How to Identify Your Ideal Customer Profile – and Why it’s Important

Apr 22, 2014

Vya Staff

There’s a big payoff to understanding your market – the better you get to know your target customer, the bigger the rewards. Focusing on selling to the wrong prospect can lead to wasted time and even failure, but is there a foolproof method to finding the perfect client?482097409

Having an ideal customer profile helps give businesses a more structured look at their goals, especially if they’re building from scratch. Here are seven key points to consider when putting together a customer profile:

Industry
Businesses should establish which industry they’re going to target. When it comes to industry size, bigger isn’t always better. If the product or service an organization is offering can be used by all or many industries, a good place to find focus is targeting a specific problem in a specific niche.

Geography
Where is the ideal customer located? If a business can focus its efforts in key geographic areas, it can deliver better results while using the same investment of money, energy and time. Companies don’t need to overextend themselves to places they can’t reach.

Revenue
Looking at a business’ financial details makes sense when it comes to identifying your target market. Why? Details such as growth, losses, profitability, etc. could determine if a company is an ideal prospect and if they can – or can’t – afford a service or product. This will determine the likelihood of a contract with them.

Culture Clues
Businesses need to take a look at existing processes and products in place. Is there anything your business can leverage? It helps to know ideal company characteristics and details on their current systems. What defines them from other companies? How will your service benefit them? For example, it would be more productive to focus on and target businesses that have a particular need for your service than ones who don’t.

Employee Size
Large businesses are not always the best target, and relying solely on only a few of them can end badly. However, even if your business fits well with companies of all sizes, it’s not a wise decision to target all of them. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Identify the size of a company you can effectively target that will benefit from your value proposition. Determine how many employees there are and the size of the department you’re targeting.

Key Metrics and Data Points
Take a look at your existing clients. Why did they start doing business with you? Why do they continue to? Have they or would they refer you to a potential client? You can identify your ideal customer based on what has worked in the past with pre-existing statistics and data.

Deal Breakers and Makers
Does the target organization even have a problem you can solve? Figure out who you’re aiming your content to and who will benefit the most from your product or service. Find out if it and how it makes a difference to them.

Ideal Contacts
Who is the best person to contact? What is their title? In the case there is a great match between you and a potential client, there needs to be a person in line to reach out to.

If businesses don’t do a little research, they won't know their customers’ pain points and if they are truly solving their problems. The bonus is that identifying ideal customers and their characteristics will prevent organizations from wasting time on unqualified companies and people. A successful business sales strategy begins with an ideal customer profile. Don’t build your sales strategy by aiming at the wrong targets. It will take time to fine tune and hone in on the ideal client, but it’s worth it.

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Tags: Blog, sales, marketing, businesses, deal breakers and makers, discipline, qualified, ideal contacts, companies, culture clues, people, key metrics, geography, industries, data points, revenue, employee size, research, customer, characteristics

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