Why create a B2B ideal customer profile?
And yet, 82% of companies using buyer personas claim that it improved their value proposition.
So what’s going on here? Are they a colossal waste of time, or your company’s saviour?
As usual, the answer lies somewhere between the two extremes.
Most B2B buyer personas are useless because they don’t focus on the right things. You don’t care whether Jane Bloggs likes to play badminton at the weekend, or owns two adorable labrador puppies. It doesn’t tell you anything useful about why she might be interested in buying from your cybersecurity firm.
What you need instead is:
- A practical profile you and your team can refer to whenever you’re creating any marketing campaign, whether that’s a LinkedIn ad or a major conference.
- A profile that’s rooted in reality, based on existing customers and/or business prospects.
In other words, you need an ideal customer profile (ICP).
What is an ideal customer profile?
An ICP is focused on generating high-quality leads who are similar to your best customers.
It’s not about trying to reach anyone and everyone.
Yes, that’s going to narrow the field considerably, and that might seem counterintuitive.
But bear in mind that marketers and sales teams have been estimated to waste a quarter of their budget on ineffective strategies.
Better to be hyper focused on the accounts that matter, than throw a bunch of paper planes in the air and hope they land where you wanted them to.
How do you write a B2B customer profile?
There’s no one size fits all: your potential customers are as unique as your business. Here are some key questions that will help guide your ICP.
Step 1: Define your target B2B companies
- Who are your target companies? Whether you’re aiming high for the hyperscalers of the world, or for early-stage startups, you’ve got to have a type of company in mind.
- Resist the urge to say “everyone”.
- You can list current clients as examples.
Step 2: Describe your customer’s role in the buying process
- Are they an influencer, a decision maker, or a gatekeeper?
- What typical job titles come with that role? Again, you can base your answer on real-life examples of your current customers.
- Depending on your experience, you might want to add further notes and information here. For example, are there typically multiple decision makers?
Step 3: Determine how much your ideal B2B customer knows
- What does your customer know about your solution?
- More importantly, what don’t they know? There might be common misconceptions about your solution or recurrent questions. These are highly useful for your ICP.
Your ideal B2B customer profile template
Build your own highly specific, highly useful ideal customer profile by answering the above questions. Here’s a free template for you to get started today.
Are you a tech B2B company?
Seeing as you’re our ideal customer, why not drop us a line to find out how we can help you level up your marketing efforts? Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.