5 Common mistakes in creating your Ideal Customer Profile for B2B
*5 Common mistakes in creating your ICP for B2B are part of the “How to Identify your Ideal Customer Profile” article.
The Ideal Customer Profile for B2B could be defined as a company that best meets the desired goal for your product or service. It brings the most value to your business. If you are keen to learn more about the dos and don’ts on how to build your ICP for B2B activities check this article from us.
It is true that we learn from our mistakes. Before you make your own, here are a few common ones that we found the hard way. Make sure that you don’t repeat them on your own:
1: Copying someone else’s ICP
You’re probably not the only one doing what you’re doing, but remember that every company is aiming to solve a different problem. That means you need to focus on creating your own ICP and buyer personas rather than copying your competitors’. Think again about what is the problem you are trying to solve, what organizations and people face this problem. Focus on where your strengths and experience with successful projects for happy clients are.
2: Neglecting to use your ICP
When defining your Ideal Customer Profile and going through the entire process of discovery, you need to remember to stick to your findings. Always confirm with prospects the hypothesis you have set. Once you have certainty about what your ICP is, adapt all your marketing and sales collateral. Approach it based on that and make sure everyone in your team understands it. Don’t do it only because you read an article or someone else told you to do so. You need to integrate it into your operations to see the results.
3: Making it up
Your Ideal Customer Profile for B2B should be based on real facts and solid information. Yes, there might be a few hypotheses you set, but you need to verify them with potential clients.
If you haven’t onboarded your first customers yet, it will be harder for you to know for sure whom to target and who will best match your offer. You would probably need to try talking with different companies and roles to have information that will serve as a foundation. It is a rule that you should also revise your ICP occasionally. This is to make sure you have integrated everything you learned from talking to potential clients and servicing customers.
If you are starting a new value proposition through a service or a product, define different ICPs and test them with the market after. The first meetings you have with potential clients shouldn’t be focused that much on closing them. Learning as much as possible about their business, challenges, and how they have tried solving them is more important. Then you can deny or confirm the ICP you have created. Of course, onboarding them as a client is always part of the picture.
4: Mistaking ICP with Buyer Persona
These are two different terms that are very often mistaken to mean the same thing. As described in the previous article– ICP is more of a general description of your target audience that you want to reach. Buyer Personas are detailed profiles of potential customers that can get the most value from your offering. They usually include individual characteristics and description of their day, struggles and challenges, preferred means of finding information and other. You can have multiple Buyer Personas to one Ideal Customer Profile.
In the perfect case scenario – the ICP and the Buyer persona are complementing each other.
5: Relying only on firmographics
In order to understand what you should do in this part and not repeat some of the common mistakes in creating your ICP, you need to know the meaning of firmographics.
What are firmographics?
In the business world, firmographics is the term used for dividing companies, just like demographics is used for people.
The elements of firmographics allow firms to examine in detail the characteristics of organizational behavior, in a specific industry for example. It is useful when there is no significant difference between the operating variables, the purchasing approach, the situational factors, and the personal characteristics of the customers.
It’s not enough to define your ICP using only firmographics like the ones above. You also need to know what drives your target audience’s buying decision and or know the problem you solve for them. Another important thing to look at is psychographics. This is data for a specific group of people, observing their attitudes, lifestyles, aspirations, and more.
To sum it up
It does take time but it is worth the effort that you put into creating your customer profile right. Avoiding these 5 common mistakes in creating your ICP will put you on the right track and will set your company on the path to success.
If you are in need of support or consultancy with your Ideal Customer Profile, lead generation, B2B sales, Out2Bound can help YOU. Don’t hesitate and let’s talk.
Asya Ivaylova, Junior Marketing Specialist;
Zdravko Zdravkov, Co-founder and Head of Business Development.