Drafting an effective Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

Sep 6, 2021

The most fundamental step to initiate ABM in your company is drafting the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). It is basic to know your target audience in B2B marketing. In drafting the ICP it gets very clear to the ultimate question,

“Who best fit my offerings?”

The traditional B2B marketing practices negate the importance of understanding account-level information for communication deliverability. The marketing team would send out invites to 1000s of people in the contact list without knowing the best fit profile.

With ABM identifying the best fit is possible through drafting the ICPs, they get segregated into various personas, industries and journeys.

Determining your ICP

With the existing customer data, identify your best 10 accounts that fit the following classification,

1. Highest Spend/Profitability (ACCOUNTS)

Identifying the accounts with the highest spend and their CLV would determine what kind of industry they come from and which accounts you should primarily target. Take stock of your most profitable clients within the past 12 months.

2. Most Satisfied/Successful (CUSTOMER SUCCESS)Ping your customer success team to identify and analyze the most satisfied customers. They would help you understand what kind of approach and communication pointers you have to incorporate when you are reaching out to prospects. Search through your existing data, not over 12 months.

3. Best to Sell To (SALES and MARKETING)

Did the sales and marketing team have a walk in the park when they approached these clients? Where they were very impressed with your offerings and found them actually solving their challenges. Find out the best ones from the last 12 months.

4. Longest Client Lifespan (ACCOUNTS/CUSTOMER SUCCESS)

Who has been your customer with the maximum lifespan? Since the inception of your business, identify the clients with maximum longevity.

Source - https://www.punchabm.com/

Under the given classification, imbibe the following factors into the list to identify the best fit profile,

Factors

Industry

It is very helpful to bucket your customers to the relevant industries. This step however can be an exception if your offering serves to a specific industry. It could also be an opportunity to reanalyze what new markets your offerings are catering to.

Employee Headcount

The size of the company your offering caters to tells you whether to eliminate the smaller companies or if they are the actual breadwinners. At the same time, identify if there’s a maximum threshold limit to the size of the company that you would less effectively add value to.

Geography

You would know the importance of understanding where your customers are located to be culturally and business-wise relatable and respectful. Also, consider the local economic and political factors on their geography.

Technographic

Understand what kind of technology and the tech stack your existing clients use. This would give a fair idea of their technological maturity in the organization.

When the list is brought together, you will get a better understanding of who your prospects are. Now you can expand the account based on this tio build your ICP.

Next steps

Detailing Personas

Personas are very specific details that focus on the individual holding a particular position within the organization.

The details in crafting the persona include the following questions -

  • Who is your persona?
  • What does your persona care about?
  • How does my offering help?

Draft personas for every individual in the organization whom you think influences the decision. Now to deliver the communication pointers, understand the persona’s motivation factors,

Wants

What would the persona want to contribute to the success of the company’s mission?

Needs

What tools or platforms would the persona need to enable her to do her job.

Pains

What are the challenges that the persona face and are pushed to solve?

Fears

What kind of failure is the persona expected to face if things go wrong?

When this list is drafted, it is easier to reach out to them with personalized marketing messages.

Building your list of target accounts

The crux of ABM is to identify and target best fit accounts. What are the names of the companies that are best to do business with? Your ICP and personas are derived from the existing customers, now to expand them at scale, you would have to tier them accordingly to prioritize them.
By having a tiered list of companies, it would be easier to focus on accounts that mean the most. Typically in ABM  we classify them into 3 tiers, namely,

1,2,3 or A,B,C (in the order of priority)


Tier A - The accounts which come under this Tier are the best fit. Tier A accounts meet the ICP criteria and as a company, you would be trying to expand and focus on Tier A companies.

Tier B - Tier B accounts are companies that fit most of your ICP. A Tier B account can be in the right industry you are targeting, but larger or smaller than your ideal company size in revenue or employees.

Tier C - These are accounts that have shown intent but rank less in the ICP criteria. Hence they are considered low-priority since they match one of your ICP criteria.

This is done to use all the efforts and resources effectively on the accounts that matter the most. The accounts that come under ICO should agave demonstrated intent through the website, downloading content and/or registering for any organizational event.

Why don’t you go ahead and draft your company’s ICP?

Use our ICP template to record and document your ICP. Click Here

What next after ICP

Every ICP is unique in its own way. ICPs are not “one size fits all”. Tweak the ICP to suit your organization’s needs to suit your offerings to the types of successful businesses partnering with your organization.

The number of accounts is influenced by the company’s stakeholder’s

consideration. Read more on what next after ICP here - Click Here


Ashik Peter J

Digital Marketer & Business Storyteller