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ICPs Part One: The Strategic Role of Ideal Customer Profiles in Building Valuable Connections

Ideal Customer Profiles are an intrinsic part of successful B2B sales. An Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) defines the firmographic, behavioural, and environmental attributes of accounts that have the potential to become highly valued customers. ICPs differ from ‘target customers’ due to the focus on value. It is defined by Gartner as “is focused on the most valuable customers and prospects that are also most likely to buy.”

Developing the Ideal Customer Profile involves in-depth analysis and is something we’ll discuss in more depth in a later blog post. For now, we’re looking at the genuine value of ICPs for sales prospecting and building those all-important business relationships.

Why do Ideal Customer Profiles Matter?

The time involved in defining and identifying ICPs may seem excessive. However, the benefits make the process worthwhile. When you work with experienced lead generation specialists, this task is taken care of for you anyway. ICPs help you better understand who to target with your sales prospecting and marketing campaigns. The research delves deep into the needs, wants and behaviours of your ideal customer, allowing you to fully tailor each the campaign to them.

ICPs will help your organisation through:

  1.   Improved targeting and personalisation: through a better understanding of the needs of your ideal buyer, you can more closely target your campaigns to these needs. There is no room for general messaging when you can personalise and create something that truly resonates with the target prospect.
  2.   Increased ROI: with a better understanding of your customer base you can analyse campaigns more effectively, calculating accurate customer acquisition cost, customer lifetime value and more. Understanding who to target means much less waste on campaigns where the chance of positive results is low.
  3.   Boosted engagement: creating campaigns that speak directly to your ICPs will attract 

their attention and keep them reading.

  1.   Maintain targeted focus: it is very easy to waste budget or get sidetracked on campaigns which simply will not generate any return. With clear ICPs you can focus your efforts on the right customers.

Using Ideal Customer Profiles For Successful Targeting

Effective sales prospecting depends upon many factors. Key among them is having the right, valid email addresses for the right people and of course, great messaging. However, it does not matter how great your message is if it isn’t reaching the right people.

The ICP is the person you should be targeting with your cold emails or cold calls. They are your ideal buyer and the person your message is directly relevant to. In B2B this means the decision maker within the target company you’re focusing on. For example, if your business specialises in earned wage access and you want to reach out to organisations to try your app or software, you will want to reach out specifically to decision makers within the payroll and HR department.

Characteristics and attributes for identifying ICPs

Identifying ICPs is dependent on many factors. They may hold different weights dependent on what you’re trying to achieve, the main characteristics you will want to consider include:

  •         Demographics: age, gender, location, job title
  •         Firmographics: like demographics but for organisations. Firmographics refers to data such as company size, number of employees, annual revenue and company type
  •         Purchasing and buying behaviours
  •         Budget/spending powder
  •         Media preferences (email, telephone, social media etc.)

By having a clear understanding of the characteristics of the ICP, you can craft better campaigns. You can ensure each campaign is highly targeted and therefore attracts better responses. If you are reaching out to individuals that perfectly match your ICP, you will generate better leads.

Recognising the value of Ideal Customer Profiles for your campaign development is just the first step, in part two we’ll focus specifically on how to create an ICP.