Initially in customer development, you must be laser-focused on a single market, a single problem, and a single B2B customer profile. Absolute focus is the key to reaching Product-Market fit in your target market.
Startups fail when they try to attack multiple market segments (sometimes believing that they’re focused on a single customer segment) or target every imaginable market segment, but your startup’s solution is not for everyone. Choosing an entry market is a decision you must make if you are to Cross the Chasm.
To focus your efforts initially, you’ll create your buyer persona – an ideal customer profile – around the thing your prospects share: a business problem.
B2B Customer Profile Questions – Creating Buyer Personas
Looking at the information you gathered during the problem interview phase, you’ll identify common patterns and average the differences for your demographic data. For example, if eight of your 15 prospects were women, you’ll create the profile of a woman.
Go through the customer interview data and ask yourself the following questions:
- What is their common role?
- What are their responsibilities?
- How many people report to them?
- With which department are they affiliated?
- How long have they been working in this company?
- What character traits do they share?
- What are their common objectives?
- What other problems do they share?
- What tasks are they trying to accomplish?
- What are their personal and professional goals?
- How do they measure themselves?
- How do they define success?
- Who has influence over them?
- Whom do they work with?
- What technologies do they use?
- What values do they share?
- How are decisions made in their company?
- What is their work like?
- What is their day like?
- What is their lifestyle (married, single, urban, suburban, etc.)?
- Are they decision-makers?
- Do they have budget? Whom do they have to work with?
- How are they evaluated?
- How would they calculate Return on Investment (ROI)?
- How comfortable are they with technology?
- How mature is their company?
If you feel the same problem is shared by potential customers of different profiles (it’s often the case), you can create additional B2B customer profiles.
Good ideal customer profiles communicate the essential information, are quick to create (and update), and help drive towards action. You can use a customer profile template to present them (as shown in the ideal customer profile examples below) or a simple one-pager.
Ideal Customer Profile Examples for B2B
Your B2B customer profiles will evolve as you learn more about the needs and motivations of your ideal customers, but for now, this is an important step to help focus your customer development and sales efforts on your ideal client.
More on Ideal B2B Customer Profiles
- How to Create a Compelling B2B Value Proposition With Early Hypotheses
- The Lean B2B: Build Products Businesses Want Course 🔥
- The Lean B2B Canvas – A Free Tool to Iterate Value Propositions
⚡⚡ Enjoyed this content? I go into way more detail on this subject in Lean B2B. It covers the ins and outs of finding traction in the market for B2B products. Check it out »
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