The Ideal…Ideal Customer Profile

GD1 Thought Leadership

15 years ago I was tasked with building out the Customer Success function (called Account Management at the time for role historians). During the onboarding process, a pattern emerged within a certain type of customer…

“Why didn’t I know about you sooner?”

As these customers got into the product, the value revealed itself in an obvious smack-them-in-the-face-way. These customers were going to stay a long time and enthusiastically tell their network how good we were for years to come. Unit economics considered, these were the right customers for the business.

Not TAM I Am

Don’t confuse your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) with your Total Addressable Market (TAM). TAM is broad and generic, your ICP is a bullseye within the TAM.

The easiest way to generate your ICP is to analyze these best-fit customers that you want more of. 

  1. Account Level CRM Data - capture key data points such as
  1. Industry
  2. Geography
  3. Company Size

  1. Contact Level CRM Data
  1. Department
  2. Titles and Buyer Roles

With #1 alone, you’ll be able to generate a list of companies with various data providers - GD1 portfolio companies can access options via our pre-vetted/negotiated trusted vendor list. You’ll want to validate this with the people who spend the most time in front of your customers - typically CSMs, Sales or founders in the early stage. Expect quick feedback on whether you’re hitting the mark. This input will help you to further refine it, such as disqualification criteria to consider.

Feel free to copy this ICP Template, which incorporates the details above 👊

Customer Insights

Next you’ll want to interview customers and prospects that hit your ICP. For customers, I’m a big fan of Malcom Lewis’s 7-Magic Questions. I’ve added a couple of my own into the mix.

GTM Time

So where does all this investigation put you? You can now intelligently consider the best GTM strategy based on the buyer and your available resources. For more on this subject, I recommend reading Mark Roberge’s recent article on this subject, 6 Demand Gen Channel Options for Startups: Which is Best for You?

Here’s a few example of how you can put this ICP investigation to work with the right prospects:

✍️  Create messaging for this audience

🔎  Establish email & paid ads within lookalike audiences

🎼  Empower an orchestrated ABX/ABM named account strategy

The power of the ICP is focus and effort on the right customer. Execute a smart GTM strategy into your ICP, and soon enough you’ll be hearing your new customers ask, “why didn’t I know about you sooner?”

Written bY
Doug Bohaboy



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