Pulling It All Together – The Ideal Customer Profile Model

Over the last few weeks I have posted herehereherehere, and here to describe the underlying framework to build your Ideal Customer Profile. Doing this well is one of the most impactful exercises for Marketing and Sales professionals.

In this post I will pull it all together in a model that you can use.

(The entire model is described in detail in my latest book: Digital Sales Transformation in a Customer First World)

The following tables describe the Ideal Customer Profile Model, separated into the three categories: Firmographics, Customer Business Problem, and Positive Impact Potential. To make it more real I have completed the model using an example company that sells software to help companies improve the performance of their sales organization.

When you have assimilated the model you can use this framework to compile your own Ideal Customer Profile model.

ICP Category 1: Firmographics

In this section, the attributes that describe companies who absolutely fit your firmographic criteria should be listed in the Ideal Customer column. Others that might fit, but with some caveats, can be listed in the Caution column, meaning that further consideration might be required, and finally, the Off Strategy column contains attributes that indicate a bad fit – attributes that describe companies with whom you should not engage.

ICP Category 2: Customer business problem

In this section, list the identifiable Internal or External pressures that impact your prospective customer that might give rise to problems that you solve.

ICP Category 3: Positive impact potential

In this section, in the Attribute column in the table, list the attributes that point to Positive Impact Potential for the company. In the How Do You Know? column describe the situational proof-points that indicate the company’s ability to be successful.

Conclusion

Early in this series of posts I started with the Customer Value Question:

What business problems does your customer have that you solve better than anyone else?

Use the ICP as your guide to answer that question. It will direct you to the right profile of customer, to whom you can bring optimal value today, as you solve the problems that you solve better than anyone else. When you consider the Positive Impact Potential you’re investing for the long term with your customer. As you seek to develop relationships as outlined in my latest book: Digital Sales Transformation in a Customer First World, you will approach conversations with your potential customer confident that, just as you selected this customer, the customer should select you. That’s a good place to start.

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