A prospect that needs a solution for their issue and is perfectly capable of paying for the necessary service that solves the matter is an ideal customer. A perfect prospect is aware of their needs and is actively searching for solutions. There are certain aspects of an ideal customer profile that are essential. They are revenue, sub-industries, locations, ad spending, and others specific to a business.
Aspects of an Ideal Customer Profile
When creating an ICP the logical way forward is to first consider the best customers. Revenue of the best customers aids in understanding your position and redefining your priorities. It is necessary to take into consideration the revenue of every customer that you are analyzing when putting together an ICP. Use your best customers as references. Prospects that fit the ICP can be listed using data enhancement software.
Let’s take Alibaba Cloud’s example. As a B2B giant, one of the basic factors determining the company’s ICP is its clients' revenue. Looking at the performance and revenue of some of its profitable customers such as Technology Business Research with $10-50 million in revenue and Symbio with $100-200 million, Alibaba.com redesigns its ICP every year. This is expected of all B2B players.
Creating an ideal customer profile is one of the most important steps in creating a successful business. You need to know who your target market is and what they want. After defining the target market, move on to the sub-industries to figure out what generates higher revenue. Pay attention to target sub-industries while developing the list of prospects to update your position and therefore value proposition.
Recently, P&G finalized the decision to collaborate with Amazon to sell their products directly to Amazon in exchange for shipping. P&G taking on Amazon as a client is a strategic move that came into being after considering Amazon as an ICP. The breakdown of Amazon’s revenue segment is as follows. Online store sales have generated $66.08 billion followed by Amazon Web Services (AWS) with $17.78 billion. Advertising services brought in $9.72 billion and the various subscription services such as Amazon Prime memberships, and other non-AWS subscription services generated $8.12 billion. Of all the above-mentioned segments, Amazon has evidently been concentrating on online store sales for the longest time which explains the numbers.
Customers are naturally distributed unevenly in different regions of the globe. Analyzing these regions to learn who is from where is a great way to gain insight into changing your team’s schedule to better accommodate the needs of your customers.
If you are targeting US companies, keep in mind the time difference. Accommodate the customer support working hours and check your marketing activities such as outreach emails, newsletters, or ads to be in line with the working hours of your target market. Be mindful of the holidays and customs of your prospects. Conduct thorough research on the unique market characteristics, typical buying habits, and external factors that influence your target audience.
It is important to know the goals and objectives of your customers. These can include micro- and macro-level goals that affect the business on multiple levels. For example, if you are targeting more sophisticated customers, their goals are likely to be related to business outcomes such as revenue, efficiency, market share, etc. They may also have personal goals, such as reducing the time spent in company meetings. Be sure to include monthly, quarterly, and annual goals. They want to look professional, emphasize branding, and be aware of when customers have opened an offer so they can follow up promptly.
Once you understand your customer's goals, you must understand the biggest challenges holding them back. This is what your product is trying to solve. Ask questions that you take for granted. Once you know the challenges you're trying to solve, you can address and articulate them to improve the efficiency of any marketing campaign—the ads, reach, and content you create.
Creating an Ideal Customer Profile
A practical and proven method that has assured returns is targeting communities where your audience is active. It could be on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Discord, or Slack.
Participating actively leads to prominence. Take the time to become familiar with the community. Introduce yourself in the various circles, answer the questions, help the members, and ask your questions, let them know what you are looking for.
Connect with the admins to understand better how you can participate in a way that is beneficial to both you and the community members. You will be a prominent figure in the community in no time like this.
Reaching out to admins has its advantages. Your reach could get fast-tracked. Making a post about your issues and the possible solutions to connect with the members can gain a larger response with help of an admin. They can recommend the people that you could approach about your problems. All of this leads to valuable connections.
Here is another approach to creating an Ideal Customer Profile.
Making connections on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook has never been more advantageous. Utilizing the connections that you have made over the years, you can approach your target market segment to check if they are available for a quick chat. Familiarize yourself with the prospects you want to do business with first and then mention the solutions you offer and their benefits.
Buying committees need to be clearly defined. When you have this cleared up, the rest of the journey becomes easier.
The previously defined buying committees can be found on various social media platforms. Learn about them, and accumulate all the necessary information to have a solid approach.
Connect with your prospects. Make conversations and build rapport. Establish trust above all, don’t even mention the product. Ideally, this is what your message should look like. Connect with your prospect over lunch if that is viable as it’s personable.
I’m an ardent fan of your work. Love the SOLUTIONS that you have to offer to the CHALLENGES of the industry.
Would you be open to the idea of connecting over lunch for a quick chat? Mind if I pick your brain on some key issues I believe we can help each other out. Let me know if you are open for a 30-minute lunch or a short call.
Follow-ups can be difficult but they are always worth the trouble if you didn’t receive a response. Periodically timed emails and messages with relatable content have been known to elicit responses.
In case you get a positive response, use the following list of questions to proceed.
What makes them buy products like yours?
What factors influence their purchasing decision?
What are their current challenges with their business?
What problems does the product solve for them?
What can happen if these problems are not solved?
Why did they choose the company that they are currently employing?
What do they love most about the product that solves the challenges?
If you're a B2B company, focusing on your ideal customer profile will help you figure out who to target, identify and attract quality leads, increase sales and customer lifetime value, and even get more referrals. The better you know your customers, the better services you can provide to meet their needs.