by Stefan Repin

Apr 13, 2020 · 4 min read

What is ideal customer profile? How to create ICP with template?

ready template to create ICP

 

In a business, we invest a lot of resources to build a product or service. But if we do not know whom we will sell the product or whose problem we will solve with the services we offer. Then there is something important missing in our marketing strategy.

 

It’s very important to know who our ideal customers are, where they spend their time, what are their challenges to market our product and services efficiently. Here we will see how to create ideal customer profile with help of ready template.

            What is an Ideal Customer Profile?  

An Ideal Customer Profile is a detailed description or visualization of the business entity that is an ideal customer for your business. Ideal in terms of giving the best revenue for your company, easy to sell to, knowing what their problem is and can be a good brand champion . In short, an ideal customer any business would want.  

For B2B customers, these are the descriptions that will give us the ideal customer profile details. These are few points that will give an idea about the fields but for each product and service it will be more specific

  1. Industry/vertical:
  2. Geography:
  3. Annual Turnover:
  4. Employee headcount:
  5. Budget

           Ideal Customer Profile Examples

 

  1. If you sell accounting software for historical museums. 

An Ideal Customer Profile would be like “ Historical museums based in the US having a minimum annual budget of $3 million, having 5-50 people in an operations team containing at least one person in the accounting department. Museums having no accounting software or using software that is older than 3 years. With burning problems to maintain account books without software or with software that hangs often creating an unpleasant experience for their customers and extra work for the people operating the museum.”

 

From the above example, we will get a clear picture of the customers who are the customers for the accounting software firm.

  1. If you are into providing sales skills training 

Ideal Customer Profile can be something like this “Businesses having offices in the US with a minimum annual turnover of $5 million, having over 15 people in the sales team without an internal training department”

             Why is defining ICP so important?

Goal of business is to make profits. So for acquiring each customer, we spend money on marketing campaigns and if we do not focus on a narrowed down a list of customers who are more likely to buy, then we would waste a lot of important resources. And that is against the goal of our business. 

If we create an ideal profile for our business, then it will make the task of selling them easy, it will reduce the sales cycle, we could sell them at margins and finally, we could retain those customers because we know them well.

             Ideal Customer Profile Vs. Buyer Persona

An ideal customer profile is organization or business-specific with details related to the business. Whereas a Buyer persona is a description of an individual who is the buyer or influencer.  

For example, “software companies in Europe with more than 20million in annual revenue having 100+ people on rolls focusing majorly on financial services as customers” can be considered an Ideal Customer Profile.

And Buyer personas would be people who are decision-makers at these particular companies and form the part of the buying committee for your services to these companies.  

That’s why coming to LinkedIn with a selling communication is a waste of money and time. It requires a more sophisticated and accurate approach.              

Creating ICP for your business

I have shared this ideal customer profile sheet that we have used as own dog food.

Each field provides crucial information about customers.

ICP with a buyer persona will help you create laser focus campaigns for your target customers.

The first section providing details about your ideal customer will get to know the customer and will help you look for similar accounts with different market intelligence tools. This can lay the groundwork of your ABM marketing campaign.

Second section: Details collected here,  will help you to know about the people involved in the decision-making process, their interest, media consumptions, etc. This is crucial information to design the marketing campaign to reach out to these key decision-makers. 

I am sharing one of the ideal customer profiles of our client segment. I have avoided a few details to comply with NDA.

It will give you a clear idea about how to create similar kinds of profiles for the existing customers you have and the kind of customers you would like to acquire in the future.

Ideal customer profile template for your business to help you to focus on customers that you love to win

 

Each of the fields we put above helps to narrow down our approach to defining the exact customer we would love to sell to.

Industry/vertical/Domain: It will define broadly the industry segment that will benefit the most from our product or services. For example, if your company makes software for financial services then defining it further what kind of financial services whether insurance, banks, or equity market. Defining this will help identify the niche and find more similar prospects from the list.

Annual Revenue: It is important to know what is the range of annual revenue your ideal customer makes. 

You can download and create an ideal customer profile for your business here

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