How to Build an Ideal Customer Profile - Prospect Profiling

How to Build a Winning Ideal Customer Profile

July 27, 2011

This blog outlines the steps we take to build a successful outsourcing lead generation strategy and the sales consulting options we provide, as well as the steps you may be able to take on your own if you have the sales bandwidth.

In What is an Ideal Customer Profile we talked about why the sales consulting step is critical to our success as an outsourcing sales company.  To recap – It allows us to find and target your potential customers based on a number of hard criteria related to both the company and the specific decision maker type.

During launch, the first step we generally advocate as part of our initial sales consulting (especially when selling Professional Services or launching lead generation for a highly complex sale) is to apply Pareto’s Principal to your existing customer list.   Also know as ‘the law of the vital few”, or the 80:20 rule, it states that 80% of your revenue is going to come from 20% of your customers.   These are the customers we want to go after.  You can then score the customers based on the hard criteria discussed in What is an Ideal Customer Profile with a specific focus on

  • Title and Level of Contact
  • Functional Area
  • Annual Revenue and Number of Employees
  • Vertical Market

We also recommend that you look at the customers that you don’t want, which means looking at your failures.  Who makes up the 80% of your customers who are driving 20% of your revenue?    Here we recommend that you look at:

  • Functional Area
  • Level of Contact

If there is a trend here, as an outsourcing sales and outsourcing lead generation company, we will avoid them like the plague and label them WCP (Worst Customer Profile).  You then make a decision about what you want to replicate and don’t want to replicate when you do your new lead targeting.

If you are starting from scratch with no history you need to start making intelligent guesses.  We recommend that you start with determining what percentage of someones budget your solution would qualify for.  You then need to target companies that will produce large enough size revenue deals to cover the costs of sales and marketing and determine who in that company will own the P&L for your product or service.

The second step is to understand the size and scope of the market to see where the biggest opportunity is.  Gabriel Sales we recommend the following three-part approach:

  • We take your internal Ideal Customer Profile and map it against our historical data to examine connect ratios.  This helps us to determine how many calls it typically takes to get the decision maker.  From this we can do a semi accurate forecast of how often the will to actually pick up the phone or open an email.  This lets us determine the ease of reaching.
  • We do a deep dive leveraging Hoovers and other Database Research Tools to match SIC codes of your existing ICP to determine the target market size based on the hard criteria and get a hard decision maker count by vertical and determined ease of reach.
  • You look at Social Media including Linked In, You Tube and Influential Blogs to do a preliminary landscape of ancillary tactics to determine Social Media Adoption.

The third step (and the one often skipped) that we recommend is an honest assessment of where you are best equipped to Sell Money and provide Success Stories for these new targets. Essentially it’s about selling to the customers you are better equipped to service than anyone else.  Where there is alignment is where you will win.  So, ask yourself where does this customer alignment meet existing sales and marketing alignment too, so I can win and the customer can win faster. (Both of these tactics are detailed in other blogs).   This step will make your outsourcing lead generation or internal lead generation more effective.  It will also accelerate your ability to sales qualify and increase your pipe velocity.

Bottom line is that an Ideal Customer Profile is (in the words of Steven Covey) starting with the end in mind.  It will drive sustained and exponential returns by helping you to:

  • Find deals faster
  • Close higher volume and higher deal size
  • Build a strong pipe to nurture for future deals
  • Eliminate customers that do not scale or take too much time to service
  • Increase your profitability
  • Create a focus that drives sales and marketing alignment

Other blogs we suggest checking out if all of the above makes sense:

What is an Ideal Customer Profile

Selling Money -ROI Statement Early

A Successful Sales Script Starts with Building a Winning Sales Story

No comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.
mautic is open source marketing automation