Using Data to Refine your Ideal Customer Profile
When was the last time you reviewed your Ideal Customer Profile? Even if you have never officially created one, you probably have one in your head. You have some criteria you use: a certain size company, in a certain industry, with a specific division of a certain size, in a certain geography.
If you have never formally gone through the process, it is worth some time. The better you understand the criteria that make a sale more likely, the better your chances of finding those companies.
Start with the basics. Who are your existing customers? List your top 10. Next to each company list the things that make it one of your best customers. It may be the amount of revenue, or how often they purchase, or how easy it is to work with them. What is it about those companies that you can replicate? Is it the industry or the size? Does it have something to do with the number of sales people or the size of the accounting department? Any of that could be important.
Once you have done all of that, you can now use data to take it one step further. What indicators make a prospect most likely to buy? The criteria you already listed may be part of the answer, but there may be other factors. If you are selling Internet services to small companies, you may find that the number of online activities they are involved in is an indicator of whether or not they will buy your product. If you are selling office supplies online, the distance from the nearest office supply store may be an indicator of the likelihood that they will buy from you.
If you have an effective online marketing mechanism, you may find it easier to find the criteria. If not, it may be time to hire some experts.