Know. Your. Audience. -- Three words to live by when addressing a group of people of any size. Whether you are launching a new Twitter campaign, performing your latest stand-up comedy set, or looking for more sales conversations, knowing your target audience is an easy step towards success.
A target audience for a business can be referred to as an Ideal Client Profile - or ‘ICP’ - Which represents the landscape of companies that are a good fit for your product or service, and those who are not. By identifying your ICP, you empower your teams by providing an accurate focus for all marketing and sales efforts.
A strong ICP can bring endless value to the modern sales organization, by knowing who your salespeople should not be spending time on, you eliminate the many pains and inefficiencies associated with prospecting -- by the way, more than 40% of salespeople say prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales process. Your ICP will allow your teams to adopt the Silicon Valley attitude and “fail fast,” if a prospect is not going to be a fit, move on as soon as you can to bigger and better things.
Other perks of a solid ICP include: a shorter sales cycle due to finding the right customers at the right time, more accurate messaging and marketing alignment, more time for more valuable sales activities, and more revenue!
Now, having a great ICP is all well and good but how do you get there? Simple, research -- both external research, and internal research.
In order to start uncovering who you best align with, you need to know who you are, what you are, and why you do what you do -- in other words, what is your company’s “why”. Knowing what you have to offer, and why you are unique, is the first step.
Once we have accomplished this first step, let’s change our focus and take a look at what has worked in the past. Who are your clients, what did the sales cycle look like, who was the decision maker -- how can we find more people like that, and start more conversations like that! By running a Sales Win Analysis, your teams can begin to build the persona and the journey of an ideal client.
In order to dig into your past buyers with a different perspective, you can ask your team:
- What size of company is a good fit for your offering? Who isn’t a good fit?
- Which industry have we found success in, why or why not?
- What are the most common use cases for our clients?
- Which geographic locations are we finding the most success in? Let’s rank them.
- What attributes do your clients / buyers have in common?
- Where do they hang out?
- What are they watching on Netflix?
It may seem silly, but building out a detailed persona can help focus your team members and put them in the shoes of the buyers helping better understand their pain points, needs, and motivations. This exercise can be especially helpful when developing copy for an email or social campaign.
The key pieces of information you are collecting when building your ICP is as follows: roles & titles, main challenges & pain points, what platform are they learning about new products/services on, and what is the best way to get in touch with them.
Massage all of your findings into a baseline ICP, test it out, take your learnings, and optimize. Rinse & repeat -- the name of game is optimization.
Does your company have a recent ICP? How do you think it helps (or can help) streamline your communication and stay focused?