What is an Ideal Customer Profile?
An ideal customer profile (ICP) outlines who your perfect customer is. This will be based on what type of products your company offers and whether or not they will help the customer in question. If you have solutions specifically for them, then they’re an ideal customer. If the product you’re selling will have no impact on the work they do, then they are not ideal.
ICPs typically outline an ideal company rather than specific individuals for your sales team to target. They are invaluable when it comes to account-based selling because it will help your sales team know exactly what type of companies they should be targeting in order to make successful sales.
Who Should Use Ideal Customer Profiles?
Every sales team should use an ICP as an outline when prospecting. If you don’t have one, then you end up with a random audience. You want to ensure sales prospecting is specific and targeted to ensure you reach the right audience.
It will allow you to see what type of customers you should be reaching out to, how to determine if they’re a good match for your product, and help you better align your sales pitch and work through any issues you may face when conducting outreach.
ICPs are not the same as buyer personas. While there are similarities, it’s important to note that these two documents should exist separately and be used by a sales team to complement each other.
A good sales rep will know how to use an ICP to target specific companies and then bring in a buyer persona to prospect specific stakeholders within that company. If both are used concurrently, you can target prospects appropriately to deliver very specific, personalized sales pitches.
What to Include in an Ideal Customer Profile
If you’re tasked with putting together an ICP for your sales team consider including information on the following:
How much does your product cost, and will your sales prospect be able to afford it? You don’t want to target companies that can’t afford what you’re offering, so make sure they fit the benchmark outlined here.
Type of Company
Does your product only target specific types of work within certain verticals? If you’re hyper-focused within a single field, ensure your ICP reflects that so your sales team can prospect accordingly.
When considering the type of company to target you may also consider the size of the company in terms of number of employees, or who their customer base is.
Is your product designed to only be used by companies in the same country as you, or can it be used internationally? Or, do you have different products available depending on where your customer is located?
A good sales rep knows what they’re selling as well as its limitations. This should be outlined in your ICP so your sales team can easily determine who they should be prospecting for specific products.
Do you have a product that is specifically designed to boost CTR or increase user responses? Then you’ll want to ensure you’re prospecting companies that regularly work towards improving their own engagement.
Figure out what your ideal customer’s business goals are so you can ensure your product aligns with their objections before you even think about catering your sales pitch.
How Do I Find Customers That Fit My ICP?
Once you’ve defined who your ideal customer is, how do you or your team go about sourcing qualified leads that fit that profile? There are tons of lead list-building tools and sales engagement solutions to help the team. LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a popular option. Another is an automated prospecting tool like Vidyard Prospector to help find those ideal customers in specific territories and then automatically send cold emails to them.