July 10, 2019
July 10, 2019
As a marketing and sales strategy, the ICP framework can deliver faster sales cycles, higher conversion rates and greater lifetime values.
The ideal customer profile (ICP) defines the firmographic, environmental and behavioral attributes of accounts that are expected to become a company’s most valuable customers. It is developed through both qualitative and quantitative analyses, and may optionally be informed by predictive analytics software.
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Unlike the term “target customer,” which is often used to describe any company that might buy a product or service, the ICP is focused on the most valuable customers and prospects that are also most likely to buy. The ICP should not be confused with the total addressable market or total available market, which are calculations or estimates of the universe of potential target customers.
The ICP is a foundational, organizationwide decision impacting downstream sales and marketing efforts. It aligns marketing, sales, service and executive teams to the highest-value accounts. It also creates focus on scalable and repeatable strategies and tactics to engage and convert top accounts. And it drives target account list creation, segmentation, organizational structure and other key activities.
Research into ICP development practices has found that in some companies, the ICP is either poorly understood as a concept or not properly defined. Even in companies that have defined an ICP, its use is limited to marketing briefs or new hire orientation sessions.
By contrast, in high-growth companies, the ICP is integral to marketing and sales strategy and execution, and we have documented the practices of these high-growth firms.
Takeaways include the following:
Designing your ICP is critical to sales and marketing success. Companies that invest in a well-defined ICP achieve compelling business results, including:
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