How to Create Your Ideal Customer Profile
In my last blog post, I discussed how important it is to develop an in-depth understanding of your clients by creating an Ideal Customer Profile.
Your Ideal Customer Profile helps you maximize your sales and marketing productivity by enabling you to:
- Find qualified prospects more easily through smart targeting, prospects who will become customers more quickly because your solution lines up with their needs.
- Disqualify poor prospects more easily, saving your team from spending its valuable time and energy on leads that won’t convert.
- Set the stage for faster sales cycles and higher win rates for your team.
To create your Ideal Client Profile, you’ll start by clearly describing the prospects that have 1) the greatest revenue potential and 2) the highest likelihood of turning into customers.
You’ll also want to consider criteria such as:
- Ideal industries
- Specific functional areas or roles within the company
- Key decision makers and influencers
- Critical business issues
- Key priorities
To help in this process, you might try reverse engineering. Look at your current list of customers. Who are your best customers? Who gets the most out of your solution and can’t stop talking about how much he or she loves working with your company? These are the kinds of customers you want to duplicate. Consider their profiles and incorporate their characteristics into your Ideal Customer Profile.
To give you an example, an Ideal Customer Profile for a company selling sales analytics might look something like this:
“Our ideal customer is a VP of sales who is new to their role (less than 90 days in), who reports to the CEO or division president, and is looking to make things happen. He or she is process-oriented and loves data and reports. His or her challenges include not being able to give accurate reports to the CEO because of problems with their sales system or the data in it.”
Your ICP should, ideally, fit in a few paragraphs. At the most, it should be no more than a single page. Keep it short and simple so your entire sales and marketing team can be crystal clear about what kinds of companies they should by striving to work with, or avoid.