Define your ideal customer profile

1. Clarify what your ideal customer profile should accomplish to limit confusion with buyer personas and other profiles.

Great ICPs identify exactly who you look to sell to. The goal of creating ICPs is to identify the type of company that benefits the most from your product. Unlike buyer personas, they focus on quantifiable, objective information to identify which customers your marketing and sales teams should target. ICPs are most frequently used in a B2B context, where they describe the tangible variables of buyers your business should target.

2. Identify the variables to include in your ideal customer profile. Consider options like company size, revenue, geographical location, industry or niche, objectives, and position in company.

For example, HubSpot’s ICP is a marketing professional at businesses that have between 10 and 1,000 employees. This individual often bases operations in the U.S. and has been expanding to Europe and Australia in recent years. You can talk to your sales, customer success teams to idenetify commonalities between accounts, prioritizing clients based on ARR/CLV

3. Identify your top-performing customers by ROI,ARR or CLV and other secondary metrics.

If you don’t already have a clear idea of your best customers, these variables can help you identify them: Most revenue generated through purchases or subscriptions over the past year Most active in reaching out and building a business relationship with you Cognizant of the effectiveness of your solutions Clear ability to purchase your product  Growing and profitable companies with the potential to increase their business relationship with you

4. Create a spreadsheet with columns for Customer and each variable you identified earlier. Fill it with information about each of your top-performing customers.

If you can’t determine or reasonably guess quantifiable data, leave the cell blank. Consider asking your most high-value customers for information directly. This ensures a more relevant data set as you begin your analysis.

5. Remove any variables for which you don't have enough reliable data.

For example, if revenue isn’t available for any or most of the customers listed, remove it from your sheet and ICP.

6. Analyze and average each remaining variable.

Best practices for common variables are: Employee number and annual revenue: Use a range that removes any upper or lower outliers but includes most of the customers on the list. Geography and physical location: Use a general geographic area, like a country or state, that includes most of the customers on the list. Business industry and niche: Use the most frequently listed area. Business objectives: List the 1-3 most commonly named objectives. Decision-makers: List the 1-3 most commonly named position titles. For example, an ICP based on these variables may look like: Employee number: 5-25 Annual revenue: $2,000,000-$10,000,000 Business industry and niche: education, consulting Business objectives: sustainable growth, CSR, innovation Decision-makers: Chief Operating Officer, Director of Operations

7. Create a simple infographic of your ideal customer profile.

Visualizing your ICP profiles allows for easy sharing across departments, without any background research needed. Keep your graphics simple to allow for ease of comprehension. Include only the variables that are backed up by data.