What is an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)?

An ideal customer profile (ICP) is a model of a company’s ideal customer that assists sales and marketing teams with strategic decision making in their day-to-day activities. The sales and marketing teams define an ICP to identify accounts that will be the highest value for a company. At a high level, an ICP could be defined as a mid-sized B2B technology company located in the United States.

Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

How Sales and Marketing Teams Utilize an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

Sales and marketing teams can utilize an ICP in all strategic decision making activities. An ICP helps sales and marketing teams understand not only what is an ideal fit, but also what is not an ideal fit. For example, an ICP helps sales and marketing teams prioritize their leads and understand which leads they should not put resources towards. Once an ideal customer profile is created, marketing and sales teams can compile a list of accounts to target in their ABM strategy. Sales development representatives (SDRs) can prioritize companies that are closer to their company’s ICP when qualifying inbound leads and outbound prospecting.  Also, it helps in analyzing the quality of leads and the quality of sales team’s current sales pipeline. For marketing teams, an ICP gives marketing a framework of who to craft messaging for, who to target with paid media, etc. Marketing teams can also use an ICP to find a list of companies that fit a similar description in order to have a list for nurturing.

Creating an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

To get started, standardized firmographic data can be used to choose firmographic attributes that make up an ideal customer (Revenue, Number of Employees, Industry, Location, etc.). Next, sales and marketing teams can define the goals for their ideal customer, as well as, any challenges or pain points it might be facing. Current customers and past lead generation results can help to be a guide while creating an ICP. Sales and marketing teams should make sure that they are not be letting past results or current clients negatively influence their ICP definition. For example, during this process, sales and marketing teams might find that their current clients and past lead generation results are not inline with their ideal customer profile. This is an acceptable outcome of the ICP creation process and should not be changed because it is not inline with past results. Next, sales and marketing teams can create buyer personas. Buyer personas can be comprised of the buyer’s role and title, where the buyer consumes information, what are the buyer’s goals and aspirations, etc. To learn more, checkout Hubspot’s blog post about creating an ICP.

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