How to better understand your customers’ needs (without the limitations of traditional customer data)

Want to understand your customers better than—and before—anyone else? Develop a deep understanding of their needs and pain points? Predict what factors influence them to buy before they even speak to one of your sales reps? 

Well, we hate to break it to you, but… your typical ideal customer profile isn’t gonna cut it. Why? Think about it. 

Has a company ever selected your business as their preferred vendor simply because they are a software development company with over 5,000 employees, headquartered in the Northeast region and heavily invested in cloud-based ERP systems? 

Or is it because your business offers a solution that solves their pain points, addresses their specific needs and delivers exceptional value? 

Probably the latter! So, you need a way to uncover the underlying motivations, preferences and behaviors that drive your customers’ decision-making processes.

In this blog post, we’ll show you how to harness the power of exegraphic data to better understand your customers’ core motivations and preferences. That way, you can develop more effective marketing and sales strategies that resonate with your target audience and drive meaningful results.

Here’s an overview of what you’ll learn: 

  • The importance of knowing your customers beyond firmographic and technographic data
  • How exegraphic data complements traditional data for enhanced customer understanding
  • Example of how exegraphic data helps you understand and target your ideal customers better
  • How to find and begin harnessing the power of exegraphics
  • Additional methods to gain insight into customer needs and pain points

Let’s begin!


The importance of knowing your customer beyond firmographic and technographic data

Firmographic and technographic data have long been relied on as sources of customer insights. These data types offer valuable initial insights. They, however, fall short when it comes to truly understanding customer needs and motivations.

One limitation of relying solely on firmographic data is its inability to capture the complexity and diversity within customer segments. Companies within the same industry or similar size may have vastly different preferences and behaviors. Additionally, firmographic data fails to provide insights into the underlying reasons behind customer preferences and decision-making processes.

Technographic data, on the other hand, provides insight into the tools and technologies customers use. While this information can help understand if your solution might be a good fit for the company, it fails to delve into the deeper aspects of customer behavior or the factors influencing their purchasing decisions.


The transformative potential of exegraphics for understanding customer buying behavior 

Exegraphic data helps to overcome the limitations of firmographic and technographic data. By examining how companies operate and behave, exegraphics enable sales and marketing professionals to gain insights into the driving forces behind customer decision-making processes.

Exegraphic data encompasses various dimensions, including:

  • Company culture and values
  • Organizational structure
  • Industry trends
  • Competitive positioning
  • Product or service differentiation
  • Messaging and brand positioning
  • Marketing and sales strategies
  • Functional roles and responsibilities
  • Skills and expertise
  • Job postings and hiring requirements
  • Growth rates and funding

By analyzing these dimensions—and combinations of them, you gain a comprehensive understanding of the context in which customers make decisions, allowing you to tailor your sales and marketing strategies accordingly.


How exegraphic data complements traditional data for enhanced customer understanding

Exegraphic data complements traditional data sources by adding depth and context to your understanding of customers. While firmographic and technographic data provide a foundation, exegraphic data fills in the gaps and provides a more nuanced perspective.

For example, before incorporating exegraphic data, your ideal customer profile might resemble the following:

  • Company size: Mid-sized to large enterprises with 500-5,000 employees.
  • Industry: Technology and software development.
  • Geographic location: Concentrated in metropolitan areas in the Northeast US.
  • Technographic: Utilizes cloud-based infrastructure, agile development methodologies and data analytics tools.

While this profile provides a broad understanding of your target customer, it lacks the depth and context that exegraphic data can offer. By incorporating exegraphics, your ideal customer profile can evolve to include more specific characteristics, such as:

  • Company culture and values: Seeks innovation, values collaboration and emphasizes work-life balance.
  • Organizational structure: Flat hierarchy, cross-functional teams and agile decision-making processes.
  • Industry trends: Adapts quickly to emerging technologies, focuses on digital transformation and values customer-centric approaches.
  • Functional expertise: Strong product development capabilities, emphasizes user experience and prioritizes data security.

This deeper understanding allows you to tailor your messaging, offerings and strategies to resonate with your target audience on a more meaningful level, increasing the likelihood of successful customer acquisition and retention. 


Example of how exegraphics can help you target your ideal customers better

Now, let’s imagine how your marketing team might use that updated customer profile to create a demand generation campaign. Rather than relying on generic marketing strategies, they can leverage the updated customer profile enriched with exegraphic data to develop a targeted demand generation strategy.

Here’s how they might approach it.


Tailored messaging

With insights into the company’s culture, values and industry trends, your marketing team can craft messaging that resonates with the target audience. Highlighting the importance of innovation, collaboration, and work-life balance can capture their attention and align with their values.


Personalized content

Understanding the organizational structure and functional expertise of your ideal customers allows your team to develop content that addresses their specific pain points and challenges. This could include case studies, whitepapers or blog posts showcasing how your product or service can enhance product development capabilities, improve user experience or strengthen data security.


Channel selection

Knowing your target audience’s preferred tools and platforms enables your marketing team to choose the most effective channels for reaching them. If they use cloud-based infrastructure, for example, investing in targeted online advertising or partnering with relevant technology blogs or forums may yield satisfactory results.


Thought leadership opportunities

By identifying industry events, conferences or webinars where your target audience is likely to participate, you can create thought leadership opportunities for your company. For example, you can proactively seek speaking engagements or panel discussions to establish credibility and engage with potential customers.


Account based marketing (ABM)

With a deep understanding of your ideal customer, your team can employ ABM tactics to personalize interactions with key accounts. This could involve creating custom landing pages, hosting exclusive events or developing targeted campaigns designed specifically for software development companies in the Northeast region utilizing cutting-edge technologies.


Relationship building

By understanding their company culture, you can align your interactions to build trust and rapport. For example, you could engage with them on social media platforms where they are active, respond to their inquiries promptly and provide tailored solutions to their unique needs.

This targeted approach increases the likelihood of capturing their attention, building meaningful connections, and ultimately driving higher conversion rates and customer engagement.


How to find exegraphic data on your ideal customers

Rev’s Sales Development Platform empowers you to uncover and leverage exegraphic data, enabling you to identify companies that closely resemble your best customers.


Here’s how it works:

You’d start by feeding Rev’s Sales Development Platform (SDP) with a seed list of your top-performing existing customers. With this information, Rev’s AI then creates an aiCP (AI customer profile) model, essentially a lookalike model that analyzes the exegraphics shared by your best customers. The AI engine then identifies the underlying patterns and traits.

After building the aiCP, the SDP identifies other companies that exhibit similar combinations of distinct exegraphics as your best customers—and ranks them based on how closely they match your new ICP. This process resolves the challenge of finding more customers like your best ones in a remarkably efficient and complex manner that surpasses human capabilities.

The model then evaluates exegraphics using a points-based system, translating them into human-understandable terms such as industries, functions and growth rates. You can then apply your own criteria and lenses to refine the prospect list further, aligning it with your unique sales and marketing goals.


Additional methods to gain insight into customer needs and pain points

In addition to leveraging exegraphics, you can also employ several other strategies to better understand your customers’ pain points and needs.


Customer interviews

Conducting one-on-one customer interviews can provide valuable insights by allowing customers to express their thoughts and experiences openly.


Surveys and questionnaires

By asking specific questions and providing response options, you can collect valuable feedback using targeted surveys and questionnaires.


Data analytics

Analyzing customer data, such as purchase history, website interactions and customer support inquiries, can reveal patterns and trends related to your customers’ pain points and needs.


Customer support and feedback

You can identify customers’ common issues and prioritize solutions by monitoring interactions with customer service representatives and collecting feedback through channels like customer satisfaction surveys or feedback forms.


Competitor analysis

Examining the offerings and strategies of competitors can shed light on needs currently being addressed in the market. This analysis can help your company identify gaps and differentiate your offerings.


Industry research and trends

Keeping up with industry research, trends and market reports can provide insights into emerging pain points and evolving customer needs. Staying informed about industry developments can help your company proactively address customer challenges.


Final thoughts

By adopting a holistic approach to understanding your customers, you can gain a comprehensive view of their challenges and aspirations. This deeper understanding enables you to develop targeted marketing and sales strategies, refine your product offerings and deliver exceptional value.

Rev’s Sales Development Platform can help you uncover, analyze and leverage exegraphics to better understand your customers and unlock the full potential of your go-to-market teams.

Want to witness the power of exegraphics in action? Schedule a demo with our team. We’ll show you how to revolutionize your customer understanding and targeting strategies!