Build Your Ideal Customer Profile

When you think of your ideal customer, what comes to mind? Is it anyone who wants to buy your products or services? Actually, that is not the best answer if you’re looking to drive sales and build a loyal, committed customer base. So how do you build your  ideal customer profile that gets your sales team to reach their goals?

Let’s find out.

Why Your Sales Teams Need an Ideal Customer Profile

An ICP (ideal customer profile) is a hypothetical description of the type of company that would reap the maximum benefit from your product or solution. You need an ICP to help you direct your sales resources to the top targets, without wasting time on prospects who are unlikely to be converted or retained.

Hence, by focusing your resources on these high-quality leads, you’ll help your sales team sell more consistently and have a better understanding of how to reach and sell to those customers.

You can also use the ICP to profile those companies that treat you with mutual respect, share your core values and pay their bills on time. This makes for more of a partnering philosophy than a vendor-buyer relationship.

You can also use your ICP to go beyond sales – by thinking like your ideal customer, you can tailor your products and services more precisely to their needs.

And finally, you could even get more referrals because you’ll be doing business with people who derive real value from what you offer – and they’re bound to tell their networks about you.

Manage Leads More Successfully

An ICP helps you manage your leads better – which is something surprisingly few sales organizations do well.

In fact, poorly-managed leads and lost productivity cost more than $1 trillion per year. When you learn that sales reps spend 50% of their time on unproductive prospecting, that’s no surprise.

How to Build Your Ideal Customer Profile

Your ideal customer is, simply, the customer your product was made for. But building a complete profile is about more than just that.

You need four key things to build your ICP:

  • Your top 5 core customers – and the ideal characteristics of each. This could be company size, industry, geographical area, pain points, technology used, or more.
  • Three companies you’d like to turn into customers – describe their characteristics using the qualities you listed above.
  • Refine core customer attributes – what are the consistent themes you’re seeing in your current core customers, and your ideal companies to work with?
  • Draft a 1-2 sentence statement – all about what you discovered in the first three steps. Who are you looking for, and why are they a strong fit?

Finding Who Doesn’t Fit

It can also be a useful exercise to figure out which customers are not a good fit for your services. This might be because:

  • they’re too resource-intensive to acquire
  • their business objectives are not aligned with yours
  • they’re difficult to work with
  • or they’re not profitable enough to make it worth your while.

How to Use Your Ideal Customer Profile

Now that you have your ideal (and least-ideal) customers identified, it’s time to use that ICP in your sales organization!

It can help you with lead generation ideas, prospecting, creating strategies, developing sales messaging, and more. Share it internally so everyone is on the same page, and you’re on your way to success.

CARES Program blog contributed by:

Dean Ash, Co-Founder of 360 Consulting, excels in enabling clients to grow sales revenue, improve profitability and implement comprehensive sales strategies. As a leader, communicator, and collaborator, Dean is a proven executive skilled in building and leading organizations to achieve superior sales results.

Learn more about  Dean’s seminars: Creating Your Ideal Client Profile, Managing Metrics to Grow Your Revenue and Why Sales Strategy is So Critical  and about how to access customized consulting through the Collin SBDC CARES Program.