“Find your ideal customer”...
It’s one of the best pieces of advice in business. But it’s often easier said than done, especially if you’re looking for B2B customers.
Many of the strategies you find online are tailored to B2C brands, which, as we’ll discuss in a minute, can be dramatically different than creating a B2B ideal customer profile.
Fortunately, Kajabi is here to demystify the process. Whether you’re looking to create a B2B ideal client profile, trying to figure out who is your ideal client, or wondering about your target market for life coaching, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s get started creating your B2B ideal customer profile:
What is a B2B ideal customer profile?
A customer profile is an imaginary person (or business) that has all of the attributes that would make them the perfect client for your business. With this kind of customer profile (and you may have more than one), there’s a perfect synergy between the value you provide and what the customer wants.
In an ideal world, this kind of customer doesn't cost much to acquire, is looking for exactly what you provide, and will remain loyal to your company for a considerable period of time.
Customer profiles are sometimes called “personas,” but in the marketing world, a persona describes your ideal customers collectively. It represents a group of people, rather than a single “perfect customer.”
For example, let’s say you’re a sales trainer. Your best clients are SaaS HR Directors who hire outside trainers to help their sales team perform better. That’s your persona. But notice how vague it is. It describes the companies you’ll target, but it doesn’t tell you how to talk to them to close the sale.
Your ideal customer profile is far more specific: Helen, an HR director who has been tasked with upleveling the sales team. Having no sales experience herself, she’s looking for a contractor to come in and lead a training program that gets such great results, the C-Suite takes notice.
As you can see, it’s important that you nail down the basics of the ideal B2B customer profile before jumping into personas. It helps you understand the desires and fears that drive their decisions, which gives you a strong foundation for marketing and selling to them.
After you create your customer profile, you’ll observe their buying habits, the words they use to talk about what they do, and the things they’re looking for in a solution. That information can then be used to build a buyer “persona” that describes your best customers as a whole.
Why do I need an ideal customer profile?
An ideal customer profile is incredibly beneficial for driving growth and engagement. When you create a specific profile, it’s easier to remain laser-focused on exactly who you’re trying to target.
This, in turn, allows you to focus all your marketing efforts on the particular qualities that your ideal customer or company has, so you can save time and money as you craft your advertising campaigns.
Kajabi Hero Joey Ragona, founder of Strategic Business Academy, says it well:
“FIRST decide on who YOU want to serve.
This is about YOU and YOUR superpowers.
Then, you go into the market to ‘listen’ into the conversations that Dream Client is having.
You look for the clues in regards to the MUST SOLVE NOW problem… and if it matches your superpower - voila.
You are not in a ‘category of one.’ This is CRITICAL.”
Now, let’s look at three benefits of having a well-developed ideal customer profile.
Benefit #1: Understanding the buyer’s journey
Who is your ideal client? Without a customer profile, it can feel like you’re talking to everyone. Your messaging isn’t focused, and you struggle to get people’s attention.
But when you create a customer profile, you can clearly see what your customers want and expect from your company. That helps you build a brand, product, and messaging that attract the right people.
Once you’re clear about who you’re targeting, you’ll know precisely where your customers are in the buyer’s journey.
For example, if you’re geared more toward beginners and people who are just getting started with entry-level products or services, you’ll want to attract the kind of business that’s looking for this sort of guided service or easy-to-use product.
If, on the other hand, your products or services are tailored to more advanced users, you’ll use different terminology and seek out customers in a different place along the customer journey — those who are looking for more features, more specialization, or greater expertise.
Benefit #2: Higher revenue
If you’ve struggled to grow your profits, a customer profile may be what’s missing.
Marketers have been found to waste a fourth of their budgets on the wrong channels or strategies. But when you know your ideal customers, you know how to attract them, what it takes to sell to them, and how to keep them long-term without wasting time or money. That allows you to meet (or exceed!) your sales goals.
A customer profile helps you attract higher quality leads who aren’t tire-kickers or price shoppers. It helps you articulate the value you bring to the table, so you can close more deals and grow your revenue.
Benefit #3: Improving your customer lifetime value
In addition to making your sales goals more attainable, targeting the right B2B customer profile helps you lower your cost per acquisition and increase your customer lifetime value — a win-win when it comes to attracting and retaining long-term customers.
With so many reasons to create a B2B customer profile, why wouldn’t you want to? The real question is, where do you even start?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered there, too.
How do I identify my best B2B customers?
It’s easy enough to imagine your ideal customer. You can probably picture them right now if you think about it. But it’s good to get these attributes down on paper so you have a foundation of concrete data to work with rather than a few imagined qualities.
The best way to do this is to simply look for overlapping qualities that all of your best customers have in common.
In B2B, things like age, gender, and education don’t matter nearly as much as they do in B2C, because you’re targeting a business. But there are still some key facets that you’ll want to keep in mind as you create your ideal customer profile.
What do your best customers have in common?
The simplest place to start is also sometimes the best. Who are your happiest, most successful customers? These aren’t just people who like what you have to offer. They’re the ones who benefit most from it.
In short, they are your brand ambassadors. As Kajabi Hero Natalie Klun says,
“Likely, your business or service is based on something you've experienced and now you are helping others via your method. Find those who you have common bonds with, similar interests, similar journeys, and then find those who also speak to those people and examine the content they are resonating with... what questions are they asking/answering, what videos are they watching, what posts are they engaging on.
“For me, I personally went through a reinvention after 40 and I started a new business as a result, so I specifically help women over 40 who are going through or gone through a reinvention and want to create success on their own terms. It's more personalized to you than you realize so examine what leads you to do the work you do and what are similar experiences you can build your community around.”
Develop a list of about ten of these customers. That gives you a good starting point.
Next, figure out what they all have in common. Evaluate things like:
- Their budget
- What industry they’re in
- What the size of their company is
- How much revenue they generate
- Where they’re located
- What their pain points are
Of course, the attributes you look at will depend heavily on what your business is. You’ll need to adapt this list to suit your own business objectives.
What other data can you glean about them?
You may already have a treasure trove of data in your analytics and CRM. And with Kajabi, you have both of these things within easy reach, thanks to our robust analytics dashboard.
Once you pull this information and pool it together, some identifying qualities will start to appear. Make notes of all of these points and then create a template that contains all the different attributes you’ve identified, so you can keep them organized and in one place.
Create a basic template
Create a basic B2B customer profile by filling out the following points:
- Company size
- Decision makers
- Pain points
- Company goals
Add more details if you want to flesh out your template, but this should give you the basics of a B2B customer profile.
How does a B2B customer profile differ from a B2C customer profile?
B2B and B2C customer profiles aren’t polar opposites. But there are some key differences that you need to keep in mind.
Relationship goals are different
With B2C, the goal is more transactional. You want to drive sales and generate positive reviews, so other customers feel comfortable making a purchase.
With a B2B customer profile, you aren’t just trying to convert the prospect. You also want to build a lasting business relationship with the key decision maker, so they’ll refer you to other businesses or companies that could also fit your ideal customer market.
The branding approach has to be differentiated
With B2C, the focus is on delivering the very best customer experience possible (so they’ll leave a review and come back again and again). For this, brand recognition is important. You need a strong value statement that resonates with your ideal client profile.
With B2B, you still want to deliver an exemplary experience, of course, but reliability matters more than name recognition. You want to build a brand based on quality, consistency, and being easy to work with.
Dependability and return on investment (ROI) mean more to B2B companies than to B2C buyers. These are the factors you’ll want to perfect in order to attract your ideal customer.
B2B and B2C have different priorities
In B2C, your goal is to simplify the buying process, empowering the customer and making their decision easy. In B2B, it’s all about maintaining the lines of communication and keeping them open.
Even after building your B2B customer profile, you’ll experience a lot of back and forth with prospects as they decide whether you (or your competitor) is the best fit. They’ll evaluate you and your solution across all of the points that are important to them.
That’s why it’s vital to nail your emotional appeal as well as the logical justification for buying from you — something you can only do if you’ve built a detailed client profile.
The marketing approach is different
Last, but certainly not least, it’s worth noting that B2B and B2C profiles require different marketing approaches.
With B2C, it’s all about the funnel and leading the customer through the buying experience. You need to clarify the outcome you deliver and overcome objections. With B2B, it’s more about finding your niche and then dominating it.
For example, no one argues with the fact that, although there are many brands of tennis shoes, Nike is the one that professionals demand. That’s because Nike has cornered the sports footwear niche.
And in the soda market, Coca Cola isn’t going to try to target the younger market. (The one time they tried it, it backfired spectacularly.) That’s because Coke has been viewed forever as “the classic.”
For better or worse, B2B is all about the niche
Create your B2B ideal customer profile today
As you can see, creating an ideal B2B customer profile, whether you’re launching a life coaching business or providing marketing training and certifications, the process is the same.
- Identify who is your ideal client.
- Talk to them, listen, and learn as much as you can about them.
- Glean more information from your CRM and website analytics.
- Use the template and structure we provided above to create a detailed profile, including their goals, desires, and the solutions they’re looking for.
And when you’re ready to launch or grow your B2B business, it’s worth choosing a platform that simplifies and streamlines the process, giving you an all-in-one solution with all the tools and templates you need, no integrations needed.
While other businesses are paying for multiple services and trying to wrangle and cobble them into some semblance of functionality, you’ll be well ahead of your competition — using an all-in-one solution designed specifically for B2B, life coaches, and other knowledge entrepreneurs. Learn more or sign up with Kajabi today!
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