In the last year, we have spent about 1600 hours creating and refining the following 42 questions related to business development. Any sales or marketing approach should start with a clear definition of the target market and persons. To arrive there you need to ask effective and specific questions. Our team has taken the best ideas from thought leaders such as sixteenventures, close.io, growbots, hubspot, leadfuze and saleshacker and distilled a great and comprehensive questionnaire. Many managing directors and sales leaders of SaaS, Software and IT companies that we work with struggle to have an effective, reliable and predictable way of generating new meetings with their target persons. We use these questions to help them define more clearly who their target persons are and create the most effective message copywriting for their LinkedIn outreach. If you are new to LinkedIn outreach I recommend you to educate yourself on how to design drip campaigns using LinkedIn Helper as a LinkedIn automation tool.
- Go through the questions below and see where you lack clarity and knowledge. This way you can identify your blind spots and know how to address your sales pipeline issue.
- Use your answers to identify your customer’s pain points and their root causes.
- Create an effective copywriting suitable for LinkedIn outreach.
You can use the following questions to get more clarity on your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and to define exactly which companies and target persons are a good fit for your offer. It can also help you make your marketing messages and sales pitches more effective.
- Can you share the website of your top 3 past, current or potential customers? P.S If you target more than one type of customer, please describe each type separately.
- In which countries and regions are they and what languages do they speak?
- Are they B2B or B2C?
- Which industries, categories, niches, and sub-categories are they in? P.S you can search for a database or a list of companies in your category and see the different sub-categories on for example crunchbase or angel.co
- How much revenue do these companies generate per year?
- How many employees do your ideal customers have?
- How many clients do they have per month?
- How long are your ideal customers in business?
- In which top 3 online directories or websites do they get listed?
- What are the top 3 conferences they usually exhibit or attend?
- How many companies like this do you estimate there are in the given target region?
- Can you identify LinkedIn profiles from decision makers of your top 3 most profitable customers?
- What top 3 customer pains are you solving? P.S. This is probably the most important question for you to answer. Please see our article on 3 steps to improve sales pitch by eliminating your ego to get to the deep pains of your customer.
- How do these problems impact operations, marketing, sales, customer experience and more?
- How do your customers feel experiencing the pains you described? P.S, for example, you can start by saying “they are frustrated, anxious, worried because…”
- What are their immediate and long-term business goals apart from the customer pains you have mentioned above?
- Which top 3 titles or roles do your target persons have and who else is usually involved in making the decision to buy your solution or service?
- If you think about a typical target person – what is his/her age, family situation, education?
- What are their top 3 activities they need to perform to be successful in their job and how does their typical day look like?
- What are the top 3 metrics to measure their success? P.S. This metrics do not necessarily have to be related to your solution.
Interests, behavior and environment
- What top 3 values do they practice and what do they typically believe in? P.S, for example, they might care about entrepreneurship, women’s equality at work, the blockchain, people-centric process management, AI, robotics.
- How do they behave? P.S you can refer here to their personality, hobbies, style, and humor.
- What are the top 3 activities they are usually extremely good at or passionate about?
- What are the top 3 skills they use most frequently?
- Which top 3 tools/technologies do they use? P.S You can check it for example with https://builtwith.com/
- What are the top 3 online or offline resources they read?
- What are the top 3 keywords they search online? P.S. You can use https://www.semrush.com/ to look for your competitor’s keywords
- What are the top 3 online or offline places they hang out? Please include the web links if possible. For example, you can list LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups, associations, trade groups, trade shows, events, conferences, and meetups.
- What are the top 3 priorities of the people who they report to (their boss)?
- What are the top 3 priorities of people that report to them (their team)?
- What top 3 requirements do they need to fulfill to be your customer?
- What top 3 metrics do they use to measure their success with your solution?
- What are the top 3 signs that show they are ready to buy?
- Can you name 5-7 steps on how your customers make the decision to buy your product?
- Where do they research before purchasing your product? PS Think of particular blogs, websites and industry experts they might follow
- Can you name your customer’s top 3 objections or blockers that stop your target persons from buying your solution or service? P.S, for example, it could be an objection about costs, lack of personal contact, already have a supplier etc.
- What are the top 3 aspects of your value proposition?
- What top 3 customer benefits do you offer? P.S Think here of what else your customers get in return for their time and cash.
- What are the top 3 aspects of your unique selling proposition and how are you different from your competitors?
- Can you divide your operations process of how you deliver your value proposition into simple 3 to 7 steps?
- Why is your company in business and why your work is important to you? P.S. We recommend you to see Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle to identify your own Why and the Why of your company.
- Can you include the link(s) to a customer reference or success case?
If you want to get feedback on your answers. Please feel free to answer the most important questions using the following questionnaire. I would be happy to invest 15 minutes of my time to show you where your blind spots are so that you can improve your LinkedIn outreach strategy.
P.S This article I have originally published on the probably most successful blog about LinkedIn automation – LinkedIn Helper Blog