ICPs tend to have several traits. They are ready to buy, already know they need your offer, you see the value you can deliver for them, they are (financially) able to buy your product, they can potentially refer your offer to others, they are growing as a company and along with it have a growing need for your offer. Now, this sounds like a great client to have, but how do you find them?
Data is your friend
There are a few ways to identify your ideal client. One of them is good ol’ data from previous sales you’ve made. While everything is up for debate, there are a few metrics you might find key in identifying your ICP. Highest customer satisfaction, most earned revenue, shortest sales cycle, most referrals. If you have a particular metric you value a lot, don’t be afraid to take it into consideration.
Most importantly, you want to find patterns in your data. Is there something your most successful clients have in common? While most people don’t need to consult a data scientist to get through it, take your time analyzing your data and don’t underestimate its value. Keep in mind that you may have a specific, very successful current or previous client, but for them to form the base of your ICP, they can’t be too unique. If your ICP is going to give your marketing team the direction, you can’t be chasing a one-of-a-kind client. If anything, the less unusual your best clients are, the better. It only makes it easier to find more of them. Don’t be afraid to get in touch with your current clients either. Why are you such an excellent fit for them? A satisfied client may be more than happy to talk straight with you about what appealed to them and why they believe the relationship is working out.
Determine your ICP through several questions
If you don’t have much historical data to work with, you could go straight ahead and ask yourself a series of questions to try to determine your ICP. This might take some testing and guessing before you perfect it, but you’ll get there.
- What type of company do you preferably sell to?
- What of your offering are they buying, and how much are they spending?
- What other products or services might they be using?
- Who in that company would typically be in charge of those purchases?
- How large is their company, and what does a typical company structure look like?
The top-down method
This should give you a rough idea that you can further mold into your ICP. A top-down method of finding the exact role you can directly sell to is to email C-suite executives and specifically asking in your copy what person you could best go to to discuss your offer. After being referred to employees lower in the ranks often enough, you’ll get an idea of the exact titles in charge of purchasing your offering. There’s also a small chance the higher executive would like to hear about it himself. When you do get referred to a different employee, it’s a great conversation starter to point out their boss specifically told you to discuss with them. The opposite direction, targeting lower ranks, might work as well if you get them excited enough to pitch you to their managers. This does require a company culture that allows it.
Take into account company size
Company size is also vital to determine whom to target. In small companies with <20 employees, you should be targeting the owner/founder/CEO, whatever title he opted to give him or herself. Companies with 20 to 100 employees will typically have more designated roles. The decision-makers are still high up in the hierarchy. Look for directors of VPs of the related department you’d be selling to. Within even larger companies consisting of 100 to 500 employees, we recommend targeting specific roles within departments that relate to your product. For example, rather than targeting the CMO, approach the head of inbound marketing or outbound marketing, depending on your offer. With even larger companies that have a wide reach, you will want to not only target specialized roles within departments but also keep in mind people often belong to a regional division and large companies can have similar hierarchies for each region.
Provide real value
A great way of understanding the value you bring to companies and what companies benefit most from your offer is to truly understand what you do for other companies. What pain points are you primarily resolving? Are you cutting down overhead, saving time, simplifying the workflow, or uniquely offering a solution to a specific issue? Knowing what pain points you’re solving is great for sending convincing messages to prospects. If all your clients first-and-foremost think your offer is a great way to save time, identify what companies could benefit from this and make sure your marketing message touches on the time-saving aspect.
Your client’s customer journey
Take a step back and look at things from your ideal client’s perspective. How appealing are you to them? If they visit your site, can they easily identify themselves as a great fit? A prospect that already knows he could use your offer is much easier to sell to. Is your customer journey fitting for the type of companies you target, how they tend to make purchases, and does it fit the industry as a whole? Use your ICP and understanding of your ideal prospects to ensure every step of the customer journey is appropriate for them. Every industry is different. The greater you understand your client, the better you can customize their trip from stranger to client.
From knowledge to money
Once you carefully examined your business and created your ICP, it’s time to turn that knowledge into money. The most straightforward way to use your ICP is in prospecting. Need an easy way to get in touch with your ideal prospects? With the help of LinkedIn’s advanced filters and our LinkedIn scraper, you can find LinkedIn users that match your ICP and get in touch with them today.