What does your ideal customer look like?
The answer may not be as obvious as you think.
Before you answer, consider these questions first. Are you wasting time and energy struggling with your IT provider’s helpdesk over the phone? Are your supplier’s delays causing you to lose money instead of turning a profit? We all have service vendors that we love, but we aren’t always able to identify the ones we don’t before it’s too late.
Typically, you would describe the perfect vendor using quantifiable standards; bits of easily gathered information like employee count, convenient location(s), or average revenue. While this may certainly seem like a logical approach, and it’s the approach Integris took for years, we found that we were definitely missing a key piece of the puzzle.
“ We all know the partners that we love, but we aren’t always able to identify the ones we don’t before it’s too late.”
Some of the best vendors we’ve worked with didn’t live up to our quantifiable standards, and we took note of it. We found that businesses whose mindsets are in line with ours are the best match for us, no matter their size or popularity. We’ve stopped wasting time, energy and ultimately profit on vendors and even clients who don’t fit our mindset, leaving us to match with only the best fits for our needs.
We refer to this mindset as Operational Maturity, or OM. You can see what it look could look like for your business in our article “Operational Maturity: Does your business have it?” Often, smart businesses actually look at prospective clients’ OML (operational maturity levels) to decide whether or not each fits their ideal customer profile before reaching out to them.
Meet Anthony DeGraw, our technical solutions consultant. Find out how he identifies key prospects for Integris.
We’re taking it a step further.
Have you considered looking at OML for your vendors, too?
Operational Maturity refers to the way a company handles itself (and especially its technology, if you’re an IT company like us). It’s important for our vendors to understand that their technology plays an integral role in their daily operations, and that because it directly influences the efficiency and productivity of every part of their organization, it’s going to affect the way they deliver their services. While it may not be as easy to figure out as years-in-business or locations, we’ve identified a few key indicators that let us know we’re on the same page.
Businesses with a high Operational Maturity Level (OML) get IT. Pun intended.
These businesses pay attention to how their technology is running in all parts of their organization, and they know that having up-to-date technology gives them a great edge over competing businesses. They understand just how important managing their IT is, and we want them to know that Integris cares just as much about their technology as they do. These are the vendors we spend our own money on hiring, and these are the clients we know and love. They understand our model and truly appreciate everything that Integris brings to the table, while putting their best stuff up on the table as well.
Organizations with low OML likely don’t see the value in your business’s services.
These vendors provide services — not great services, maybe not terrible services, but there’s definitely nothing for them to brag about, nor is there much for their clients to talk them up over. As clients, they might not even think of a vendor’s services as important, but rather more of a headache they’d rather outsource and not have to think about. If they don’t care about you, there’s no point in devoting resources to pursuing them.
Aspirational companies know where they want to be, and know they need work to get there.
Betwixt the two extremes of the OML scale, a third group of businesses hangs in the balance; those who know their operations need improvement, want to appeal themselves to a larger client base, and are open to learning about our service delivery model and how it can impact their business. This “aspirational” group of businesses want to operate on a higher OML level, and they provide great services alongside friendly customer support as they strive to grow as a business.
Both businesses with high OML and those that are aspirational are the vendors and clients we want. They are the ones we spend our time, energy, and dollars pursuing to make them our customers. We want to see their businesses succeed, and we know we have the skills and talent to help them do it.
Our personal scale is tailored to work for IT providers like ourselves, and so our key points of OML measurement won’t necessarily apply as accurately to other types of businesses. Regardless, the concept is still the same. Identify your customers on not only quantifiable stats, but also mindset. Now that you’ve got a bit of background knowledge on Operational Maturity, think back to our original question;
What does your ideal customer look like?
Has your answer changed?
Does your mindset match with ours? Consider a discovery call with a technical solutions consultant to figure out exactly how Integris can propel your business forward. Let’s take your operational maturity — and technology — to the next level.
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