An ideal customer profile (ICP) is a comprehensive description of a business for which your product will become a perfect solution. It helps you identify the right clients, align your product with customers’ needs, and personalize your offer.
In this article, we’ll discuss why you need an ideal customer profile and compare an ICP and a buyer persona. We’ll also unveil how to build this profile and use it in marketing.
Why do you need an ideal customer profile?
If your company focuses on sales, developing an ideal customer profile is crucial since it helps identify quality leads. This is the key reason to create a profile of an ideal customer that will be a great fit for your solution. Besides quality prospects, you can reap even more benefits.
After creating an ideal customer profile, you can prevent your company from using extra resources and teams from spending their effort on unqualified leads. With the lead qualification, you can easily identify customers with a high willingness to purchase from you. You can start nurturing relationships with these prospects and turn them into long-term partnerships.
Using your profile, historical sales data, and predictive learning, you can increase the speed of lead conversions. Improving the way you approach your customers enables you to encourage trust and build loyalty.
If you succeed in developing a perfect ICP, you’ll be able to align your product with customers’ needs. You’ll provide personalized offers and content to your clients by ensuring collaboration between sales and marketing teams.
Since your profile covers specific characteristics and patterns, consider using them to your advantage. Build a framework for outreach activities to reach your potential customers.
Now that you know the reasons, it’s time to make the difference between an ideal customer profile and buyer persona clear.
Ideal Customer Profile vs Buyer Persona
Sometimes people use these two concepts interchangeably, yet they help attain different goals. Let’s uncover these two terms for you to consider.
An ideal customer profile is a detailed description of a company for your solution. It enables you to choose the right businesses, adjust your marketing strategy, and provide personalized offers. If your company focuses on working with businesses rather than individuals, then you need to create an ICP to improve the work of your sales and marketing departments.
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional reflection of your ideal customer that covers demographics, objectives, motivators, and problems. It helps your team map out the strategy and allocate resources and time. Buyer persona brings structure to your company and helps find and reach the right prospects.
Now that you know the difference, it’s time to find out how to create an ICP.
How to create an ideal customer profile?
This section will uncover how to develop an ideal customer profile for your business. Let’s dive in.
- Consider applying templates. You can use the existing templates to speed up the process of creating an ICP. Find the right platforms to download and use the templates for free. This way, you’ll save time on building the profile from scratch. The only thing you’ll need to do is to fill in the blanks. Conduct short research on your future clients to insert the necessary data.
- Select the right software. Creating an accurate profile requires collecting all available information from your current customers. It will help you find a highly personalized approach to your prospects. Consider using your software to get data. If you use a CRM, look through customer profiles and deals to identify common patterns. If you don’t use a CRM, consider using a free CRM from SendPulse. With its help, you can store all your customer information, track all your deals within one platform, and automate your sales and communication with clients. After choosing a CRM, you also need a tool for conducting surveys. It will help you collect customer feedback about your product. You can use SurveyMonkey, GetFeedback, Zoho Survey, etc.
- Analyze demographics. The next step involves analyzing the external demographics of your potential clients. During this step, you should identify the market your product suits the best, the verticals your prospects operate in, annual revenue, the number of employees, and the location of these businesses. These points will help you get a better picture of your future customers.
- Gather feedback from your clients. Using the general information you have in your CRM isn’t enough to win deals. To establish connections with prospects, you need to research your current clients. For this purpose, you need to conduct surveys and communicate with consumers. You can do it in written or oral form with surveys or interviews. To speed up the process, consider using survey tools. They will enable you to design forms fast, send them to customers’ emails, and record their answers. Make sure to include questions about your product, things that make it stand out from the competition, and things that make it difficult to work with. Ask for comments and recommendations. With customer interviews, your company reps can talk with clients in real-time by phone or during a meeting. This way, you can directly see their reaction to your questions and read what they really like from their facial expressions.
- Focus on the problem. Think of the challenges your product can help solve. Identify the characteristics of businesses that need this product. Analyze your existing customers and their problems. Dive deeper into your clients’ behavior and discover how and why they use your product. Think of their pain points.
- Develop profiles. When developing ideal customer profiles, remember that you try to reach actual companies with their problems and needs. After finishing with the attributes for your ICPs, you need to focus on the individuals you want to reach to win the deal. Often, these are company representatives. To establish good communication and trust, you need to research companies’ decision-makers. Make sure you know their titles, age, income, reasons they need your product, role, and responsibilities.
- Track and evaluate. Once done with the profiles, you need to monitor your progress to identify successes and failures. It’s necessary to make improvements. Assessment is essential for obtaining new customers and taking your business to the next level.
Now that you know how to build an ideal customer profile, let’s proceed to the next section to figure out how to use it in marketing.
How to use an ideal customer profile in marketing?
Besides creating an ICP, you also need to know how to apply the knowledge provided. This section will help you find it out.
Every company needs an ideal customer profile. It empowers sales and marketing teams to define their ideal customer and target the right people. Everything starts with the development of a profile and then moves to the process of reaching prospects.
A well-defined ideal customer profile enables you to reach and sell to targeted accounts. With its help, your team can determine challenges, create personalized approaches, meet customers’ needs, and align your marketing efforts. An ICP will be helpful for future alterations to your product and strategy. Use it when choosing the best marketing channels, identifying how to start communication, and encouraging to purchase.
Congrats, now you know what an ICP is and why it’s crucial. Use our guide to identify the right customers for your business.
Last Updated: 22.03.2023