How to create an ideal target customer profile in B2B for a better ROI

byGuido Croce

A customer profile is a list of factors that describe the ideal customer. They can be at the company level (e.g.: size, industry) or the individual level (e.g.: age, seniority).

In B2B sales, a target customer profile is needed to reach and connect with the ideal decision-makers. The process of defining a profile can lead to mistakes. So, in this post, I will discuss why it matters to have a customer profile and its factors. And, how to apply that information to your campaigns.

Before I start breaking down each topic, here is the list of them for reference:

Why it matters to have a customer profile

Ideal customer profile factors

  • at the company level
  • at the decision-maker level

How to use customer profiles for personalisation


Why it matters to have a customer profile

There are several reasons why it is important to have a customer profile. Here are three worth mentioning:

It allows for increased personalisation in campaigns

When you target a subset of individuals, you can tailor your messages to connect better with them. You can adapt the problems addressed, information shared and objections pre-handled. That level of personalisation increases your overall rates. Especially your reply rates and demo to close ratios.

It enables market specificity

The customer profile includes factors such as industry, sub-industry and country, which form a smaller market to target. A company is then able to target that segment, dominate it and gain market share. That process can be repeated over and over with other sub-segments to take over a big industry.

It provides information to optimise product-market fit

After the customer profile is set, a company will run experiments to find out if there is a product-market fit. By focusing on a smaller segment, you can get information quickly to reroute the marketing and sales efforts if necessary. Also, if the product-market fit is not ideal, then the company is able to tweak the product.

I have addressed a few reasons for establishing a customer profile. In the next section, I will explain the ideal customer profile factors.


Ideal customer profile factors

Here are the different factors of a target customer profile and their description. Not all of them will be relevant to a company. So, choose the ones that matter to you and feel free to add more.

There are two levels of factors in B2B, the company and decision-maker level:

Company level

At the company level, the factors dictate the characteristics of the ideal customer company. Here are a few of them:

  • Country – the country or region (e.g: Germany, UK, EU)
  • Company size – the range of employees (e.g.: 11-50, 51-200)
  • Industry – the industry or market (e.g.: Marketing, Computer Software)

Decision-maker level

The decision-maker level’s factors define the ideal profile of the target people in a company. Here are a few of them:

  • Age range – the age or generation (e.g.: 35+, generation Y)
  • Experience – the length they have been at their job position (e.g.: six months, 25 years)
  • Seniority – their position in the hierarchy of the company (e.g.: CxO, CEO, Salesperson)
  • Gender – their gender (e.g.: Male or Female)
  • Department – the department that they work in (e.g.: General Management, Sales)

Base your ideal customer profile factors’ on your highest revenue-generating customers. If you decided to go after new markets, then you will need to explore them first and then set the ideal customer profile.

An example of a customer profile

Here is an example of an ideal target customer profile at the company and decision-maker level:

You ideal customer at the company level is a business with 11 to 50 employees, its headquarters are in the UK, and their industry is software solutions for SaaS B2B businesses.

At the decision-maker level, you want people in the business development or sales department, that are high seniority, and are males 40 or older that have been at least three years in their current position.


How to use customer profiles for personalisation

Once you have established your ideal target customer profile, you have in your hands powerful information. That allows you to personalise your market approach at the message and strategy level.

Personalisation at the message level:

  • you can utilise appropriate lingo (e.g.: talking about ROI with the department of general management’ seniors) 
  • you can focus on their specific problems (e.g: talking about a problematic sales approach to salespeople)
  • you can alter the complexity of the message (e.g.: go into more sales detail with salespeople over general managers)

Personalisation at the strategy level:

  • you can choose the appropriate channel of outreach (e.g.: audience more receptive to cold emails vs LinkedIn outreach)
  • you can increase/decrease the frequency and number of messages (e.g.: in general, Europe requires a less aggressive approach than the USA)
  • you can opt to prioritise inbound or outbound (e.g.: email outreach over content writing if your product is expensive)

Conclusion

In this post, I discussed why you should define a target customer profile and its factors. Also, how that information allows you to personalise your market approach. Hopefully, you will be able to implement these concepts to find more suitable targets in the future. Here are the main takeaways of this post:

Why it matters to have a customer profile

  • it allows for increased personalisation in campaigns – prospects relate better to your messages
  • it enables market specificity – you conquer new markets more effectively by going smaller and specific
  • it provides information to optimise product-market fit – you are able to optimise your product with input from specific markets

Ideal customer profile factors

  • at the company level (e.g.: country, company size, industry)
  • at the decision-maker level (e.g.: age range, experience, seniority, gender, department)

How to use customer profiles for personalisation

  • you can address the prospect’s specific problems with messages including appropriate lingo and complexity
  • you can approach a market with the right assertiveness through different channels


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