This is our first blog in a two part series about how to build an ideal customer profile, and how being strategic in prospect targeting will produce significantly better and measurable results.
Building an Ideal Customer Profile is a process designed to provide an identity for customers you should be targeting in order to get the best ROI on your sales efforts. As an outsourcing sales organization this is one of our main focuses when providing initial sales consulting. We believe this facet of the sales process deserves careful attention – what goes into the sales pipe has a huge impact on what comes out of the funnel. It is also critical to build an aligned sales and marketing effort, so you can create an effective and efficient sales machine.
Ultimately, an Ideal Customer Profile allows you to find, identify, target, and engage your potential customers based on a variety of criteria related to both the company and the specific decision maker:
- Annual revenue of the company
- Number of employees
- Level of contact – C-level, Senior Manager, Middle Manager
- Functional Area – business area, technical area
- Revenue responsibility – budget maker or budget spender
- Geography – global, national, local
- Technology adopted – in some cases knowing what ERP, CRM etc. they are employing is huge
- Their clients – who are they, and who are they doing business with?
In addition, there are softer qualitative criteria that should be identified as well:
- Business pain/need
- Vertical industry trend – established or in transition, growth or decline
- Competitive – large competitors or a volume of competitors
- Psychographics – company culture, leadership style, corporate values
It is also equally important to know who you don’t want to sell to:
- Decision makers whose job may be threatened
- Internal support functions – fear that your service may replace their position
- Low-level, “shopping” employees
- If they don’t have the budget, and aren’t willing to secure, they can’t spend it
The purpose of the combined hard and soft segmentation is to establish clear, actionable criteria that can be leveraged across your sales and marketing engine, in order to:
- Purchase direct dial contacts for cold calling
- Purchase direct mail and Electronic direct mail contact information
- Filter leads from publishers
- Leverage for a “Cost Per Click Campaign” like Google Adwords
- Decide where to place your online advertising budget
- Instruct your social media outreach program
We acknowledge that this task is daunting for many organizations, but as an outsourced sales organization with 10 years of data we can guarantee that if you complete your due diligence on the front end, you will see significant ROI and pipe quality increase. Exponential returns will follow after your first wave of nurtured leads start to fall out of your pipe as closed deals.
For additional information on how to build an Ideal Customer Profile, look for our next blog in this series – available August 19th, 2015.