Targeting the Right Prospects: How to Create an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)?
A buyer persona is a fictional character you create to represent the types of people you will target and create a better user experience. Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) determines who would benefit the most from your solution/product/ service. It defines the characteristics of your target on an account level.
You must gain clarity on ICP to understand the viable addressable market for your strategy. Then, you must be clear about building a hyper-relevant list of businesses to target. Building ICP is efficient for companies with a niche offering and a limited number of relevant customers.
Their ideal customers include sales reps, digital marketing experts, account executives, and the C-suite. You can use ICPs to define their roles, goals, and how you must adapt marketing for each customer.
Why do you Need an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)?
77% of business professionals want to understand their customers, making it critical to create personalized content and campaigns. When you create an ICP, you get insights into their technology, needs, objectives, and goals. A complete picture prevents marketing teams from wasting time and money on frivolous campaigns.
Why? Every account (ICP) needs a different marketing tactic and the ‘language’ to speak in. Companies that fit into your ICP will likely buy and continue to use your product, making it essential for your business growth.
Understanding the unique characteristics of your ideal customers makes it easier to cut out the noise and laser focus on your campaigns (and budgets) on prospects more likely to convert. It aligns their needs and wants with the features of your solution/product.
Being informed before starting the lead qualification process is critical because it will help make better decisions about which leads are worth moving forward in the sales cycle.
How to Create an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
There is no one size fits all ICP. Creating an ICP takes a little digging around in data, which is a specialty of Draup.
Step 1. Create a list of your best customers and identify similar ones
Identify your best customers and spot the characteristics they share. To define the ‘best,’ consider their lifetime value, how long are they your customers, how long they took to convert, and mix of any of these metrics.
Learn a lot about your customers, including what makes them the ‘best.’ Is it the company size, growth rate, or location? Comb through your customer list to identify the largest deals and companies you believe have gotten the most out of your product.
Work with your product/analytics team to identify your most active users. Another key indicator is to look for customers you’ve upsold or expanded your contract with. After narrowing down your customer list to those getting the most value, connect with your CRM to spot similarities between them.
Step 2. Research common attributes
What attributes do these customers share? Growth rate, their focus on PPC marketing or SEO, or have they received any funding?
Look at the following:
Industry and location: The types of campaign messaging vary based on industry. Are they located in the home market or overseas? Are their offices only in the US or available globally? Where are their innovation/research centers? Consider location to take cultural and language differences into account.
Organization size: Are they startup or enterprise level? Larger companies may take longer to market because of the number of decision-makers.
Growth rate: You want customers who are looking to grow fast. Such companies usually want to invest in platforms and tools that will help them accelerate and sustain.
Total funding/valuation: Have they raised over USD 50 Mn? Do these companies share a similar total funding amount? Do they share a common valuation?
Company/M&A/IPO status: Are your customers for-profit or non-profit? Are your customers acquired, or have they acquired other companies? Are any of them public or private companies?
The more the data, the better will be your ICP.
Step 3: Outline opportunities and challenges
The sales and marketing team must work with all those who own the sales process, looking to streamline and improve the sales process. You could set personal customer filters to make sure they catch high-value leads.
Consider what challenges each ICP faces and how you will address those challenges. For instance, sales managers may struggle with user adoption rates. You could create information that helps them address this challenge and use terms and language that the sales managers are familiar with.
Step 4: Connect with your current customers
Connect with your customer to understand the reason for the purchase of your product. Current customers can help you determine how you can target accounts that might have the same pain points they did.
Get a sense of what you could not gather from company data. Ask them questions like:
- Who was the final decision maker for the purchase?
- How did the product help solve pain points?
- What is the most valuable feature or functionality?
- Why did you continue using our product?
- Where did you learn about our product?
Step 5: Create your ICP
Gather the answers to create your ICP. ICPs must document similarities you spotted while analyzing which customers are getting the most value of your product.
Using a spreadsheet, create an ICP template with answers you gathered. It can help you target leads most likely to be interested in buying your product. The more specific you get on your ICP, the easier it will become to find more of them in the future.
Draup gathers data on accounts across industries and sectors so that you can create ICPs. Armed data, your sales teams can approach leads with highly contextualized proposals that target specific pain points, grow existing accounts, and identify upselling opportunities.