By Anthony Musker

When you visit a restaurant and love the service, menu variety, food quality, price points or ambience, you visit the place regularly and refer it to your friends.

For that restaurant, you become their ideal customer because you’re the one who is consistently reacting positively to the nature of the package they are presenting. Your needs, interests and characteristic details fit the profile of someone who is in need or want of what is being offered by the particular business.

The same applies to B2B business.

A client or customer who makes purchase or has genuine interest/requirement in buying from you becomes your ideal customer profile. Ultimately, business is a game of leverage. It is easier to leverage sales upon those who are bound by what you provide. Leverage can come in the form of a need or want:

  • Need – A business can’t do without this in order to run.
  • Want – A desire to have something based on its appeal which would satisfy or add value.

You may have a few variations of an ideal customer profile. But the overlapping factor is that there is a potential for business activity. Even more ideally would be for the continuation of selling (repeat customers, referrals, subscription renewals) over a long-term period.

Ideal customer profiles can break down in many ways, but as long as you’re fulfilling their needs in some way, shape or form which outweighs the alternative option, they will stick to you and continue to work with your business.

The key is identifying pain points and resolving them – that is the magic formula.

The Importance of an Ideal Customer Profile

The reason why collecting, acknowledging and understanding who your ideal customer profiles are makes a massive difference on the impact of your business output:

  • Targeting direction of marketing campaigns
  • Better lead quality
  • Productivity of sales pipeline

This contributes to the overall efficiency of the business, allowing the process to flow and function more smoothly. Quickly identifying the opportunities which are worthwhile and filtering out those which aren’t going to progress early on. Consequently, being able to spend more valuable time nurturing, informing and servicing those who have legitimate closable and long term value.

But how would you recognize your ideal customer in the crowd of various kind of customers? Let’s find out.

Questions to Ask When Identifying Your Ideal Customer

Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself as you begin to create your ideal customer profile.

1. Who is buying from you right now?

Take those characteristics and traits and try to find more of those people through Inbound and outbound marketing. Qualifying all opportunities with your own business lead scoring or lead checklist system. This should be based on attributes, patterns, priority order.

If you are able to run a query on your businesses customer data, you can filter through to work out who are your most valuable customers based on:

  • Engagement level
  • Longest serving
  • Fastest to pay
  • Most repeat sales
  • Highest price package

2. What does your product look like through the eyes of your customer?

Before you jump into the sales process, you must have a deep knowledge of what and why you’re selling. Map out the main reasons why someone would want or need your product or service. Every single possible motive.

Establish the different agendas of your customers, the common problems they are having which your business has the answer for. Again, list every single one.

By grouping and matching them with your current/previous paying customers, you will visualize the pattern of the most common themes. Creating a priority order of potential converting profiles.

3. What specific benefits are customers are looking for in your product?

There must be something about your business that makes you different from your competitors. You need to focus on your unique selling proposition, and this will lead you to your ideal customer profiles. Explore where your business stands it out against the alternatives:

  • Price
  • Feature
  • Service
  • Brand
  • Accessibility

4. What is the referral path of your ideal customer?

Knowing your most common referral path for the top customers you have identified is a fantastic way to focus your marketing output and scale more opportunities. This could be social media, SEO, content marketing, email marketing, direct mail marketing or cold calling.

It is essential that you discover the method that provides the greatest success in acquiring the right type of customer. You can then implement a strategy to intensify the budget or time to bring more of this prospect profile through the door.

Important Things to Remember About Your B2B Customer Profile

Keep these factors in mind as you create your customer profile:

  • Geography This is important because you know where you need to put your extra efforts. You can expand your business in that particular place.
  • Industry – Particular industries which are responding well to your business and have an obvious gap which you can fill.
  • Budget – Budget of the prospect will define how much they are capable of purchasing your product for. This can immediately strike particular companies out of potential for conversion.
  • Decision-Making Factors – Knowing the frequent decision-making job role within the organizations and industries you are liaising with will help you speed up the sales process. 
  • Business Objectives – Understanding the business objective of a prospect will open your eyes to the bigger picture and the long-term opportunity of their custom.

Building an ideal customer profile is going to increase the performance of your business all around. Once you have put in all of the work and research, it is necessary to make this a visual thing. Create your ideal customer profiles, in the form of an image or caricature, and have these displayed in your sales and marketing departments.

This is a constant reminder, reinforcing the message of who you want to sell to, why you want to sell to them and why they need to buy from your business.