TRANSCRIPTION OF EPISODE
Chris Battis: On this episode, we’ll be talking about how to translate an ideal customer profile into data that you can leverage for sales outreach.
Chris Battis: Hello, hello Logan. How are you doing today, bro?
Logan Kelly: What’s cracking, dude?
Chris Battis: Not a lot. Another beautiful, sunny bluebird day in Colorado. And you are in an interesting location right now.
Logan Kelly: I am.
Chris Battis: What are you looking at?
Logan Kelly: I’m overlooking Waikiki. A little bit chill out there. Not such big waves, but there’s people on the beach, so [crosstalk 00:00:44] Yeah.
Chris Battis: Seventies probably.
Logan Kelly: Seventies. Yeah. Yeah, I think it’s hitting upper seventies and-
Chris Battis: Nice.
Logan Kelly: I’ve been cranking out all morning. So that way, I can have the afternoon. This is vacation Union Resolute style.
Chris Battis: Yeah. Same here. The kids, they’re on vacation. So I’ve been up early trying to take them skiing this afternoon. The silver lining is it’s so cold out that I’m just trying to wait for the day to warm up a little bit. It’s negative five this morning. Yeah.
Logan Kelly: Wow. Well, I don’t have that problem. I don’t have that problem today.
Chris Battis: Well, it’s good to… I like working through vacation because it keeps you sharp, right? Worse is when you get to work and you’re like, “How do I do this?” You lose your flow.
Logan Kelly: I know, I know. Yeah. Creative time too. Yeah. Yeah. I love working from different places and really figuring out what it’s going to look like when you’re going to get back into the game. So it’s cool. So this will be a good vacation lay down of a podcast. It’s fun. This is the first.
Chris Battis: Yeah. Podcast on location. I love it.
Logan Kelly: Yeah, let’s do it.
Chris Battis: No excuses to not hit record. So today’s topic is going to be how to translate an ideal customer profile into data. Into [crosstalk 00:02:14] an audience. And so the reason this is relevant is because really when we’re onboarding clients or even in the sales process, we’re talking to people about how they need more customers. And then it’s like, “Okay, so what is your ideal customer?” And I think that it’s safe to say that people have a good idea of that, but definitely not down to a data specific level. And it’s not persona development, it’s different. It’s very articulated, who is your customer and this is what you do. This is a lot of the magic that you do and the tools that you figured out how to use to do this. And so I thought it’d be worth talking about. It’s really just tricks of the trade from the master. This is how I’m looking at this. So you got that in you?
Logan Kelly: Yeah, yeah. Let’s talk about it. I think what I like about this is we’re talking about translating what people know to be true and how they think about it and they feel about it into a language that as we move into 2020, it’s just so important that we’re able to be very specific and accurate in our targeting and our thinking, especially when it comes to our ideal client profile or our ideal customer profile, whatever you want to call it. So yeah, this is an important topic for sure.
Chris Battis: Yeah. And I think it’s got varying levels of depth. And I think that depth we’re going to right now is basically proving to anyone that a list can be created of someone’s ideal customer profile. It’s not a unicorn, it can be done. And so why don’t you start on what are your first few steps when doing this?
Logan Kelly: Yeah. Yeah. So let’s talk about this. So there’s, in my experience, there’s two different types of targeting initial phases. There’s the I have a very broad, broad market that I’m going after. I can’t boil the ocean, so I need to segment down. And I need to find the veins that I can operate in. So that would be… There’s a lot of companies in the marketplace that look like they could be customers. What I need to go find is the segments that I can target. So that’s a refining. So that would be the first step. The other side is there’s a forest, but I only need one tree that looks a certain way. One out of every hundred trees is my ideal-
Chris Battis: And you don’t want the whole forest.
Logan Kelly: … and I need to go find that. You do not want the whole forest. So one is I need to make sure that I’m… or I need to figure out how to message to a subsegment and I’m going to forget about potentially viable targets so that my messaging has that context. That’s the first. The other one is I’m just not relevant to a lot of different companies and so I need to really tactically find that. So those are the two places that we need to start.
Chris Battis: Okay. Let’s do it. So how do you get the wheels turning on that?
Logan Kelly: Yeah. Yeah. So in the first stage, we talk about the… I think ideal customer profile means different things to different people. When we talk about data, we’re trying to translate this into a different language. And that language, it depends on the tools. It depends on the databases that we’re working on. It depends on maybe who’s doing the research, et cetera. But if we think about it, it is we’re starting with an industry or we’re starting with a lookalike audience. We want companies that look like this. We want companies that describe themselves in a certain way. So when we start, we want to establish… And I think we talked about this before, we want to establish the largest market first or the largest definition first. So industry, vertical, keywords, et cetera.
Logan Kelly: Then you want to start getting really, really tactical or really specific. So things like employee sides, employee count, revenue, the amount of locations, these are all things that if we’re having a conversation about say the sophistication of their website, but we’re not having conversations about these very specific data points, we’re probably missing the boat.
Chris Battis: Yeah. And therefore potentially messaging wrong or saying the wrong thing.
Logan Kelly: Right. Absolutely. Absolutely. I was just talking to a couple of the content team here and it was with employee count and the amount of locations and the size of a specific department from an employee count side. So if there’s 2000… I just had this too, if there’s 2000 employees at a company, you have sales software but the size of their sales team is 10 because they’re selling mostly to the channel, their revenue, their employee size, these things might have lined up.
Logan Kelly: But the important data point is how big is their sales team? So that’s the thing, it’s I only want revenue at X. I only want $100 million in revenue. That doesn’t work if there’s these specific things. So when we were talking about is… Go ahead.
Chris Battis: I want to say the person that you’re prospecting is just totally priced out due to employee size or seats. Say it’s a SAS tool or something.
Logan Kelly: Exactly. Exactly.
Chris Battis: So it doesn’t make sense. Yeah.
Logan Kelly: Yeah. So one of the interesting things here is the ability to build messaging and the ability to assume things about a business. If we’re talking about building an audience at scale, we can start to assume that if your sales force is X, if you have an R and D department, if you have an engineering department, these are firmographics that are available in a lot of different databases that are not necessarily talked about enough as we’re thinking about the ideal client profile.
Logan Kelly: Our job here at Union is to help our clients define that. We spend a lot of time helping our clients define that. But I think if businesses spent more time when they’re talking about their ideal client profile and they spent more time talking about these specific data points that are important in the sales process or could be influential in the marketing messaging or whatever, or the sales messaging, sales would be more efficient.
Chris Battis: Yeah. It’s almost like it’s equally as important to disqualify the criteria, for example, shipping costs or something. Because if you were to talk to someone, they might not necessarily drive their ideal customer profile by shipping costs or something like that. But it has to be extrapolated to create the right list.
Logan Kelly: Right. So that would be like… Yeah, exactly. So for a manufacturer, it would be geo-targeting at that point. So if you want to use a proxy for shipping costs. So that’s what’s interesting is… And we should probably go through. We have industry, we have employee count, we have departments, we have what kind of technology is a company using, we have the keywords of different descriptions that have been aggregated of that company.
Logan Kelly: There’s all these different things that we can use to go much further down when it comes to defining our ideal client profile. It’s got to be more than industry, vertical, revenue, employee count. It’s got to be what technology, what are the sizes of the different departments? What kind of marketing tools are they using? There’s a lot of different things that we can use. If it’s a 2000 employee company, they probably communicate in a different way than a 50 employee company. So that’s great. But now go a step lower. Is there an administrative center in that company or is it decentralized? We can find these things through data.
Chris Battis: That’s cool. Very cool. So also the… I know a big part of what you’re doing is industry definition. And there’s various ways to go about that too, right?
Logan Kelly: Right. Market definition.
Chris Battis: In addition… Yep. So is SIC code, but there’s also deeper ways to break that stuff apart. For example, verticals within an industry.
Logan Kelly: Yeah. So we look at… I think industries are many times I use the term market because it’s an addressable market. So the healthcare industry means absolutely nothing. The medical devices industry also doesn’t really mean anything to me. What companies does it look like? What kind of products is it selling? Is it a distributor? Is it a manufacturer? Do they do both? These all signal the way a company functions. And we can translate all of that into data.
Logan Kelly: Using tools like EverString, we can start to dig into… or we can not start, we can really dig into the way an addressable market for a customer is defined in a much more specific way. So if you’re thinking about… If the ideal customer profile, the criteria is industry, employee count, revenue, and it doesn’t go much deeper than that and it’s more squishy, we need to start to have conversations that are deeper than that.
Chris Battis: Right. Right. It’d be too bland a conversation I guess is what you’re saying.
Logan Kelly: You can’t message into that. It’s too generic.
Chris Battis: Yeah. That makes sense. All right, so then what do you do with all of these findings? Then what do you do?
Logan Kelly: Well, once you have the data or the criteria collected and you can start running tests in these different systems, whether it’s ZoomInfo, EverString, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, whatever it is. The more criteria you feed in the machine, the more powerful or the more specific the results become. The more specific… Go ahead.
Chris Battis: And ideally you don’t get so specific that nothing is left. Because that [crosstalk 00:14:25]-
Logan Kelly: I’d rather start there. And then start to peel things off. Yeah.
Chris Battis: Three to five. Yeah. I guess this is exactly the right fit and I need to get more quantity so then you peel stuff off from there.
Logan Kelly: Exactly. And now as you start to peel the criteria off, now you can start to build segments.
Chris Battis: Gotcha, gotcha. Gotcha.
Logan Kelly: And I think that’s where things get really interesting is if you are so specific that you get to zero or you get to… You’re not going to get to zero. You get to a hundred or 50. Well, you need to start to build a bigger audience. Now you can start to understand in your market where you have to be flexible from an ICP perspective in order to build a big enough audience.
Chris Battis: Very cool. So as you round this concept off or this topic off, what do you think the biggest takeaway that you’d want someone to have as far as how to build their ideal customer profile? What advice would you give?
Logan Kelly: Look at the ideal customer profile and start to brainstorm all the different data points. Annual revenue, quarterly revenue, revenue concentration. How many salespeople? How many HR? How many administrative staff? How many locations? How many people at locations? What kind of company does your ideal customer profile look like? Come up with 20? What else? I mean just brainstorm.
Logan Kelly: You should fill up pages of what you think your ideal customer profile is because it’s just make the deal, make the perfect, it’s ideal. And then as you start to plug these things in, now start to peel it back and now we can really start to see what the ideal customer profile is. Not just this squishy… He drives a BMW or they do business with a competitor. These things. That’s not helpful.
Chris Battis: How they order their coffee.
Logan Kelly: Exactly. It’s not helpful.
Chris Battis: All right, cool. So I think… And I’ve done this in the tools you use and it’s just fascinating. Oh, try adding this criteria, try removing that criteria. And it’s amazing to see how you can move the needle around.
Logan Kelly: Exactly. Exactly.
Chris Battis: In the audience creation.
Logan Kelly: Exactly.
Chris Battis: Cool. Well, I love it, man. Well, I appreciate you sharing that and we’ll wrap this up. Thanks for tuning in to Intent Topics, everyone. I’m Chris Battis.
Logan Kelly: I’m Logan Kelly. Please give us a five-star review on whatever podcast app you listen on. We will see you next time.
Chris Battis: Right on. Take care.