When we ask, “Who do you want to sell to?” and the answer is, “Everybody!” we’re totally on board with your optimism. But we know the first step in your lead generation journey with us is going to be channelling that energy. We’ll help you see the value in a focused campaign that is much less broad but a LOT more powerful. To find new clients who’re a perfect fit with your business, you need to know what your perfect customer looks like. Lucky for you, we’re about to give you the secret to discovering them in 10 simple steps.
The 10 steps to help you find new clients are all about building a picture
All great marketing or sales campaigns should start with building a customer profile. So, here’s how to create a B2B customer persona and use it to find prospects who’re a perfect fit for your business.
Step 1 – Make sure you really know your existing customers
Start by asking yourself, who are my best customers? What makes them unique? What do they want from me? How do I help them achieve their goals? What works so well? How did the relationship begin? What did their business look like before me? Look for differences between your best clients as well as correlations. This will help you identify the types of clients with the highest customer lifetime value. Find out how to calculate this with the customer lifetime value (LTV) formula. This way, you’ll reduce your acquisition costs by increasing lead quality and maximising efficiency.
Step 2 – Create an ideal customer profile (ICP)
(Probably multiple profiles in different categories)
Wait, isn’t an ideal customer profile the same as a buyer persona? Well, not exactly. Basically, your ideal customer profile will tell you which companies to target. Your buyer persona will tell you how to do it.
The purpose of the ICP is to identify companies that are a good fit for your business. You’ll determine this through metrics like company size, industry, location, structure/buying team/job titles and needs.
Download our FREE Ideal Customer Profile Template
Step 3 – Create a Buyer Persona
An ICP is like a filter for your lead-generation campaigns and activities. You’ll need it at the very beginning of your sales funnel, if not at the product and service development stage. Your buyer persona is used to profoundly understand your customers, particularly the decision-makers, so you can start meaningful conversations with them.
You’re going to want to give your buyer persona a name, age, location, job title and story. Think about what role they play in the buying process. SEO gurus SEMRUSH have a handy free buyer persona template where you can even give them photos to make them almost like real people if you need some visual material to work with.
Step 4 – Think about their biggest nightmare (that you have the capability to help with).
Let’s provide a rough example for us at Smartlead Marketing. We’ve provided B2B lead generation solutions for over a decade. So for our buyer persona (we’ll call her Debbie, 38, Head of Sales Ops, Sagittarius), this looks like the sales pipeline running dry and the business turning to dust overnight (along with Debbie’s job, hopes and dreams).
Step 5 – Now think more about their day-to-day pain points and goals
What frustrations is this person experiencing that you can help soothe? What motivates them, and what are their goals?
For example, if our Debbie’s main objective is to increase sales, but to do this she needs to expand her team and it’s a tricky labour market and difficult time to invest in a hire financially, we can help by providing outsourced telemarketing solutions.
If Debbie’s team is full of expert negotiators and closers, who get frustrated with the long game of prospecting, we can help free up their time to do what they do best by taking over their lead generation and nurturing.
If Debbie wants to launch a product in a new vertical, we can help her achieve that with focused integrated marketing campaigns directed at prospects in said vertical.
Step 6 – Paint a picture of what life would look like after working with you.
This is how to discover the personal benefits your buyer will benefit from if they take you up on your offer. So, think end result. If you free up time and resources, what would they be able to do with those resources?
Step 7 – How will your buyer make a decision whether to buy from you or not?
This is a crucial step that’s often overlooked. Determine your buyer’s decision-making process and buying behaviour. Where do they get information from when considering making a purchase? Industry-relevant blogs? Incoming industry emails? Networking? Debbie’s a big fan of Forbes, LinkedIn and HubSpot blogs.
Step 8 – Who else is talking to them, and how do you solve the problem differently from any of them?
As much as we admire confidence in a salesperson, the biggest mistake you can make is complacency and overconfidence that your solution is the ONLY solution. There are lots of potential suitors for your prospective client – your job is to figure out who they are and what makes YOU different/better from your client’s perspective. What can you offer that nobody else can? If you know that, you can use that angle to sell to them from the start.
Step 9 – What objections will your prospect have to buying from you?
Objections are sales and marketing GOLD. By working out the potential barriers that prevent them from saying yes, you can overcome those objections in advance. This makes the buying process easier for both you and your client – they don’t have to worry about that aspect of their decision, and you can focus on other aspects instead.
Debbie’s main objection to working with us is that she’s concerned her own employees will have a better knowledge of the business and their services than an outsourced telemarketing agency would. So from the beginning, we need to be providing proof that we ensure our salespeople are as clued up as hers, and act as an extension of her business.
Step 10 – Create a unique customer journey map for each of your personas
Having this resource will help you determine how to best engage with and attract your prospects. You can use your journey map and personas to understand how your customers come to engage with you and determine which communication channel would work best, which differentiator to focus on and the calls to action that work their magic.
There’s tons of research into the “most successful” forms of initial outreach to prospects. But, the truth is, the most successful form of initial outreach will be the one that your prospect prefers.
Now you know who your perfect customer is, it’s time to start the conversation with them
That’s where we come in. In fact, we’re ready to help you from the beginning of your account profiling and contact list-building journey, to delivering your message on your prospect’s preferred channels.
Are you ready to know who your ideal customer is? Click here to get started.