You can create the ideal customer profile and develop a system to audit those profiles. Without a doubt, the most challenging question we have to answer every day is who we should be selling to. If we get this wrong, then everything becomes difficult for us. This article will show you the proper steps you can take to create the ideal customer profile.
What is an ideal customer profile?
Before going any further, let’s discuss what we would consider an ideal customer profile. In business-to-business marketing, an ideal customer profile is the type of company that is willing to buy your products and services and remain loyal to you in the long term. In short, these companies are those who will recommend your products to others.
The ideal customer profile will also state the company’s size, the business industry they are part of, what they seek to get out of your product or service, and the activities they conduct.
Product teams can use ideal customer profiles as a method of testing to see if they are creating suitable features or not. It’s vital everyone on the team is on the same page and knows who the ideal customer is and their needs.
Steps to creating the ideal customer profile
1. Find the right data about your best customer
Before we take any step further, we have to ensure we are finding the correct data. A customer profile may be detailed or general, depending on how your team’s needs.
Ideal Customer Profiles for B2B
Your best customers are those who possess the following traits:
- Ready to buy your product: they already possess the need for your product or service
- Have the finances to buy your product: they have the budget to buy your product
- Get value from your product: your product fulfills all the customer’s needs
- Are always interested: they seek to buy more from you and buy across product lines
- Word of mouth: they tell others about your product and refer others
B2B Customer Metrics
Additionally, the customer metrics below can be used to identify your ideal customer.
- A customer that gave you the most referrals
- Most up-sells
- Highest customer satisfaction
- Lowest CAC (customer acquisition cost)
- Shortest sales cycle
- Most profitable
- Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV)
- Net Promoter Score
You have to determine which metrics are the most important to your business, and it is different for every company. For example, maybe an important metric for your company is customer acquisition cost.
Each business will focus on different metrics, but as long as you are focusing on what makes your company grow and profitable, that is what matters for finding your ideal customer.
Other metrics you can use include brand awareness KPIs, where you can see for yourself see who your marketing efforts are impacting the most. This is usually done for checking out how well-known your brand is to your target audience and at which level they recognize it. When it comes to marketing, it is an essential metric.
Furthermore, you can also consider sitting down with your team and asking these three important questions:
- Who is our most loyal customer in the long term?
- Who are our best customers to work with?
- Who values our products the most?
2. Identify your best customers
Now, you found your best customers. Moreover, you have to find out why they are your best customers. Why did they buy your product? And what makes your product so attractive to them.
The best way to find this out is to ask them. Your best customer will happily speak to you about this and tell you the reasons why they are using your product. So, try to find a good time and talk to them about this.
Sometimes, it may be challenging to get your best customers to come to an interview with you, but before inviting them, you should tell them what value they are receiving from the interview. By doing this, you are giving them the power and control of being your customers.
Not all of your best customers are the same, so you should seek to ask them what works for them, a phone call, video call, or something else. If they don’t have the time to go on a quick chat with you, then you can ask them to fill some short questionnaires that won’t take much of their time.
Finally, you may reward them with a gift after they complete these reviews. They deserve it, after all. You can try offering some gift cards, a free service, a discount, and more. Try to set up some emotional connection whether you are on an interview, phone call, or even asking them to fill your questionnaire.
Here are some questions you can ask to figure out the “What” with your customers:
- What can you do to increase customer satisfaction through your product or service?
- What kind of problem is your product or service solving when it is offered to the ideal customer?
- Does the product or service solve a problem, or provide any value?
- What can you improve in your product or service based on customer feedback?
Demographic Attributes of B2B Ideal Customer Profile
While asking these questions, you can also consider using a demographic approach. Consider answering the following questions:
- Location: where are your best customers located? Are they local, national, international?
- Industry: which area are they operating in? What do they do?
- Business size: how many employees are within the business?
- Business budget: do they have the financial resources to have your product?
- Goals: is your product or service helping them achieve their goals?
By asking these questions, you are just learning more about your ideal customer. Your ideal customer comes in different ways, but also compare nonbuyers to your ideal customer. What kind of traits do they share with each other? How are they different?
3. Setup a behavioral profile with your ideal customer
Now, you have gathered the necessary data about your ideal customer. You have used analytics tools and now have to merge everything together. These are all patterns you should pay attention to. For example, the behaviors, issues, the problem you solve for your customer, their traits, and so much more.
Here are a few steps you can take to set up a profile of your ideal customer:
- Summarize all data and insights you gathered
- State each type of customer segments that represents your ideal customer
- Gather multiple profiles based on the following: your ideal customer’s needs, interaction with your product or service, their loyalty and emotional connection, their responsiveness with your product or service and their purchase behavior.
Now, sit back and ask yourself a few other questions about your ideal customer:
- What kind of impression do they have of your product or service?
- What would their first impression be if they visit your site or social media profiles (Facebook page, Tiktok videos, Instagram reels, Twitter handle, etc.. )
- Would they be comfortable buying from you on social media?
Furthermore, this information can be used to model behaviors. You should gather contextual information by asking the following questions:
- How would a day with your product or service look like for your users?
- Can you stop them from getting frustrated and why does that happen to them?
- What kind of external factors are affecting them?
To finalize everything, you should ask these last questions so you can build the ideal customer profile at the highest level:
- How do they gather knowledge?
- What kind of books, content or news sources do they read?
- Where are they the most active for gathering information?
- Who ensures that a purchase is a successful one?
What differs a buyer persona from an ideal customer profile?
An ideal customer profile shows a clear picture of the type of company you are targeting to sell to. Ideal customer profiles are all about metrics, such as what kind of people work in the company, job titles, and more.
On the other hand, a buyer persona focuses on the psychological needs of the audience you are targeting. What are their needs? What do they like? What don’t they want, and what issues are they facing daily?
Wrapping it up
Now, it is time to use your ideal customer profile. An ideal customer profile allows you to look at things in a new way and compare them to past companies that have bought your product or service.
By the time you have finished building your ideal customer profile, you should have a clear picture of where your ideal customer is operating, their goals, and what kind of problems they have in their daily lives that your product or service may solve. In short, you have to convince them that you are their only solution.