Ideal Customer Profile (ICP): what is it and how to find out?

CONTENT ON Lead Generation , Marketing .

Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

summary

Knowing the ideal customer is the only way to perform a correct and coherent job with your company’s target audience. Know how to get to know him.

Discovering the ideal customer profile, or the so-called ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) is essential to guide the actions of attracting leads and attracting customers for any company.

It is through the definition of the ideal customer profile that it is possible to develop inbound marketing and outbound marketing strategies, as well as all your commercial strategy, creation of the sales playbook, among others.

In fact, it’s basically one of the first things your business needs to figure out.

After all, it doesn’t make sense for you to strategize without knowing who you’re selling to, does it?

However, it is important to understand that ICP is different from persona.

First, ICP is the strategy that will drive the efforts of the entire company.

The second supports marketing actions and is based on habits, preferences, among others.

But, the focus of this text is to talk about what the ideal customer profile is and how your company can find out. And that’s what we’ll cover from now on.

Come on?

Good reading!

What is ICP? Understand this marketing and sales guide

Marketing must always be guided by the ideal customer profile. Ever. Attracting more customers is good, but it is even better to attract customers with the right profile.

Having clear what is the ICP (or ICPs) of your business, you will be able to identify which ones:

  • communication strategies (attraction and relationship);
  • most suitable offers;
  • interaction possibilities to build a relationship with these customers.

Above all, for companies that bet on word-of-mouth marketing, knowing exactly which customer profile they will serve is crucial.

We are not the ones who say, but the author of the book “Machine of Indications”, John Jantsch. Otherwise, it won’t be able to serve everyone with excellence.

But, all in good time. Before we talk about finding the ideal customer profile, we need to better understand the importance of finding it.

Why is it important to have the ICP defined?

 

To make it easier for you to understand, we have separated it into 3 items. Check out:

1 – Optimized marketing strategy, higher conversion rate.

Marketing strategies are much more assertive once your ICP is very specific.

As a result, your lead generation task will be easier. After all, you will be focusing on who has real chances of buying what you sell.

Consequently, this will positively impact conversion rates in your sales funnel.

So, with qualified, mature and ready-to-buy leads, your sales cycle, CAC and LTV will be positively impacted.

2 – Easier sales targets to be achieved

The more qualified leads converting in your funnel, the more sales you obviously make.

However, we can go further. You will be able to have the so-called Predictable Revenue. And that will only be possible by escalating sales and also predictable lead generation.

In this way, your sales management takes place in a much more assertive way. That’s what every sales leader seeks, isn’t it?

3 – Impact on churn rates

When you sell to the ideal customer, the probability that he will cancel what he hired is much lower.

As a result, the churn is then reduced. And that’s great not just for customer relationships, but for any company’s sales metrics.

Plus, it’s something that keeps your business from having unhappy customers.

So how to find the ideal customer profile (ICP)?

Here at PipeRun, we have monthly contact with hundreds of companies that use our CRM software.

For example. We noticed that more than 95% of companies do not have the ideal customer profile so that the marketing, sales and after-sales teams can work with more assertiveness and synergy.

However, the ideal customer profile, in fact, is an underused tool. Despite this, it provides transformations in the company’s revenue generation.

It all depends on being used well.

The few companies we have seen using ICP are the most successful. Most of the time they are companies in the technology sector, but ICP is not restricted to them.

Any company that wants to grow in sales must be clear about who is its ideal customer so that it can know where to direct all its energy.

The ideal customer is usually the most profitable.

Above all, he is the one who gives less work in pre-sales, sales and after-sales (or customer success ).

He also generates referrals because he is satisfied. Because it succeeds at consuming what you offer and helps your business thrive.

In other words, that’s why they say that the customer’s success is the company’s success.

Step 1

The first step to discovering the ideal customer profile is to have data about your current customers at hand, such as the following examples:

  • What did you buy
  • how much did you buy
  • How much revenue generated
  • What is the energy level spent to serve the customer
  • your team likes to answer
  • Your team serves well
  • The customer’s expectations are met or exceeded
  • How big is the company
  • How long has he been a client of the company
  • how often do you buy
  • What monthly/annual budget does he have to spend on what you offer?
  • Where is this customer located
  • What is his annual revenue
  • what technology does he use
  • what is your segment
  • How many employees are part of the company
  • How many employees are in a specific area of ​​the company (marketing, sales, or any other that is important to know for your business)
  • How big is his customer base
  • What is your digital maturity

It is crucial to have an easy way to get this data from your ERP or your CRM.

Have some report generator that gives you flexibility to filter. Or, a BI tool ( business intelligence or analytics ).

Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

Step 2

The second step is to analyze which of your current customers are the most interesting. Those who have successfully used your solution. For example, those who stand out from the crowd.

What is the typical problem you’ve helped solve for these successful customers using your solution?

Step 3

The third step is to identify the patterns. What do these companies and customers have in common.

Step 4

The fourth step is to imagine, in a perfect setting, which companies you would like to have as a client. What is the value proposition you are offering these customers?

Then respond. Is this value proposition the differentiator they will buy from you?

suggested dynamics

Use this template document. Download, print and distribute to your marketing and sales teams for a quick reflection and complete this document.

Then check the most common occurrences among all and build a single definition.

With the profile defined, share it in the emails or paste it in the walls. Communicate to everyone in the company and draw up an action plan to achieve this customer profile.

What to do with customers who do not have the ideal profile?

Serving all the customers that appear in your company is a mistake.

Often, paying attention to all those potential customers who knock on your door and make the sale, generates a high cost of sale.

In addition, it brings dissatisfaction to the buyer, low repurchase rate and even negative buzz.

However, some customers and potential customers should not be served by your company.

In this case, your sales team can indicate other companies (business partners and even competitors) that are compatible with the work model and other issues they expect.

Having a clear ICP will help to focus efforts towards the ideal customer profile for your business.

So, if the customer is already from the base, doesn’t have the profile and generates a lot of wear, don’t be sorry: stop serving him as soon as possible.

With these tips, it’s easier for you to find the ideal customer for your company. Consequently, this will make sales more assertive in your business.

So, how can we help you?

If you have any questions about how to find your company’s ICP or want to share some pain in your business process: TALK TO A CONSULTANT .

Enjoy and read two articles that may be useful for you.

The first talks about what NPS is and how it measures customer satisfaction.

The second addresses the importance of branding to convert more leads into customers.

Good sales!