One of the worst mistakes companies make when selling their products or services online is assuming that every website visitor is the same. While all sales executives know that different audiences should be treated differently, we tend to default to using the same website, ad campaign, and call script over and over again.
No wonder so many teams find monthly sales results lagging behind projections.
To get the sales strategy back on track, it’s great to rely on detailed descriptions of the existing audiences. Even better, we need to have an accurate and up-to-date ICP (ideal customer profile) we can engage in our sales and marketing activities.
Note: Find and connect with leads who actually want to buy from you (even anonymous ones) instantly with Lift AI — a unique buyer intent solution that automatically integrates into your marketing stack and doesn’t require any configuration.
How to create ICPs that work
When people think about ideal customer profiles, they often confuse them with buyer personas. What’s the difference?
Buyer personas are descriptive representations of your target audience. They are personal narratives that help your sales team better relate to the type of people they sell to.
ICPs are nameless and are meant to reveal characteristics that are common across the addressable market. For example, your ICP might be online fashion retailers with over 5 million in revenue. You can then build a database of leads and define commonalities across the list.
You could work with multiple ICPs at the same time. The goal is to have a distinct sales strategy applied to each one, just as if you’re talking to different people.
ICPs are valuable precisely because they keep your customer acquisition process focused on the most important thing, especially when you use account-based sales. For example, it might be tempting to pursue all leads that visit your website, but are they aligned with your ICP? Are they worth your sales team’s time?
What’s more, creating effective ICPs is not complicated.
1. Analyze your existing customers
Where do you start when it comes to creating your first ICP? Your current customers, of course!
Find out who your best customers actually are. It could be the ones that pay you the most, or buy the most volume, or have long-term agreements, or short purchasing cycles, or take the least of your team’s time, etc.
Analyze the whole list for common characteristics. It could be anything, from a specific location to certain behavioral patterns to a similar annual growth rate.
You might find it easier to go from macro to micro. Start at the country level, and work down to industry, company size, revenue, profits, etc.
Unless your ICPs tend to be public companies, make sure you get your data from a variety of sources. Finally, focus on just one or a few ICPs to start. You can always expand the selection later on.
2. Find what your ICPs really want
To be able to sell to your list of ICPs successfully, you have to know their needs and wants. How can you make their lives easier? How can you make them more money or help them become more efficient?
In your sales strategy, you need to be sure that you can address your ICP’s challenges and uncover high-potential opportunities. In your research, schedule discovery sessions with your current customers for qualitative answers and then move to surveying and polling a larger industry pool for quantitative ones.
3. Describe your ICP in detail
With all the information in hand, make sure to document your ICPs as precisely as possible, so that even future team members get a clear idea of how to approach them.
The best use case for an ICP is screening incoming or outgoing leads for quality. The closer the lead is to your ICP, the higher it should be ranked in terms of fit.
In addition, reviewing your in-process and past deals with a revised ICP in mind can help uncover new angles and determine whether there’s real buyer intent.
How to identify buyer intent instantly — use powerful AI
While ICP marketing is a critical part of any successful sales strategy, it mostly deals with just one side of the equation — which companies you’d like to have as clients. But how do you find out which companies are actually considering buying your product or service? And what if there are companies that are ideal fits for your product or service that are interested in you, but you haven’t defined them as an ideal customer?
What if these companies are shopping you and your website right now?
To increase pipeline and make your BDR’s as effective as possible, you can leverage the latest advancements in AI.
AI never stops. It can analyze near-unlimited data sets to train its model and apply it to any number of leads at any time. One of the best examples of sales AI in action is Lift AI.
Lift AI is a real-time buyer intent solution, which can integrate into any marketing software you already use and tell your team which leads are worth pursuing.
Powered by a machine-learning model trained on billions of data points and more than 14 million live sales interactions, Lift AI can analyze behavioral signals of any number of visitors on your website, in seconds, and assign them accurate buyer intent scores.
When integrated with live chat, for example, Lift AI can segment your web traffic based on the level of buyer intent and connect high-intent visitors with your BDRs right away, while greeting others with a self-help guide or a nurturing bot. Such a process would instantly ease the load on your sales team while improving conversions at the same time.
In fact, based on previous customer experience, it takes Lift AI just around 90 days to improve chat conversions anywhere from two to 10 times. See for yourself by looking through Lift AI customer case studies — Formstack’s conversions went up by 88%, whereas PointClickCare grew its conversions by 400%.
Now you can see why ICP marketing is getting popular. It allows companies to be much more precise when it comes to reaching out to potential customers. Lift AI, however, takes this process to a whole new level, automating both accuracy and conversions for ultimate sales productivity.