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How to Develop an ICP


Easiest to Support Highest Lifetime Value

In a Growth Industry Strategic Alignment

Most Profitable

Surveying your current customers is a cost-effective method of gaining insightful analytics and data, that’ll provide a
foundation to building your Ideal Customer Profile.
What Is An Ideal Customer Profile & How to Find Yours
Once you’ve used the SLA Sales Calculator to determine how many leads you’ll need to reach your revenue goals, you’ll need to spend some time developing your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). An ideal customer profile is not necessarily your largest customer but could fit into the following categories:

The benefits of finding your ICP include:
• Identifying better-fit prospects
• Lowering your customer acquisition cost (CAC)
• Serving customers better by knowing their pain points and needs
• Reducing customer turnover

‘Considered Purchases with Extended Sales Cycles’
B2B marketing is often more complex than B2C marketing because the size of the opportunities is much larger. As a result, these larger B2B opportunities take longer to win or close.
The best way to think of this sales scenario is to know you’re selling a “considered product or service” with an extended sales cycle.
Meaning, the value of the product or service being offered is often considered by multiple stakeholders/
buyers in the company and not just your direct contact. So, what does that mean? Discovering and
understanding the unique challenges and needs of each stakeholder is the key to your sales success.
Often, the leader of the company will task a lower-level employee to do the initial research on a particular pain or problem, and then report back on key findings to the buying committee. Each member of the buying committee has unique challenges and perspectives that need to be addressed.
So you need to understand each persona involved in this buying process.
We recommend you focus on these personas:
Researcher | This persona is simply researching all of the possible solutions for a specific problem and picking the top three or so solutions to compare.
The key to attracting the researcher’s attention is to showcase how your product differs from your top competitors that they’re likely researching, too.
This helps control the narrative vs. the researcher making their own assumptions.
Influencers | This persona might have an influence on the product or service being considered or other members of the buying committee. Think of IT employees who will be responsible for implementing a service or solution, or accounting staff that’ll be responsible for allocating funds towards the purchase.
The End User | This persona is the one who will ultimately end up using the service. This means, they’ll know the most about its functions and features and will ask specific and direct questions on how it will serve them, best. Like, how easy is it to use your product or service? What does training look like? How long will it take for me to get up to speed? What kind of support should I expect?
Recently, the Royal Canadian
Mint added 140,000 high-value
customers by conducting research
on their ideal customer profiles
and personas and reimagining
their target messaging.

Decision-maker | This persona will want to know if your product or service will fix the problem
they are experiencing. Will it make my team more efficient and effective? What kind of ROI can
I expect?
Financial Authority | This persona will want to know the terms of the contract. Such as what is
in the service level agreement and other details, like the escalation or cancellation policies, too.
As you can see each of these personas all have different questions and needs that need to be
addressed in your marketing efforts.

Asking the Right Questions for Each Unique Persona
Now, once you’ve isolated the specific stakeholders—it’s time to dive deeper into their personas.
When you do so, you can identify individualized and specific pain points that’ll help in crafting your
ICP. Determining these unique personas will require thorough thinking into how the stakeholder
thinks, functions, and operates. To dial-in accurate personas, ask yourself the questions below
about each group.

With just one blanket message, you might flop on effectively communicating with each and every one
of the personas you’re trying to reach.
But, when you take the time to explore each of your Ideal Customer Profiles and fine-tune your
messaging to match, you’re better equipped to generate a lead and or an opportunity.

Many organizations believe they know their buyers well. They have built personas and they have
detailed product marketing plans. The information you’ve learned today describes how the customer
interacts with the product or service. But it fails to document how the customer buys, what content
they consume as they conduct research, or what frictions you may need to overcome in your marketing
and sales interactions, to better align with the customer’s pre-sale needs.
Of course, in today’s modern B2B world—people are using online research to their advantage prior to
sealing the deal, more than ever before. In fact, the dark funnel of online content (Reddit, online review websites, professional associations, text messaging, etc.) has forever changed the B2B buying process.
As B2C buying habits and patterns increasingly affect the B2B buying journey—transparency is key!
Because there’s no longer a linear process of tracking, and ensuring leads are flowing smoothly through the sales funnel
you intended—getting ahead of the curve, and protecting that funnel is crucial. With that in mind, here are some questions
to ask to do so successfully:
• What’s the most difficult aspect of your job?
• What trends and/or regulations are affecting the way you do your job?
• What are the trigger events that put you into an active buying process?
• Are you proactively looking for the latest and greatest solutions for your business, or are you reactively in the market because of a problem you’ve recently encountered?
• What does your research process look like and where do you typically start?
• What information is most helpful as you’re researching new solutions?
• Who do you consult with when conducting research?

Once IBM went through the process of developing a deep understanding of their ideal customer profiles, they uncovered an added benefit. These newly developed personas were perfect for training and onboard their new sales representatives.

By using these 4 simple steps to tap into your ICP with real-time insights and analytics, you’ll reduce wasted time and effort on messaging that just doesn’t land.