Want to generate higher-quality leads who are easy to close?
You’ll have to start with this crucial step: creating the ideal customer profile.
Now, some business owners make the mistake of targeting too large a segment. They think that doing this increases their pool of potential customers…
But in actual fact, it’s actually a hindrance and a bad sales strategy.
Why do I say so?
Say you’re targeting newly launched startups, and you want to offer them your digital marketing services, for example.
You know that the biggest concern, for these guys, is to ensure that they have enough cash flow on hand…
Bearing this in mind, you can tailor your pitch to talk about how you’ll make sure that they have a steady stream of customers. This way, they’ll never run out of cash.
What if you’re targeting small B2B business owners earning ~$100,000/year, on the other hand?
Well, these folks are probably busy thinking of ways to grow/scale their company.
So here’s what you do:
You pull out some stats talking about how much ROI digital marketing brings you, and tell them that digital marketing can really help them take their company to the next level.
I could go on, but I think you get the point.
The more specific your target audience or customer profile is, the easier it is to understand their needs and pain points.
And once you do that, you can tailor your sales process, and pitch your products/services in a way that’s relevant to them.
So, don’t jump the gun and read up on how to write outreach emails, or how to cold-call your leads. Instead, start by creating your ideal customer profile first. Afterwards, focus on planning your sales activities.
In this article, we’ll walk you through a 3-step guide that will teach you how to create a kickass ideal customer profile.
Alright, let’s get started!
Step 1: Define your ideal customer
To do this, you need all hands on deck. So gather all your colleagues in a meeting, and ask everyone to pitch in with what they think an ideal customer looks like.
You’ll find that different departments will define an “ideal customer” differently, so be sure to hear everyone’s take on this.
For example, your CFO might say that an ideal customer is one that has the highest Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). Fair enough.
Your customer service reps, on the other hand, might say that your ideal customer employs technologically-savvy employees who understand how to use knowledge base software (as opposed to employees who email your company with inane questions every other day).
Both perspectives are valid!
You can use this list of questions to get started:
- How large is the company? How much revenue does it make per year, and how many people does it employ?
- What industry is the company in?
- When was the company first established?
- What is the company struggling with or working on right now?
- What are the company’s pain points?
- What are the company’s goals (both short and long run)?
- What is the company’s buying process?
- What tools or services are the company currently using?
- What websites, blogs or publications do the employees in the company read?
Step 2: Speak to your loyal customers
Great – you now have an ideal customer profile “prototype”.
In order to refine your ideal customer profile, track down your most loyal customers, and interview them about why they decided to work with your company.
If they chose you over other options/vendors, be sure to ask them what prompted this as well.
The goal is to understand exactly what it is about your company that appeals to these customers.
Trust me, these insights will go a long way in influencing your selling strategy.
For example, say Customer X responds:
“Well, I decided to work with your company because you’ve got a great track record. You came endorsed by several companies who were on the Fortune 500 list, so I was pretty confident in your ability to deliver.”
Bearing this in mind, you might tweak your ideal customer profile, and specify that you want to target companies who are highly attuned to the business world, and keep track of who make the yearly Fortune 500 list.
This way, you can casually mention to your leads/prospects that you’ve worked with several Fortune 500 companies, and that might be enough to get a foot in the door.
Of course, even if you don’t narrow down your ideal customer profile based on this insight, you’ll still score brownie points for having worked with reputable clients…
But the goal here is to target companies who are extra impressed by this fact and are willing to pay a premium for it.
So go ahead, and use those criteria to refine your ideal customer profile!
Step 3: Look through customer feedback and complaints
Finally, look through the negative feedback you’ve gotten from your customers, and use this feedback to further shape your ideal customer profile.
Here’s an example:
Say you previously had a hard time serving Customer Z, and their chief complaint was that they didn’t support their team enough.
Now, you can either restructure your operations team and hire more customer service reps…
Or you can specify that you want to serve customers who:
- Require minimal supervision/help, and/or
- Are willing to wait at least 24 hours for your reps to get back to them
We talked about this earlier – when building your ideal customer profile, you shouldn’t just consider who you can make the most money out of.
Instead, take a more rounded approach, and think about the lengths you’re willing to go to in order to serve your ideal customer as well.
A final word on creating the ideal customer profile
And there you have it – three easy steps that will help you create an ideal customer profile!
Now, most business owners either skip past this process, or they cobble together a Buyer’s Persona in ten minutes flat, and then move on to sending the first outreach emails.
But like I said, it’s crucial to get this right.
Think of it this way:
If you don’t invest the time into coming up with an ideal customer profile, then you’ll wind up wasting a ton of breath talking to leads who aren’t a good fit.
So go about this the smart way – start by creating your ideal customer profile, and take things from there!