In any high sophisticated B2B sales environment, the purchasing behaviors and reasons that influence decision-making process of the B2B potential customer are intrinsically complex. It may be challenging for the typical salesperson to fully comprehend.
Except for unavoidable purchases, your customer normally has a number of available options – each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Additionally, each of the diverse participants in customer’s procurement team is likely to have unique personal motivations, priorities, and decision-making criteria, making consensus difficult to achieve.
Perhaps it’s unsurprising that so many seemingly promising sales possibilities conclude with the potential customer opting out or deferring the project to an often-undefined date in the future. And it’s unsurprising that numerous studies have discovered that “no decision” is currently the most frequently occurring conclusion for such projects.
B2B customer behavior
Look from a broader perspective because marketing’s primary purpose is to find new potential customers. You don’t have a chance to miss any data. Let’s use your prediction skills. Except for your existing customers, what companies can you successfully sell to? Which of them can be a new potential customer?
Now check your valuable customers’ behaviors and try to find what they have in common. Analyze the typical characteristics of those companies so that you find similarities. You need to be creative and approach those attributes from various perspectives. This step aims to determine your high-value customers’ similarities to discover new possible customers -leads-. In this way, you will be able to identify a potential customer with the same similarities more easily.
Importance of prospective customers
In the mature and intensive era, the majority of businesses in the same industry offer the same products (goods or services) to B2B potential customers, and they strive to be unique. As a result, the B2B seller companies are under pressure to sustain a competitive advantage.
Customer activity in the past and present enables us to forecast future or probable potential customer behavior. Our customers’ past behavior can assist us in segmenting the company’s customer base, determining what they want from our products or services, and how to satisfy them. This is frequently true while making purchases or viewing websites.
Satisfied clients have a tendency to maintain a longer relationship with the business. Marketers should seize the opportunity to offer a variety of promotions, such as discounts, coupons, and sweepstakes. Promotional activities maintain client contact with the business.
Many businesses previously took their clients for granted. Their prospective customers might not have had many alternatives. All suppliers provided the same services or products of comparable quality, or switching costs to another supplier were prohibitively high. The market was growing at such a rapid pace that the company was unconcerned about satisfying its customers.
With competition increasing daily, the cost of acquiring one potential customer may be less than the risk of losing one customer. As a result, it is critical to recognize the customer’s dedication. Additionally, many businesses create better relationships and loyalty with their customers.
Attributes of a potential customer
Imagine those similarities in your mind. What leads would fit your ICP? Start asking these questions yourself, depending on your existing customers and product assessments. What other characteristics a potential customer should have to be a valuable customer.
- In which industrial segment are they operating?
- How long have they been operating in the related industry segment?
- What kind of requirements should they have, planned or urgent?
- What are their brand values?
- What are their immediate goals?
- What are their long-term goals?
- What barriers might they face in reaching these goals?
- What are their most significant challenges?
- How do these challenges affect their operations?
- What would be the ideal solution to these challenges?
- May your offerings help them overcome those challenges?
- In what ways will your products benefit their business?
- Do you think your products target this type of a potential customer?
- How long does it take for them to purchase from your company?
- How should be their financial status?
- How much budget do they need when they decide to purchase your products?
Understanding the potential customer
As you see, these questions are a little different from high-value customer questions. The main difference is that you are forecasting right now. These are the attributes of leads that you did not locate yet, and they provide you with a broader perspective. You may not find answers to all the questions, that’s okay. A potential customer may not provide you all the answers you need.
However, I recommend you to choose and use the most critical questions for your products and company. Remember, valuable knowledge is the biggest weapon of industrial sales experts. You should know your customers as you know your products. Please do not hesitate to question yourself, your company, and your industry.
More information produces more revenue. Gather as much information as you can about a potential customer. Building your ICP just based on your existing customers may not be efficient enough. Therefore, I strongly suggest examining both current and new customers when generating an ICP.
Generating the ICP
Unfortunately, not every company in your market is a potential customer. On the other hand, not every prospective customer will be a perfect fit for your company and products. Industrial seller companies allocate more time to specific clients (valuable and profitable customers) than they do to others. That is why it is critical to concentrate your efforts on the most lucrative target B2B market possible.
The objective is to develop a base of loyal customers who will purchase your goods on a regular basis. As a result, you must have a crystal-clear understanding of your intended audience. Simultaneously, keep an eye on your target market’s size, trends, and growth to gain updated information.
Examine existing accounts to portrait potential customers
Your B2B market research should provide a detailed portrait of your prospective customers. Following that, it is possible to develop the ideal customer profile – ICP. Your customer base may increase or shift as your marketing strategy develops. Regularly review the profile data to ensure that the firm remains focused on the demands and desires of your target potential customer base.
Now, you can generate an ICP for your sales and marketing activities. This ICP will let you study your potential customers -leads- and analyze their attributes towards a checklist. It will help you understand the similarities of new leads with companies that have bought your products.
When you improve this ideal customer profile in time, you will undoubtedly have extensive knowledge of your leads. You will learn their sensitive points, such as their challenges and the goals they strive to achieve. All of which offers you everything you need to understand and identify a target potential customer. You will use this generated ICP in the exploration and qualification stages of leads.