Learn how to save time, money, and angst by going through the Perfect Customer Profile exercise in this episode of Corralling The Chaos.
Episode 26: 5 Steps to Identify Your Perfect Customer
Angela Alea walks us through her method for identifying a perfect customer and how that's different from an ideal customer or even a customer you love.
What we're talking about 💬
Step-by-step process to find your perfect customer:
- Define who you want to be in the market.
- Ask “what is your business trying to accomplish this year?”
- Dissect your current customer base with a team of people.
- Formalize it, socialize it and realize it.
- Repeat this process and do it often.
Watch this episode 📺
Read the transcript 📚
Angela Alea: Many companies at year end begin putting together their forecast and their revenue goals all to prepare for the following year. But so many are skipping the most important step, and that is how are we gonna get there? And the biggest component of that is not wasting you and your team's time by trying to sell non fitts, less than ideal fits or anything but your perfect customer profile.
Angela Alea: So we're gonna talk about that today, the perfect customer profile. We did an episode earlier about your I c, which is your ideal customer profile versus your perfect customer profile, and a number of you reached out wanting to understand. How to identify that PCP for your company. And the short answer is that looks different to different companies.
Angela Alea: But today we're gonna talk about five steps to identify your P C P. So the first one is to, to decide who do you want to be in the market? How does that play into the macro landscape and the changes that you're seeing happening around. For example, are there market conditions that play into your P C P?
Angela Alea: Are there any future channels of market growth that your company can piggyback on? Um, maybe the industry your PCP is in? What's affecting their business? Have you historically sold into an industry that maybe is being compressed right now? So now's the time to look differently, to look elsewhere. So it's time to focus on an up and coming industry perhaps.
Angela Alea: So which industries or prospects maybe have historically had a higher close ratio, higher margins. Those are all things that play into what this profile is gonna look like for the next year. For you. You also need to ask yourself, how does that play into who you don't wanna be? Maybe you don't wanna be the cheapest.
Angela Alea: Maybe it's time to be okay with not owning all of your gear. Um, so who do you not want to be? What is your value prop? Spend the most time here thinking through that as everything else is really kind of dependent on this. . So sometimes the gap between your ideal customer and your perfect customer, it really can directly correlate between the company you've historically been versus the company you're striving to be.
Angela Alea: So here's what I mean by that. So maybe historically, a lead is a lead, and you'll take it all on, everything's on the table. Profitability, maybe sometimes get lost in the mix for the sake of cap, for the sake of capturing cash flow versus your future. cash is always gonna be important, but maybe not at the sake of the team.
Angela Alea: Maybe you're especially given the, the, the fight for talent right now and, and what you've done to rebuild your team. So don't do it at the sake of them. Your company's value is also tied to ebitda, so of course profitability matters a lot, but sometimes saying no to leads can be liberating. So I'm gonna say that again.
Angela Alea: Saying no is not only. But it's gonna be necessary to say no to some non fitts if you're gonna move to towards this future profile of your company and going after that perfect customer fit. So first land on, what is it? Where have you had to sacrifice in the past that you simply aren't willing to budge on for the future?
Angela Alea: What does your company offer and why? Where's the value? Or are you still selling a commodity and really spend some time here? Think about that. No business owner's gonna say, yeah, we sell a commodity. They're always trying to figure out what, how is this valuable? But really think about it. Are you still selling a commodity or have you transitioned to selling? So give that some thought. Because if you're still selling from a position of providing a commodity, this is gonna be a useless exercise. It has to be about value because your P C P is only gonna buy on value. They're not buying on a commodity.
Angela Alea: So step number two is, , ask yourself, what is your business trying to accomplish? What is the North Star for your company this next year? Because PCPs can change each year. matter of fact, maybe they should change each year, and your perfect customer would always be aligned with that. So find companies that are gonna help you reach your goal.
Angela Alea: And so think about what are those goals this next year? Is it profitability? It's a. , is it, infiltrating a new vertical, a new geography? What does your roadmap say? So be thinking about where are you gonna go so you align your sales efforts towards that. The third thing is dissect your current customer base.
Angela Alea: And I would highly recommend doing this as a team or putting a small committee together, but think about your best customers and your less than ideal customers. Describe them in. , how do they act? How do they talk? How do they make money? How much lead time do they give you? How much do they value the things that you're doing?
Angela Alea: How much do they understand the position you're in? Ask your team what they like about 'em, what they don't like about 'em. Is it how they communicate? Is it the type of work they bring you? Is it their payment terms? , spend time here. Really get to the bottom of why you love working with them and what makes them a perfect customer.
Angela Alea: However, Word of caution here. Make sure these characteristics that you're throwing around are aligned with that North Star. For example, if your North Star is 30% profitability this year, but the characteristics you love most about your favorite customer does not include healthy margins, then they can't be your pcp.
Angela Alea: Not this year, not while your North Star is profitability. There's misalignment there, and I'm gonna. . Even though you may love them, you can love a customer, but still, they still may not be that perfect customer. So be able to distinguish between, I love them, they're great people versus they could still be great people and any, a good customer, but maybe they're not that perfect customer profile.
Angela Alea: Those two are not equated, they're not equal. Fourth step, be intentional. Do the. . And what I mean by that is formalize it, socialize it, and then realize it. So formalize it, write it down. Make it documented. Everybody's agreed on it. Socialize it, sell that way. Your messaging should point to this and capture, and that will then capture the attention of your perfect customer profile.
Angela Alea: And then of course, realize it. You have to go make it happen. You have to pursue it. You have to be intentional with that. Do you have a go-to-market plan to reach them? Invest in the tools on how to identify these qualities that your team comes up with. And it's fascinating these days. MarTech. is a really interesting space right now.
Angela Alea: There's so much potential, so much data, and, and it just makes it so much easier to identify, that perfect customer and to create the demand for it and then to capture it. And so I encourage you to look into the tools that are gonna help you quickly identify them and then message to them. . And then the fifth one is you have to reevaluate this and do it often.
Angela Alea: Your perfect customer five years ago probably isn't your perfect customer now. So this is, this is an always evolving process and make sure your team knows that. So just think about what's most important to you and as we wrap up today, I just encourage you to do the work. Invest the time because the return on that investment is massive when you're constantly working with the perfect fits for your organization at this moment in time.
Angela Alea: Thanks for listening. If you like what you hear, subscribe and reach out with any comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org