To find your company’s best-fit customers, you should identify the 20 percent of accounts you believe will provide the most value to your company over the course of the customer lifetime.
Understand your company’s strategic business objectives.
In a high-growth, innovative industry like high tech, business strategies are agile and evolving. By understanding your own objectives, you’ll have clear guidelines in place in order to create a blueprint for your ideal customer types.
Define your ideal customer profile.
The ideal customer profile defines the type of organization that represents the best fit for your product or service based on a specific set of criteria. Start by reviewing your existing accounts to spot all of the attributes that are most commonly shared by all of your highest value accounts. Look at annual revenue, number of employees, industry vertical, geographic footprint, and buyer role.
Then go deeper. Find out where they hang out—both online and off. Look at what they read, what they search for, and how they buy. The idea is to find significant characteristics shared across existing high-value customers that align with your organiz ation’s unique value proposition.
Find organizations that fit your ideal customer profile.
Developing your target account list can’t be done in a vacuum. It has to be a collaborative effort between sales and marketing, incorporating both human- and data-driven research. Get input from your marketing and sales teams, and be sure to include perspectives from executive leadership. Do market research, such as scouring LinkedIn, to find “look-alike” organizations—those that closely resemble your ideal customer profile.
Pull in your data by looking at traffic and lead numbers from website analytics, and take advantage of predictive analytics and look-alike modeling technologies to help you uncover companies you might have never thought to include on your list.
Segment your audience.
Although the process of identifying your target accounts can seem overwhelming, don’t let fear prevent you from taking action. For example, if you’re a global company or thinking about going global, begin by segmenting your audience into those areas where you want to grow your share of wallet. You can do this by breaking your customers into different verticals such as industries and sub-industries, by geography, or by those you might support with your newest product releases.8