If you have followed our previous articles, surely you are already an expert of the Ideal Customer Profile, you know what it is and you have the templates to build it.
You already learned everything you need to know about the Ideal Customer Profile in our first article, without this information, it’s unlikely that you and your team will be able to achieve the company’s business goals.
The value of this information lies in the following: If you don’t understand who or who are the ideal users to buy your product or service, how do you know who you should sell to?
This question was resolved in our previous article on how to make the Ideal Customer Profile step by step. There we touched on topics of interest such as: the information you need to collect and the techniques of how to do it efficiently.
With this in mind, the next step is to understand how to launch a new product? by reference to the Ideal Customer Profile.
Now, considering the above, the following question arises: What do I need to do to create the ideal profile of my client, if I already have a new product or service, but I do not have customers?
Excellent question, read on, below we will explain our recommendations:
Leverage your contact network
Keep in mind that you never start from scratch, maybe you have more contacts than you think. Before deserting a promising project due to a lack of interested people, first use the resources available to you.
You can start as follow:
1.Make a list of 100 ideal contacts:
Research the market segment you are in and make a list of the top 100 customers in this segment. Keep in mind those with whom you would like to do business. It could be the beginning of a great business relationship.
2. Define the purchasing committee which you would like to attract or engage:
It is important to do the next practical exercise, first write down the positions and working roles you will need to define the committee, then make a hypothesis of what the scenario might be like when you contact them.
3. Find the purchasing committee:
Meeting these people is not an impossible task. Start with a social media research, LinkedIn may be your first and best choice, but don’t underestimate the others. But don’t stop there, gather as much information as you can to nurture your purchasing committee template.
4. Contact them:
Send these people a connection request and invite them to lunch (if you’re in the same city), or ask them if they’re available for a quick chat about the problem your product solves.
You don’t need to throw or mention your product at all. You can say:
Every week I meet/chat with an industry job to discuss the challenges. During the last couple of weeks, I met/spoke with FULL NAME, and it provided me with information on the TOPIC.
I love what you are doing at COMPANY and wanted to invite you for a quick meal/chat to share ideas and see how we can help each other.
Are you available for a 30-minute lunch or a 15-minute call?
5. Follow up:
In case you don’t get a specific response, it’s best to send follow-up emails and leave messages on social networks.
6. Carry out Interviews: Getting a positive response is the golden opportunity for you to start your interviews
If you want to get the interview template, you can contact us here.
In this step, it’s important to make the most of your communication skills. Before you talk, be aware of what your prospects want to tell you. Instead of focusing on a question like «What do you like most about our product?» Ask them: «What do you like most about the products that solve these CHALLENGES?»
7. Join these communities and become an active member quickly
It is very simple. Introduce yourself, mentioning what you’re working on now, what kind of help you’re looking for, and how you can help other community members.
Start answering questions and ask your own. Connect with administrators and ask how you can help them.
8. Approach administrators and share your challenge
Ask them who they recommend you talk to and if they can contact you. Also, ask if you can do a post that says you want to chat with ten people about the problems your product solves.
In most cases, you’ll get positive feedback and valuable connections.
Remember to always stay connected to the community you’ve created, which means that, when you finish your research don’t forget it or leave it aside. This may indicate that you are not committed enough and that you will not be willing to help if they need it.
Therefore, it would be a valuable strategy to, when acquiring your first customers, re-read the steps and repeat them.
An important aspect to consider when acquiring new customers is to check how valuable they are.
If the first step is to use all the information you have and go for more, the second step involves debugging that data to make it useful, the third step is to filter the best profiles and thus ensure that all the resources you use to capture them and keep them hooked will be welcomed.
To help you make this process efficient, we share the key questions that will make you choose your best prospects.
5 questions to capture valuable Ideal Customer
- Who is my best customer?
In our first article we mentioned an important premise: not all customers are the same.
So, the most important thing is to make sure you have collected the information right. In other words, check if you’ve analyzed your best customers from a particular market segment and haven’t added mix with customers from other segments.
If in doubt, double-check your CRM. Perform a segment and LTV leak.
- Why do you buy my product?
You may think they buy your product because you offer a shocking solution, but customers are more concerned about their problems. Understand how your solution adapts to the real challenges you’re solving.
Think about this: «People don’t want to buy a quarter inch drill. They want a quarter inch hole». This famous phrase by Theodore Levitt practically points out what happens in the minds of consumers.
This is the same approach you should take when studying the problems your product solves. This way, you’ll know how to approach and prospect leads that are similar to your best customers.
- Who influences my business?
Don’t forget that, in the B2B sector, you usually deal with a group of people we call the purchasing committee. Some of them directly influence your deal, while others (influencers and blockers) can influence the later stages by simply sharing their opinion.
You have to think in advance about how to relate to the entire purchasing committee. Also, how to motivate all members to keep moving forward in their agreement.
- Where can I find them?
You need to find out what channels you can use for prospecting and generating leads. The only way to find out is to analyze the social media activity of your best customers and conduct in-depth surveys to them.
When you get this information, you no longer have to ask which channels I should try.
- What influences your decision-making process?
The last question helps you understand the typical buying process and the customer journey of your best customers. You can leverage this information to improve content strategy, lead generation touches, lead nurturing cadence, sales enablement and sales processes.
In addition, this information helps you understand how to improve the positioning of the company and its unique value proposition.
The most common mistakes with ICP
After understanding the ideal steps that will guide you to obtain not only customers, but consumers who are ready to buy your product or service, it is interesting to visualize those common mistakes that are usually committed when making the Ideal Customer Profile.
Here are the main ones:
- Mix customers from different segments.
This will not only bring distrust to the leads you capture, but will subtract positioning and lead generation.
Imagine the following scenario:
There is a SaaS B2B that sells a $10,000 business solution. Instead of choosing the ideal customers that fit their proposal, they focus only on capturing leads that won’t buy. What’s happening?
Will you treat an application from a marketer or BDM as a high quality potential customer despite the market segment, equipment size or revenue?
– Yes, he replied.
– So if a marketer from a startup or consumer goods market contacts you, can you help him?
– No. We do not work with an FMCG, and start-ups cannot afford our service.
Should you be surprised that they had problems with generating leads?
- Fill in the ideal customer profile template only with public information.
Just knowing that your ideal customer is a B2B service company located in the United States, Canada or Australia, with a team of 20 to 50 people and an annual income of about 500,000 dollars, will not help you to do a better prospecting.
Yes, you will certainly focus more, but there is still a vast market to prospect for.
One assertive way to do this is to focus on the unique qualities that unite your best customers. For example, they already pay for enterprise software or a mobile SDK. Only then can you create a list of prospects that fit perfectly with your product.
- Create the ideal account profile by ruling out the purchasing committee
There is a famous quote: People buy people, not companies. However, in the B2B field this phrase could lead to failure.
Forgetting that it is important to sell to other companies is a typical mistake since you tend to focus only on the account description and eliminate the purchasing committee.
Therefore, when making a list of target accounts, you have to add people who are going to prospect.
Now, don’t just target the C+. As we said in the previous articles, this is a bad strategy. The main reason is that it is difficult to reach these people.
The second reason is that, in most cases, you will be referred to the middle management, which does not like sellers passing over them.
Think in advance about who are the members of the purchasing committee within your potential customers, understand the reasons why they can buy your product and the reasons not to buy it.
- Brainstorm the buying process instead of interviews with customers.
The only way to understand what motivates purchasing committee members to boost or block their offering is through in-depth customer interviews.
You can’t create a productive and professional relationship with your potential buyers if you reach them without a plan. Remember that your customers do not have to lose (and neither do you) so it is best to ask the questions from the beginning.
Creating a list of questions will not only help guide the conversation to the point you need to get to, it will also present you as a problem solver, not as a salesperson who is just trying to benefit himself.
By following my step-by-step framework, you can get a clear view of who your best customers are, how to make a better prospecting list, and influence the deal by engaging the entire purchasing committee.
And the best part?
Your lead generation campaigns will target only high quality leads. You can increase the LTV and the average value of the agreement.
The only thing missing is my ideal customer profile template.
If you want to get a free copy of the same ICP worksheet that I use with all my customers for laser targeted lead generation campaigns, click here.
What is the ONLY thing you’re going to start optimizing your ideal customer profile?
Identify the purchasing committee.
Conduct in-depth customer interviews.
Segment your customer base.
Or something else?