In today’s world, basic firmographics don’t often reflect clear differences in needs, benefits and product use. This is the reason why modern salespeople are increasingly relying on other data points when defining their ideal customer profile.

To help you make your sales prospecting approach more pointed and timely we’ve listed all you need to know to create the best possible ideal customer profile, defined with the right data-points for your business.

An Ideal Customer Profile is a model account whose characteristics indicate that the company is likely to be interested in your offer now.

What is company firmographic data?

To be able to go beyond just using firmographic data when creating your ideal customer profile, you have to understand what firmographic data is. The most easy way to put it is this; firmographics analyze companies in the same way demographics analyze people. Firmographics commonly use industry, location and company size.

For example, Salesforce.com firmographic data could look like this

Salesforce.com
Industry: Enterprise Software, SaaS
Location: California, United States
Company size: 10k+ employees, $8+ billion in revenue

Quality sales prospecting made with the support of a detailed ideal customer profile leads to more meaningful discussions with prospects.

Why you shouldn’t base your Ideal Customer Profile solely on firmographic data

Sometimes the basic data that a company’s firmographic consists of is just too … basic. Let’s take a company’s size as an example here. Not all companies with $10 million in revenue are in the same phase. A company in hyper-growth mode will be investing huge amounts into something important to them, while another company of the same size might be in cost-cutting mode and have complete different priorities.

Not all companies with $10 million in revenue are in the same phase. A company in hyper-growth mode has other priorities than a company in cost-cutting mode. 

Neither is a company’s industry code a very solid indicator of its needs or actual business. Sometimes they’re too broad, sometimes too specific, and it’s always dependent on how the company has labeled themselves.

So … good-bye firmographics? What are you to do now?

No, I don’t mean that you should stop focusing on firmographic data altogether. What I’m saying is that you shouldn’t focus ONLY on firmographic data when creating your ideal customer profile.

Combine firmographic data and other data-points such as data from sales triggers, technographics and insights from company websites. After all, you might prefer to work with companies that are geographically close to you or companies in a certain size range.

A traditional Ideal Customer Profile can look something like this:

Industry: Software development
Location: New York
Size: 70-150 employees
Revenue: $70 - $110 million USD / year

A modern more advanced Ideal Customer Profile can look something like this:

Characteristics: High digitalization
Sales trigger: invest heavily in new technology, has recently hired a new CTO or implemented a new technical tool
Characteristics: run online demos
Location: New York

Finally

Some final words of encouragement; Quality sales prospecting made with the support of a detailed ideal customer profile leads to more meaningful discussions with prospects because part of the discovery and needs analysis has already been done automatically before the first initial engagement with the customer.

In other words... Defining your ideal customer profile is one of the most important things to do to maximize the relevance of your marketing and the results of your sales efforts.

Topics: Ideal Customer Profile

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