Five Creative Ways to Develop B2B Customer Profiles

Olin Hyde
September 29, 2016

Developing customer profiles is a must to boost B2B sales—especially if you’re a startup. Customer profiles are proven yet powerful sales tools that can help boost revenues. They can also take your company to the next level.

But crafting customer profiles is easier said than done. It’s a matter of gathering intelligence. With the right kind of intelligence, you can pinpoint the exact customer you want to call on. This post shows you several ways to develop profiles that generate leads not inquiries

What are customer profiles? They’re your idea of your perfect customer. They include everything about the customer from the type of business the customer is in to the sub-niches they deal with, and everything in between. They also include the type of challenges the customer faces and how you can help them beat these challenges

To develop high quality customer leads, you must start with the basics. In other words, you need to generate basic demographic data. Now is not the time to be creative. Instead, think about who is most likely to purchase your products and services and then go from there. Below are some tips on developing customer profiles:

  • Base profiles on customer problems

B2B sellers don’t blindly sell their products and services. They solve problems. So look for customers with problems your products or services can solve. Then when you create your customer profiles base them on the real-world problems customers have.

It works like this: Think of the most common challenges your B2B customers have. Then decide if you have the solutions to solve his or her most critical challenges. If you do, then tweak the image of your perfect customer to align with their problems. Be realistic about customers’ needs and how you can help solve them.

  • How do customers provide value for you?

There’s more to making a B2B sale than simply gaining an income.Too many B2B sellers never consider how customers can help them.  They only think about how they can sell customers. But businesses deal with each other for many reasons, including making alliances and gaining referrals to increase future sales.

Make sure your customer profile describes what you want to get from your customer long-term. Think about more than the initial sale and you’ll grow your startup quickly.

  • Use a lookalike audience

One look at Facebook and Google shows you how popular lookalike audiences are becoming Here’s how lookalike audiences work. Your top customers form the template for your customer profile. You then use the data you have on the top 10 customers to create an average customer.

Using this customer average, you create a model of the perfect B2B customer. The more loyal your customers, the more accurate your model. Once you have the model, you can use it to improve engagement, which 80% of marketers say is the most important metrics.

  • Upgrade sample sizes regularly

Many businesses already have lookalike audiences. But savvy companies continue to add loyal customers to the mix and keep refining their B2B customer model. That’s nothing new. But you can do more.

Instead of adding to your sample size, upgrade it. Set a hard cap for how many customers you will have in your sample. For example, you may decide that you will use your top 10 customers as a base for your audience. This decision drives up standards and ensures that you’re B2B targeting only the best customers.

  • Create multiple perfect customers

Look closely at your entire customer base and you’ll soon see groups start to form—especially if you have multiple product categories. By cramming them together into one customer profile, you reduce the accuracy—and potency— of your ideal customer. That means your customer profile is no longer as effective as before.

To remedy this, create multiple perfect customers. That provides the same benefits as mailing list segmentation. Using this method helps you laser target your marketing efforts.

  • Review/update customer profiles regularly

Keep in mind that your perfect customer may change over time. That’s because the needs of businesses are forever changing. But many businesses don’t update their customer profiles regularly. So many organizations are wasting their time working with obsolete customer profiles. So take time monthly to review your metrics and update the image of your perfect customer.

Last Word – Final Tip

Your customer profile is based on numbers, and these numbers will help you grow your business. Keep in mind, though, that numbers don’t include anecdotal evidence. That’s something you and your sales team must add. You know your customers best. So don’t use your customer profile as a crutch and don’t rely on it  exclusively.

How will you craft your perfect customer profiles today?

Further Reading

Lainey Mebust
July 10, 2020
Lainey Mebust
June 24, 2020
Lainey Mebust
November 22, 2019