Ideal Target Clients or Chasing the Wrong Customers?

Ideal Target Clients or Chasing the Wrong Customers?
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Ideal Target Clients and Why Chasing The Wrong Customers Waste Time, Money, and Energy
Salespeople, especially new and inexperienced sales reps, are so eager to show a robust pipeline and close deals that they often find themselves chasing the wrong customers.   They mistakenly make pitches to anyone who will listen.  The result?

In a recent Selling Power survey of B2B sales leaders, only:

  • 8% indicated their salespeople have a consistently healthy sales pipeline 85-100% of the time.
  • 6% say their teams achieved or exceeded quota in the last 24 months.

The Right Customers Drive Profitable Growth
Conversely, high performing sales reps ruthlessly focus on ideal target customers who fit their ideal target client profile where they know they will win the majority of the time.

High performing sales teams have evidence-based product-market fit — ideally in the form of real customer demand.  They focus exclusively on solving problems that are painful enough for their target customers to be willing to replace existing and often comfortable alternatives — including doing nothing.

Ideal target client profiles are also known as ideal target buyer profiles, ideal target customer profiles, and ideal buyer personas.  Regardless of what you call them, do you know what percent of deals in your existing pipeline fit your ideal target client profile?

You should.  Sales teams with clearly defined buyer profiles and clearly defined target markets outperform sales teams that do not by 24 to 44 percent.

The Definition of Bad Customers
Customers that are difficult to work with, who don’t fully need or value what you sell, who are overly concerned with price, or who are at odds with your culture, are just bad investments.  They are costly in terms of your time, your resources, and your energy.  And they are rarely satisfied.

Three Things Ideal Target Customers Do
Ideal target clients:

  • Don’t just buy your stuff; they passionately buy and use what you have to offer
  • Don’t just need what you offer; they feel they must have what you offer
  • Are not merely satisfied with what you offer; they are thrilled with what you offer

These ideal target customer profiles are important because it means that your ideal clients are comparatively inexpensive to acquire and serve, are frequent and large buyers, and appreciate and promote your unique value proposition.

Total Addressable Market (TAM)
Your total addressable market (TAM) is defined by the maximum potential revenue you could generate from the market that you are going after. Though your TAM might be pretty large, even the world’s most powerful companies (i.e., Amazon, Apple, Google, etc.) do not own 100% of their total addressable markets.

High performers ruthlessly narrow their focus to their ideal target customers where they should win the majority of the time.  Strategically, they also ensure that the market is not too saturated and that they can defend their market position against increased competition over time.

Define Your Ideal Target Customer Profile
The best solution sellers do not waste time chasing the wrong customers.  They know what makes for a good client and how to win their trust.  Just as every company’s strategy and culture is unique, the same is true for defining your ideal customer.  It is well worth defining your ideal target client profile where you should win the majority of the time.

Six Areas to Get Right So You Stop Chasing the Wrong Customers
If you want to stop chasing the wrong B2B customers, make sure that you and your team agree upon the following six areas regarding your ideal target clients:

  1. Target Industry
    What client industry or industries make the most sense based upon what you do and know best?
  2. Target Geography
    What locations represent your ideal clients?  Where are they headquartered?  Where do they do business?
  3. Target Size
    What size attributes matter most?  Is it revenue, number of employees, number of divisions or locations, and/or annual spend?
  4. Target Buyer
    Who specifically is your best buyer?  What is their title, role, and function?  Are they the decision maker?  Are they someone who is reachable by your sales force?  Are the problems that you solve one of their top priorities? What is their style?  What do they appreciate the most?  What do they believe in?  What are their strongest traits?
  5. Target Attributes
    How would you describe the situation that your best clients find themselves in that makes your value proposition so attractive and unique? What are the biggest challenges that they face?  What are their most pressing issues that you know you can solve better than anyone else?  How would your clients express that goal, problem, or need?
  6. Buying Triggers
    What event or events cause your target buyers to have a clear need that creates a sense of purpose and urgency in their buying process for what you have to offer?

The Bottom Line
Experienced sales managers know that customers who best fit you and your business create repeat business, provide referrals, and supply testimonials to help grow your top line. Top solution sellers avoid bad customers who waste time, energy, and money.  Smart solution sellers put a red light on chasing the wrong B2B customers who have little need, inclination, or means to buy.

To learn more about how to avoid chasing the wrong customers, download 4 Steps to Ideal Target Client Definition

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