Starting a SaaS business involves many aspects and a large to-do list. However, one piece that is often overlooked, which also is the most important step in getting your marketing right, is proper messaging of the value of your product provides to your customers. This also is important in all aspects of the business from sales and product to support. This involves understanding your ideal customer and how to focus your messaging efforts.
In this article we will walk through 4 documents that will help get your SaaS business’ messaging in line with your ideal customer and buyer personas.
1. The Ideal Customer Profile Framework
2. Buyer Personas
3. Value Proposition Canvas
4. Final Messaging Document
We will want to work on these documents in this specific order.
Heads Up: Approximate time to complete this exercise is 4-8 hours, or more based on the number of personas you have. The Value Proposition Canvas questions are the longest. So, feel free to break up this exercise into multiple days. I have found this to be very helpful actually as you tend to answer questions a bit differently, and think more clearly on a fresh brain.
Ideal Customer Profile Framework
Are you unsure of your ideal customer? You’re not the only one, it can be difficult to figure this out and there are many methods and tactics for solving this dilemma. It is often easy to first try to define your personas. However, personas are not yet involved; this practice is specific to the ideal customer you should target with your sales and marketing initiatives. Persona development will come after ICP development.
Your ideal customer profile will be a living thing, forever changing, as you learn more and more about your customers. However, one way we like to start off with is using a document created by Lincoln Murphy, at Sixteen Ventures, called the Ideal Customer Profile Framework.
This document lays out the process in a simple question and answer format. There is also an example provided on the second tab in the template for reference. The goal for this document is to define one customer type as our ideal customer. If you can’t decide on one, it can help to fill it out for the others customer types as well. It helps to more clearly see who you believe your ideal customer is and the value your product is delivering to them. For your ideal customer, the answers to the blanks will most likely flow more smoothly and the problem your product is solving for is clearer.
This is used to create a hypothesis of your ideal customer when you are unsure. This profile will need to be reviewed after a specific time frame you decide. Make sure you define a time for testing, have a goal in mind, and that your team is capable of delivering on these. You will want to review your customers and see if your ideal customer is accurate. You can review areas such as customer’s sales cycles, NPS scores, deal sizes, CAC, LTV, margins, and review attributes such as number of employees, location, revenue, industry and departments to make sure this customer profile is truly your ideal one. Make sure these areas align with your documents inputs and outline your ideal customer.
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