For any B2B organization aiming to create an effective marketing strategy, the first step is defining its ideal client profile. Accurately defining your ideal client profile is the cornerstone of your go-to-market strategy and forms the basis for identifying the right personas at your target accounts.
Ideal client profiles are a hotcake in the market, but it is a complex process, and companies that get it right gain an advantage. The market is rife with alternatives, and your prospect has a sea of options available.
According to the 2018 reports of Marketing Agency Growth Report, nearly 60% of the businesses face problems acquiring new clients. Of this 60%, client retention has stood out to be a barrier to 16% of them.
So although the majority of B2B SaaS companies are successful in onboarding new clients, companies also fail to meet client expectations and goals and cannot retain them.
Therefore, one smart way of attracting and retaining clients and adding to the company’s overall success is creating an ideal client profile. This ensures that a business’s value proposition is specifically highlighted to address the needs of the potential buyer. As a result, buyers can better perceive the product or service provider’s offering and how they solve their business challenges.
Below is a definition of an ideal client profile, its benefits, considerations to make while creating your ideal client profile, and the steps to create it.
Why create an ideal client profile?
An ideal client profile (ICP) bolsters a company’s sales strategy by hyper-targeting only those prospects or potential clients who are most likely to benefit from your company’s offerings. The key aspects that a client profile highlights can include statistical data such as technographics, firmographics, and more.
Having this information, the company can create relevant marketing strategies, messaging, and outreach campaigns. To be specific, creating a clear ideal client profile has four essential benefits:
Better content creation and personalization
After identifying your ideal client profile, the next step in your targeting strategy is creating engaging content to address your ICPs. Here, building your content to specifically address your target personas at those ICPs across the buyer’s journey will help you create personalized content and maximize opportunities for conversion.
More targeted keyword research
Once companies know what their clients are looking for, they can create keyword-focused content targeted to those specific clients. The search engines will also index those to a specific target audience and potential clients.
A more fluid sales process
Defining your ideal client profile ensures companies or brands can understand the clients’ decision-making process, the sources they use for the recommendation, how they look for a service provider or partner, and the average sales cycle. Companies can use this information and curate the necessary sales process for the prospects.
According to HubSpot’s ‘The Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics for 2022,’ personalized emails have the power of enhancing click-through rates by 14%, generating conversions by 10%, and driving traffic 18 times more than usual.
In addition, having a specified client profile will help you prepare segmented lists. As a result, definite marketing campaigns catering to buyer behavior can be created.
An ideal client profile generates a win-win situation for a B2B company and its partners. Clients will find your products and services necessary for their growth, and these clients will help you reach your financial target. Therefore, an ideal client profile does not look at the characteristics of a person. Instead, pay attention to the features of a company as a whole. So, you have to tailor your marketing efforts accordingly.
Factors to consider while building an ideal client profile
When gathering information and data on clients, the key is to be as specific as possible. Here are some factors to consider when creating a perfect ideal client profile:
Firmographics help you better understand the B2B prospects and their business background to build well-defined client profiles. Another advantage of firmographics is that the prospect company can be placed into a specific segment after reviewing your products and services’ characteristics against their pain points.
Through firmographics, B2B marketers can differentiate between the companies in an industry, sort those out that suit their B2B solutions most, and focus more on saving time, budgets, and efforts.
After analyzing the characteristics and similarities, the marketers segment the prospects to comprehend their business needs. This way, they can deliver relevant and customized messages at the right time to optimize sales.
In a nutshell, firmographics are the attributes of B2B companies and firms that give an idea about your ideal buyers.
What includes firmographic data?
At the company level, firmographic data that can help create segmentation can include these:
- The industry to which the company belongs
- Location of the company (mention headquarters and subsidiaries present in every region or country)
- Contact info of the company (name, phone number, and email address)
- Company website’s domain
- Company revenue or turnover
- Number of employees
- Organizational hierarchy
- Monthly tech expense/budget
In B2B, the firmographic market segmentation makes all the difference. To make the ideal client profile, here is how firmographic segmentation can reinforce the process:
- Studies have depicted that client profiles created by firmographic segmentation can ensure 45% of reply rates as they deliver overtly personalized outreach.
- Since 78% of the companies consider a website conversion as a performance metric, firmographic segmentation can optimize the ROI of a B2B marketing campaign.
- Firmographic segmentation yields to predicting the buying behavior of the potential B2B customers. So, there is no chance of missing out on the sales.
Similar to demographics, technographics define how the audience uses technology. Considering the technographic data, companies can gain an insight into a prospect’s tech stack and their motive behind purchasing tech solutions.
In short, technographic data pays attention to these parameters:
- Various technologies that businesses use, for example; website tools, sales intelligence, CRM, storage servers, mail services, martech tools, and so on
- A record of the total number of services and products owned by the business
- Percentage of technology used regularly
- Time at which the business adopted the latest technology
Once you know the client, you know what works for them. Technographics allow you to absorb knowledge about the businesses and hyper-target them. Since technographics save a lot of time and money, they improve the sales productivity of businesses by highlighting the total addressable market.
How to create an ideal client profile?
When creating your ideal client profile, adequate research and interview of the existing clients, client-facing and customer success teams and your prospects can go a long way in building accurate ICPs. As a result, companies should create a fictitious character with real-time data and embody suitable clients.
For creating an ideal client profile, follow these three steps:
Step 1: Preparing a list of the best clients
To lay hands on the best customer, you should consider the most profitable accounts from your existing clients, their lifetime value (LTV), and so on. Do not forget to focus on analytical data to check if the best clients can align with your portfolio of products or services.
Step 2: Conducting client research and interviews
Client research and interviews will yield both quantitative and qualitative information. Try to conduct interviews in person. However, if that isn’t feasible, surveys can be conducted and questionnaires prepared to build a balanced client base. Questions prepared for the client interview or survey should deliver decision-making information, help create better company data, discuss the goals and challenges, and add to the purchasing decision.
Step 3: Information compilation and creation of client profiles
After you have gathered all the information, compile the metrics and create a structured and well-defined ideal client profile. The ideal client profile template should consist of common threads prevalent among successful customers. Use the data to figure out the common characteristics shared by the customers in terms of business goals, buying behavior, etc.
To ease the process of ideal client profile creation, utilize ICP templates. Besides asking the generic questions mentioned in these templates, sit with your team and brainstorm questions relevant to your ideal customers.
Building go-to-market strategies has become a systematic process. Businesses that invest adequate time and resources to create a well-defined and detailed ideal client profile are more likely to outpace their competition. As a result, you can reduce marketing costs and increase the sales and revenue of your company.