Do you want to be able to attract better customers, increase the average value of agreements and LTV?
Keep reading, in this article we will give you the key to achieve it.
But first, it is essential that you know some important concepts, such as what we talk about when we refer to the ideal customer profile or IPC, also what the purchasing committee is and how it differs from your buyer person.
If you have not yet read our previous article: Ideal Customer Profile Part 1. What is it and what are its features?, we invite you to take a look before you continue reading this article.
All right, let’s move on.
To begin with, we must keep in mind that our goal is to define the purchase triggers and the characteristics of its best customers, as well as the typical structure of the purchasing committee.
By doing this, it will be possible to enhance: firstly, the processes of selection and investigation of accounts; secondly, prospecting; and thirdly, the generation of potential customers.
Considering the above, we are ready to review the step-by-step process of building the ICP or Ideal Customer Profile:
1. Select a specific market segment
We have already commented that ICP is supplanting your key customers from a specific market segment. In other words, we could say that it is the selection of the best customers you could have within a given target market.
It should be noted that the problem of many B2B companies is that they rush and skip this step. Before filtering the information, they simply export all the CRM data and create a universal customer avatar.
The result of this is evident: they move to the ‘one size fits all” approach and pulverize their efforts instead of focusing on specific segments. For this reason, we must bear in mind that for each market segment we must create an independent IPC.
2. Choose 10 key customers from that market segment
However, not all customers are the same.
The Pareto Principe says that 4% of customers can generate 64% of your revenue. Our goal is to find this 4% and add it to the ICP template. As a general rule, I suggest selecting the top 10 customers from a particular segment.
Don’t worry if you don’t have this many customers. Add as many as you have. Just focus on working with some data rather than just brainstorming.
3. Fill out the ICP template
The next step is to fill in the IPC template. You’ll need to analyze your accounts, structure your purchasing committee, and conduct in-depth customer interviews.
Contact us for more information on this template.
Let’s start with the easiest.
Collect available data from your CRM such as subindustry (e.g., software development or marketing automation software), location, revenue, our revenue (total sales volume to this customer) and team size.
If you are missing some data, you can collect it during the next steps.
4. Define the members of the purchasing committee and collect all the public information on them
Our next step is to define the purchasing committee. There are several ways to do that.
The first step is to analyze the CRM and talk to sales department.
In the CRM, check who was in the email thread. Take advantage to search for answers and CC. If the sales team can provide information. Ask them:
In your interviews, did the Champions or Decision Makers mention anyone on their team they want to talk to? Did anyone else from the client team join the calls/meetings?
Once you find these people, head to LinkedIn Sales Navigator and search for them. In case you don’t find them there, you can turn to Facebook and Twitter.
If you still can’t find the members of the purchasing committee, here’s a step-by-step process for you.
Export your customers’ emails from CRM to a CSV file (a plain text file containing a list of data) and upload it to LinkedIn.
Go to My network -> More options -> Upload file and upload a file with your customers’ contacts.
Find the shopping committee on LinkedIn, this social network will show you their profiles.
Once you have found the members of the purchasing committee, copy in the ideal customer’s template their functions, their approximate age and their activity on social networks (Do they post anything? How often?).
Focus on the following:
- How is the content influencers share or follow?
- Who are the B2B marketing influencers?
- What communities are they members of?
- Check the communities where the ideal customer profile might be
Knowing this information is necessary because thanks to this, you can then collaborate with the same influencers, publish guest posts or participate in communities to attract the target audience.
Now, when you’ve collected the information from the public, it’s time to analyze the purchasing process.
You can order more information about the Purchasing Committee Template here
5. Analyze the purchase process
To complete this analysis, you can follow the instructions below:
- Interview the sales team
During the interview, ask your sales team the following questions:
- What were the objectives which each member of the purchasing committee wanted to achieve with our product?
- What concerns or objections were faced during the sale process? At what stage did the objections appear and why? How did you resolve their doubts?
- What factors influenced the purchasing decision of each member of the purchasing committee?
- When did each member of the purchasing committee join the sales process?
- What benefits does each member of the purchasing committee get from our product?
Don’t forget to ask about personal benefits and what your department gets.
- Analyze emails and sales calls
In addition to interviewing the sales team, it is advisable to perform a manual analysis of all sales calls and emails.
It’s not about lacking confidence in the sales team. If sellers are not interviewed about the new agreement, they can obviously forget the details of the negotiations and provide only what they remember.
Checking again won’t hurt anyone, right?
If you do additional research and analyze calls and emails from marketers, you will be able to find out many more objections, concerns and doubts. This information will help you improve your marketing campaigns, MOFU and BOFU content.
6. Conduct in-depth customer interviews
The last step is vital but, surprisingly, most B2B companies overlook it. Let’s dig into it.
- The diver survey method: enriching the ideal customer profile with in-depth customer interviews
In the steps mentioned above, we have collected the available public information about your key customers, defined the purchasing committee and interviewed the sales department members. This process should provide you with great knowledge about your ideal customers.
Now we will enrich your ideal customer profile by interviewing your best customers.
The insights you’ll gain will not only help you develop a better ICP, but expand your value proposition, polish your company’s positioning and improve the effectiveness of all the marketing programs you’re running.
Here is a list of questions I suggest you ask during the customer interview:
- What makes them buy products like yours?
- What factors influence your purchase decision?
- What are your current challenges related to your business?
- What problems does our product solve?
- What could happen if these problems were not solved?
- Why have you chosen our company?
- What do you like most about our product?
- Are you satisfied with everything (quality, service, support, results, etc.), or is there something that can be improved?
- What features would you like to see in our product?
- Can you give a testimonial or recommend our company?
- What social media do you usually use?
- What blogs, websites, or influencers do you follow?
- Is there anyone else involved in the negotiation process or who do you consult before buying products like ours?
The information you’ll get is invaluable.
Once you have finished interviewing all existing customers, the advisable step is the following:
For a B2B service company, conduct in-depth interviews with all upcoming customers.
If you sell a B2B product (for example, SaaS B2B) and have a steady stream of new customers, it is best to make a small adjustment to the process.
You won’t have enough time to interview all new customers, so keep interviewing only those who have a similar profile as your best customers. For everyone else, you can send an automatic email that includes a link to the survey.
That’s how we do it in HelloMrLead.
Defining the IPC from existing data
This is the last step.
After collecting the data of your best customers in the segment, it’s time to analyze them and, at last, create the ICP or Ideal Customer Profile.
You may have noticed that ICP is nothing more than a combination of patterns, features and information about your best customers.
Sometimes you may be puzzled by what you should put in your ICP template. When you have doubts or concerns, look at the customers with the highest revenue and include in your template the data you have collected about them.
The final version of your ICP should look something like this:
If your ICP looks something like this, you’ve done a great job! It’s time to share it with your team and stakeholders.
Now, when we’ve covered the detailed process of developing the ideal customer profile, I guess you’ll just have one question:
How to create a ICP for a new product or market segment if you don’t have customers yet?
We’ll talk about that in detail in our next article, keep an eye on our blog.