Most companies’ goals include exponential growth, attracting new customers and generating millions in revenue. However, before companies can make it big, they need a strategic plan for how they are going to build a strong and solid customer base.

Besides a strategic and marketing plan there is one relevant document that each business owner should have: the customer profile. Thanks to the information the customer profile offers, it is easy for the company to tailor lead generation campaigns to the specific needs, pain points and behaviors of companies that have a higher probability of buying their products or services.

Once the customer profile is clear, it can help you make a variety of business decisions, from the location of your business to advertising and promotions. Also take into account that as your customers grow and mature, your customer profile must change and adapt to the new circumstances.

What is a B2B customer profile?

A customer profile is a document where you describe the needs, pain points, interests, motivations, behavior patterns, and demographic characteristics of a company’s customers. An ideal customer profile (ICP) is a description of an imaginary company that would be your ideal client in the B2B industry. This company will gain value from your product or service and, in return, they will provide revenue to your business.

This document should be as detailed as possible because it’s going to be the guide for your company. Moreover, defining your ideal customer profile helps your sales and marketing team to focus on common objectives and work together efficiently.

Ideal customer profiles vs buyer personas

Understanding your audience is such an essential task that there are a lot of frameworks and strategies to shape your ICP. The ideal customer profile and the B2B buyer personas are both important and can be of service to your company, but there are some differences.

The ideal customer profile is a description of the ideal company to which you sell. While your buyer personas are a characterization of the people and roles within the companies that you sell to.

You should create your ICP first and then move forward with the buyer personas. Creating a character might help you understand how you can reach them and what makes them tick. The more information you get, the better results you will get at targeting campaigns and tweaking messages. But remember to start from the general view and understand the type of companies they work for, so then you can get into details with the personas.

3 steps to describe your customer profile

Imagining an ideal customer profile and buyer persona can be easy, but it is better to describe your ideal customer profile based on qualitative and quantitative data. Rather than just leaving it to your gut. However, this doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. You could just start by looking at your current customers, analyze them and see which one is giving the most value. Your current client portfolio may even show a pattern that will help in the process.

Every ICP will contain different attributes and you can create it using different strategies or methods. That is why we would like to share some ideas that can help you design your own process to achieve the perfect customer profile.

1. Take a look at your happy clients

The easiest way to start is with your current customers. Get a list of the happiest or more successful customers. Try to answer the following questions as you analyze them: which users have given you reviews or have been working with you in the last months or years? Which customers don’t only appreciate what you do, and will be willing to recommend you?

Listing around five to 10 customers gives you a good starting point, as you start to look for common patterns or shared attributes.

2. Identify their common patterns

In order to identify the common attributes of the group of customers you have listed, you can start by examining the following categories. Bear in mind, these are just suggested categories because dependending on the nature of your business, you could have different options.

  • Pain points
  • Geography
  • Industry
  • Structure
  • Years in the business/industry
  • Company size
  • Budget
  • Revenue

3. Prioritise lifetime value

After listing the common patterns, you need to start filtering the list. Since we are looking for an ideal customer, having five or ten companies might be a lot. The next step will be analysing which customer your company is getting the most value from.

One way you can use to prioritize the companies is if you have different pricing tiers, then you can look at the high value customers. Also, it is important to look at customer lifetime; ideally look for those customers that have been with you for a long time. This will show they remain with you because they are happy with your product or service, and that their need continues.

Creating your ideal customer profile and buyer personas is the best way to deign a portrait of your customers to aid you in making design decisions about your service. Through these three basic steps, your company will have a starting point on its way to obtaining that customer profile that will be key as your business grows and evolves. Do you have any other steps or methodologies to produce a B2B customer profile? Please share them with us.

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