The value of a well thought out customer profile should not be underestimated. In the same way that a brand would build out a marketing persona, a customer profile can perform an essential function in the sales process. If you don't understand this person, really understand what makes them tick and why they care about what they care about, your sales process will be totally hit and miss. But good profiles are not only about your own sales efficiency, they generate the detail you need to offer that target customer more value. Here, as in all things, you can't win if your customer doesn't.
Here’s a simple but comprehensive template that works well for us.
The Census Form Details
First off, fill out the basic details.
- Are they male or female?
- How old are they?
- Where do they work?
Next provide some background to build up a picture behind this person and their circumstances at work.
- Who is the person you are targeting?
- What is their position?
- What is their role in the company?
- Are they still happily warming the seat, or are looking to get the results that will get them a fast promotion?
- Do they have control over their department's budget?
Think about what specifically this person is focussed on.
- Are they looking to lay solid long-term foundations at the company, or tracking short-term metrics?
- Do they have a manager or a board they need to please?
Identifiers concern how they like to go about things. Two people might have the same goal but have wildly different ideas about how it should be achieved.
- Are they laggards who have yet to embrace the use of data?
- Are they actively seeking to find tools to make their lives easier?
This should involve generic issues such as:
- Are they in a heavily siloed organisations where information from the one team gets lost somewhere between HR and Project Management?
- Do they have a profusely results-driven boss?
Also consider any problems which are more specific to their role or their industry. If they’re a marketer, are they struggling to engage with a particular demographic?
- Specifically what benefits does your product offer them?
- Will you be helping them justify their decisions to superiors?
This needs to be a neat encapsulation of your product, ideally no longer than a sentence.
Lastly, the old elevator pitch. What would your short, sharp sales pitch to this person be?