It’s a simple enough concept - know your customer, but in my experience most growing businesses give this concept lip service when bottoming out their Sales Strategy.
Last month I talked about the importance of having a clearly defined UDP – a Unique Differentiating Proposition and this month I want to draw your attention to the flip side of the same coin – your Customer Avatar.
An Avatar is the word I use to describe your Business Customer. The companies who buy from you. Within those businesses lie your Customer Personas, the individual people who buy from you and a term more commonly used by marketeers, especially if you sell B2C.
Often, when I ask my clients to articulate their target customer, they’ll give me a run-down of their current client list. They may have gone as far as to break their clients into Gold, Silver or Bronze accounts, but very few have gone much further than that.
In a growing business there’s lots to think about, starting with recognising that the customers that have got you from where you were to where you are now – may not be the same customers you need to attract to achieve your next tier of growth.
Clearly defining your Avatar set allows you to develop your ‘Content Marketing Strategy’ and the tactics to deploy it. It guides your internal Sales Governance, including defining your own ‘Barriers to Entry’ and clarity around the business you don’t accept, as well as allow you to decide on your most effective ‘Routes to Market’ and the most profitable ways to reach your target customer. So – lots of reasons to ensure you spend some time bottoming this out.
What is it about your current best customer that makes them the perfect fit for your business and if you could find more of them how would you identify them, reach them and duplicate and scale up the effort to market and sell to them? And if you don’t have a current perfect customer, who is the ideal target for you?
Avatars need to be grouped into categories where they share similar variables, and although there is a whole host of questions you can ask to tease out of them their reasons for buying from you and not your competitors and their triggers in the sale and so on, use the following three criteria to determine your hierarchy.
Market Sector / Geography
Are your target customers of a similar size, be that – turnover, profit, number of employees, locations or any other identifiable business characteristics. Perhaps you can group your potential prospects into two or three different Avatars based on these variables
Market Sector / Geography
Is this the defining criteria that trumps the previous example is a sector or geographical focus? Choosing a sector can add real drive to your sales strategy and help give develop a focused route to market but make your sector specialisms too narrow and you open yourself up to risk if one of those sectors fails. Likewise, attempting to be specialists in too many sectors will spread you too thin. My advice – pick three.
Do your customers regardless of size or sector, share a clearly definable pain point? Something that you can market to? If so, then perhaps Pain Points could be the primary criteria through which you break down your Avatar set.
Aim for a suite of between three and five clearly defined Avatars that everyone in your business understands, identifies and knows how you sell to them. Better yet, name your Avatars after real customers, so your people can easily relate to them.
AND ensure these definitions, qualification criteria, and subsequent customer journeys and so forth are documented in your own internal Sales Bible, so everyone in your business sings from the same song sheet.
Without this clarity, you run the risk of unfocused sales and marketing activity draining your resources and your people accepting leads and potential business that hold your company back rather than springboard your growth.
Nicola Cook is the CEO of Company Shortcuts. The UK’s leading Sales Acceleration agency helping scale-ups build a profitable Sales Engine for Growth.
Her waitlist is open and is currently taking new applications for 2021. If you’re interested in finding out how she could help your business, for an application form contact firstname.lastname@example.org