If you’re starting your hunt for new prospects with a shiny new campaign, you doing it wrong.
You’ve got to start with your ideal customer profile.
It isn’t as glamorous as crafting multidimensional funnels from the get-go, but it’s critical to making sure your campaigns work.
In this guide, we’ll show you how you can create ideal customer profiles that can help you take your sales to the next level.
So, what makes an ideal customer?
Let’s find out.
- What is an Ideal Customer Profile?
- Where to Find Your Ideal Customers
- Creating a Customer Profile (Demographic Targeting)
- Advanced Targeting
- Using LinkedIn to Create Detailed Customer Profiles
- Anatomy of an Ideal Customer Profile
- Key Takeaways
What is an Ideal Customer Profile?
Chances are, your organization has a favorite customer.
They pay on time, they’re easy to work with and, more importantly, your solutions are truly making a difference in their organization.
Don’t you wish you had more people like this buying from you?
We all do.
That’s the ideal customer profile.
They’re your customers that seem to be a perfect fit for your organization.
These customers fit a certain bill depending on their industry, needs, geography, and company pain points.
Where to Find Your Ideal Customers
If you don’t have an ideal customer profile yet, that’s fine, there are two ways that you can start building it out today.
Looking at Your Current Roster
Pull up your CRM and look at the current customers that you have and your past big ones.
Is there anything that you see in common?
By taking a look at your previous customers you can start to identify patterns with their characteristics. They might have the same level of decision-making as the rest, be in the same or similar industry, or have a similar job title.
You also want to take a look at who else you had to talk to apart from the DMU (decision-making unit), these include technical departments, a particular gatekeeper, etc.
This helps you form a more holistic profile of who your common customer is.
A target customer profile can span more than one industry, but it helps if you can isolate which industry you can sell more to.
This is your target customer persona, although you can create more than one if you have to.
Setting Target Customers
Say you haven’t been in a company long enough or it’s a startup that’s just starting to build momentum.
How do you find your ideal customer then?
Just ask yourself this question: “Which companies do I want to sell solutions to?”
You can put down 10-20 companies that you hope to one day sell to, and find out what these companies have in common.
You can start from there.
Creating a Customer Profile (Demographic Targeting)
The first thing that you need hammered down are the basics.
- Job Title/Position
- Basic Background
These form the “seeds” to where you can start doing your research on your ideal customer profile.
Think of this as an opportunity for you to do more research about your prospects. This helps you craft personalized content and material that resonates with them.
It will help you be more relatable to them.
You also get the opportunity to look at their pain points and maybe even adjust your campaigns and products accordingly.
Once you get these points down, it’s time to move on to advanced targeting.
Knowing their industry and job titles is just one part of the equation.
These are the real questions that they matter.
Who do they report to?
What do they want to accomplish?
What are their key goals?
What KPIs are they being measured against?
What are their primary pain points?
What kind of issues is likely to be top-of-mind for them?
Where do they go for information?
Which social media networks are they active on?
Who do they trust?
What publications do they read regularly?BAMF Bible, Houston Golden
After you ask these questions move on to other pressing ones such as:
“Why wouldn’t this prospect want to buy from me?”
This immediately gets you thinking about the obstacles that could be preventing a sale from happening and how you can minimize them.
You need to flush these obstacles out from the onset to give your marketing team an easier time to
These questions transcend the shallow details that they have readily available and get you into your prospect’s psyche.
This is where you can really get to understand not only how they work, but why they work that way.
Why is this important?
You need this information not only to determine what sort of campaigns you should be using to target them but also to find out how you can develop your solution to be tailor-fit to their needs.
The lessons from customer profiles can be used to create products that meet exact pain points and it can also drive product development to the next level.
The best products in the market today are those that were developed with the customer in mind.
Using LinkedIn to Create Detailed Customer Profiles
Now, you can use LinkedIn to find out more about these people.
Here are a few things that you can keep in mind.
These points aren’t only limited to the vanilla version of LinkedIn, you can use Sales Navigator when you do your outreach and use other tools such as BuiltWith to find out specifics like the tech stacks that they use on their profile.
Anatomy of an Ideal Customer Profile
Now that you’re done with your research, it’s time to put a name on the target.
(We even gave him a picture to make it as visual as possible.)
In this example, we called our ideal customer persona “Jared Fischer” and this makes it easier for our teams to refer to certain personas that they are targeting.
We put in our ideal age group (average age), some educational background (in this case we’re looking for people that have gone to places that are like Virginia Tech), primary goal, pain point, the materials that they could be reading, and the obstacles that the marketing team may face when targeting him.
Do you see that last note we put in?
This gives marketing a baseline on how they can market to personas of this type.
Crafting ideal customer personas takes a lot of time and it isn’t easy to do.
But, it’s a crucial investment to make.
By spending just a couple of hours creating your personas, you can make it easier for your marketing team to identify, target, and close deals.
Here’s what we mean in action.
These determine the scope of your search, the Jared Fischer’s that we’re looking for are in their middle ages, that work senior positions in established firms, they make a considerable amount of money so their main motivation is probably achievement in their organizations.
You can basically input all of this in Linked Sales Navigator.
This is where your product comes in.
For Jareds, they need to be able to bring in more and more leads per quarter, your solution must immediately meet these needs.
These are the challenges that they face in achieving the primary goals that they have. Does your solution provide a feature that gives them a way out? Does it make their life easier?
Refers to challenges that you will have to face in order to get to them. It could be anything from a gatekeeper to meeting (or managing) their expectations in the first quarter of the sale.
You can’t go around creating campaigns without setting up your ideal customer profiles.
It doesn’t give your growth and marketing team a clear target to go after.
They might be able to get campaigns together, but it’s not surgical enough to be efficient and effective with your marketing resources.
An ideal customer profile gives your team something to aim for.
It allows them to drop prospects with a low propensity to convert and concentrate on the ones that are ready to buy.
Does your organization have an ideal customer profile that you’re going after?
If you don’t.
Get one started today.
You need it.