Ideal Customer Profile

What is an Ideal Customer Profile? If you sell B2B It is a description of the company, not the individual buyer or end user, that is a perfect fit for your solution. If you sell B2C, then it is a detailed description of the person that is a perfect fit for what you offer.

Why is having an Ideal Customer Profile Important? One of the best definitions of Marketing is attracting your ICP prospects and rejecting all the rest. You cannot afford to be wasting your time, budget and team resources on attracting companies or people that do not fit into your Ideal Customer Profile.

Depending on what you offer you could have more than one ICP. You could have solutions and offers for both B2B and B2C or you could have different ICPs within the B2B space and within the B2C space.

The more detailed and targeted your ICP the better. Here are some key characteristics for B2B you should focus on:

1.    Industry/vertical

2.    Employee headcount — companywide and within key departments

3.    Annual revenue

4.    Budget

5.    Geography

6.    Technology they use

7.    Size of their customer base

8.    Level of organizational or technological maturity

For B2C it can be a lot of fun to create an avatar with a name that you define in detail. Depending on what you sell you may need more than one. Some of the key characteristics will include things like

1.    Age

2.    Sex

3.    Marital/Relationship Status

4.    Gross household income

5.    Homeowner or renter

6.    Geography

7.    Culture and Religion can be tricky, and you have to tread lightly but it could be relevant.

You must be careful to distinguish between the ICP and the buyer persona within the ICP. The buyer persona becomes very important during the actual sales process. Depending on what and how you sell, you could end up with multiple buyer personas within a single ICP. When there is more than one person in the decision process you should have a persona for each of them. In large complex organizations where major buying decisions are done by committees you may need a persona for each member of the committee. Trying to figure this out can be one of the most challenging aspects of B2B sales. At the other extreme you could be selling to a couple who own a home and you should never only focus on one of them over the other as that could significantly impact your overall success rate.

Another key benefit of having a strong ICP is that, over time, you become incredibly competent and confident in the conversations you have with prospects who fit your ICP. The deeper understanding of a vertical or market segment you have the better. Whether your focus is a B2B vertical or a B2C target community, by being consistent with your marketing and sales strategies and tactics, you can gain valuable insight experience on common questions, objections, price points and more that give you an advantage. Within a business vertical or consumer market community you can leverage this experience to become known as a or the ‘go-to’ resource. Remember the adage that ‘birds of a feather stick together’ and you will get what I mean. The more detailed your ICP and the more you specifically fill a niche, the better. Saying you can all things for all people and all companies is not going to get you much attention in the market.

Understand as well that the ICP does not stand alone. It directly feeds into 3 other Silver Bullets including the USP and Guarantee, Tactical Marketing Plan and Sales Management System and underpinning all of this is what I call the Prospect and Sales Continuum.

To learn more about how to put together your ICP and how it is a key component of lead and revenue generation book a call with me at your convenience by clicking on the button below.