your competitors position themselves, it’s time to define what makes you different or better.

Determining your key differentiators is the first step to developing an influential market position.

  • What makes your services unique?
  • Do you have a special sauce? Intellectual property or a specific process or approach that is different from your competitors?
  • How do you stand out compared to other service providers in the industry?

Identifying characteristics can help you craft a compelling message and reach the right audience.

For example, if you specialize in providing holistic coaching solutions tailored to each client’s individual needs, emphasize this point when pitching potential clients or partners. Pairing your differentiators with supporting social proof can also be beneficial, such as highlighting any certifications or awards that make your firm stand out from competitors.

Once you have identified how best to differentiate yourself, use this information to craft unique messaging across all of your marketing channels, including website copy, social media posts, and case studies!

Similarly, learn how to define your value propositions here.

Step 4. Choose Your Market Positioning Strategy

The book, “Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning so Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It” by April Dunford lists three different approaches to choosing the right market for you:

  1. Head to head: positioning to win an existing market
  2. Big fish, small pond: positioning to win a subsegment of an existing market
  3. Create a new game: positioning to win a market you create

Each of these differs in how you’ll invest in your position once you’ve defined it, but it’s essential to know how and where you’re competing.

Step 5: Leverage Digital Marketing to Communicate Your Position

Digital marketing helps you target the right audience, attract more customers, and build your brand. With a well-crafted digital marketing strategy, you can create a compelling presence that increases visibility and drives conversions.

Strategies such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media campaigns, and content marketing can help you increase brand awareness and reach new audiences.

Additionally, leveraging influencer partnerships with industry experts or thought leaders can elevate your company’s standing in the market with credibility and trustworthiness. By positioning your B2B service firm strategically through digital marketing efforts, you’ll be able to maximize results while staying competitive in today’s market.

Woman wearing glasses holding a phone

Step 6: Optimize Your Firm’s Sales Pipeline

The goal of B2B positioning for professional service firms is to increase leads and sales in a thoughtful way, and therefore your sales pipeline should not go ignored. Sales teams must focus on the entire customer journey from initial contact to closing a sale. With a refined sales pipeline, businesses can better connect to their target customer throughout the entire sales cycle.

Optimizing the sales pipeline requires careful analysis of existing processes and an understanding of customer needs and preferences. In addition, companies should consider implementing automated systems that provide real-time insights into customers’ buying behaviors, enabling them to adjust strategies quickly.

Leveraging data-driven insights will help firms gain valuable insight into their buyers’ motivations for purchasing products or services. This will inform strategic decisions about how best to position the organization to maximize its potential for growth in today’s competitive market environment.

For more insights, check out our article: Sales Enablement For B2B Professional Services – How To Manage Your Pipeline Using Hubspot

Step 7: Maintaining a B2B Position with Active Client Engagement Models

Companies must actively engage with their target customers to maintain a strong position and remain competitive, especially as behaviors shift in an ever-changing marketplace.

We recommend creating a client engagement model that fits the unique needs and preferences of your B2B customers. A client engagement model is a framework that outlines the processes, touchpoints, and communication channels that you will use to connect with your customers and provide ongoing value.

To create an effective client engagement model, start by understanding your customers’ needs and preferences. This can be achieved through customer surveys, interviews, and feedback forms. Once you clearly understand what your customers want and need, you can design a client engagement model that meets those needs and provides value at every touchpoint.

Your client engagement model should include both proactive and reactive touchpoints. Proactive touchpoints involve reaching out to your customers before they reach out to you. Examples of proactive touchpoints include regular check-ins, customer newsletters, and educational resources that provide value and help customers succeed.

Reactive touchpoints involve responding to customer needs and inquiries. Examples of reactive touchpoints include customer service calls, email support, and social media interactions. It’s essential to have clear processes in place for handling customer inquiries and resolving issues quickly and efficiently.

In addition to creating a client engagement model, it’s crucial to regularly evaluate and optimize your engagement efforts. Use customer feedback and analytics to identify areas for improvement and adjust your strategy accordingly. By continuously improving your client engagement model, you can stay ahead of the competition and maintain a strong position in the B2B marketplace.

Contact OTM When You Are Ready To Market Your B2B Professional Services

Understanding who you are targeting and how your products and services differ from others in the market is essential for driving growth and success. Through a combination of research, data analysis, and strategic planning, your organization can develop an effective positioning strategy that will help differentiate your service business in a crowded marketplace. By taking this approach to B2B positioning for professional service firms, you’ll become the go-to provider for your target customers.

Successful positioning of a B2B professional services organization requires careful consideration of both the market and the service offering. By taking the time to determine your market position, key differentiators, and leveraging digital marketing and sales pipeline optimization, you will be well on your way to successful market positioning. An active engagement model should be maintained to ensure ongoing success, which can be accomplished with the help of a seasoned professional.

When you are ready to market your B2B professional services, contact OTM and take advantage of our team’s expertise. You can Schedule a 30-Minute Chat with Our CEO here.