You might have the greatest product in the world, but you won’t succeed in selling it if you’re selling to the wrong customer.

Companies often develop a product or service based on a pain point in a very large market segment.

While in theory companies collectively worth billions of dollars may in fact need or would want to use your product or service, that doesn’t mean they’ll be a good fit for it right now.

It might be great to land that large enterprise deal worth a couple million dollars, but it might take 2-3 years to close it. Do you have that kind of time to operate with no sales coming in?

It’s okay to dream big and want to take over a market. But that comes in stages. That’s why picking the right target audience at your current stage is so important.

When you’re just starting out and you have zero to just a handful of customers, it is crucial that you pick a customer profile based on your low-hanging fruit.

Low-hanging fruit is an expression used to describe customers who have the money to spend on your solution and can become customers rather quickly and without complication.

These are the types of customers that can buy your solution now in a short-period of time. They ideally don’t have a solution like yours in place right now, are actively looking, and have a demonstrable need.

Here are some attributes to think about to define your profile:

#1 Geography

Geography is important. You need to pick a geography where people can afford your product, have a demonstrable need for it, and where you have a large market size to tap into.

#2 Industry

What industry needs your solution the most? Even if your solution can apply to many industries, you really need to get a handle on who will need your solution most and urgently.

#3 Company Size

If you try selling to an organization that’s too big, say more than 500 employees, they may have layers of bureaucracy that make it very difficult for you to make a quick deal. If you try selling to an organization too small, say less than 10 employees, they may not be big enough to really have a need or know what to do with your service.

That’s why it’s very important to think about who’s big enough to have an immediate need, but not too big to take a long time.

#4 Relevant Job Titles

Thinking about relevant job titles at a company is crucial for planning out what your sales strategy will be. Are there certain job titles that would specifically be the people to use your solution?

Does a company having particular roles indicate they would have more of a use for your solution? Will a person with a specific job title become your “champion” who will push a deal forward?

Oftentimes, it’s not just the company profile we need to think about, but also the individual in that company that we’re selling to.

#5 Revenue

Revenue is a key indicator as to whether or not a company can afford your solution. Your solution may be expensive or it may be cheap. That’s all in the eye of the beholder. If your solution costs US $2,000 per month, that may be chump change for big companies and a major portion of the budget for small companies.

Knowing what a company’s estimated annual revenue is can help you avoid reaching out to companies who may very much want what you have to offer, but who won’t be able to afford it for the foreseeable future.

#6 Investment

If a company doesn’t have a lot of revenue, they may still be a good prospect if they’ve raised sufficient capital. Companies who raise money are obliged to spend it. That means they’re looking for solutions like yours to help them develop their offering and grow quickly.

So if a company doesn’t have a ton of revenue on record, make sure to see if they’ve recently raised an investment round.

#7 Working with competitors

Are your target customers already working with a competitor of yours or a different type of solution that’s similar? If so, that can be both good news and bad news.

It’s good news if you have a solution that can lure them away from your competitors. With this type of prospect, you won’t need to “educate” them about the value of what you’re doing. They would get it immediately.

However, if your prospects are working with a competitor and their solution is “good enough’ and they don’t have enough pain to justify switching to you, that type of prospect may not be your ideal customer.

Instead, you should try focusing on prospects that likely don’t have a solution in place already, but may be looking for one.

After you’ve identified your ideal customer, be open to refining your approach. As you engage in your sales processes, consider if the profile you’ve chosen is working and don’t be afraid to try out multiple profiles at the same time.

The proof is in the pudding and you should only draw conclusions after carefully experimenting and adapting your approach.