Why Defining an Ideal Customer Profile is Important for Account-Based Model
March 4th 2022
Sales Best Practices
More than 50% of sales reps agree that prospecting accounts in account-based sales is most challenging. There are thousands of prospective companies or “accounts” that might be interested in what you are offering. All accounts, however, aren’t the best fit for the kind of product or service you are providing. They are not the same in terms of their value or the chances of converting them.

While building a scalable account-based model, the accounts are segmented into different tiers.

  • Tier 1 consists of high priority accounts,
  • Tier 2 consists of medium priority and
  • Tier 3 includes the low priority accounts

High-value accounts are prioritized so that allocating relevant resources are optimized. The characteristics of the ideal customers, such as their size, industry, pain points, or motivations in Tier 1 are defined to engage them consistently.

An ideal customer profile helps in defining the profile of the most suitable prospect. It simplifies identifying prospects to include in the account-based sales model. In this blog, we will discuss how it fits into your account-based model and what’s next in store for you.

Table of Content

  • What is account-based sales?
  • What is an Ideal Customer Profile?
  • Why is it Essential for Account-Based Model?
  • Connecting with Account-Based Sales
  • Road Ahead

What is Account-Based Sales?

Account-based sales is a hyper-personalized and strategic sales prospecting process primarily used in business-to-business (B2B) selling. It is an effective method for closing sales deals with organizations where it is difficult to identify a single decision-maker. Such organizations have multiple stakeholders participating in the decision-making, and the account needs prospecting.

To successfully close accounts, the marketing and sales teams work together. According to the demand from major accounts, the marketing and product teams may customize the experience. You need to personalize the messaging and marketing efforts of the organization as per the customer needs to be conveyed by the sales team.

In simple terms, account-based selling is the inverse of lead generation and inbound sales methodologies. Rather than targeting individuals hoping that they will be decision-makers, it focuses on accounts that best match your ideal customer profile. It further locates the contact information for all decision-makers or stakeholders involved in the decisions.

What is an Ideal Customer Profile?

Having understood how the account-based sales model works, the next question is what entails the profile of your ideal customer and how it is related to account-based selling? Also known as an ICP, it creates a fictitious description of the type of company that would derive the most benefit from your product or solution. It identifies your most valuable customers and prospects and those most likely to buy. It uses historical customer data and the information derived from sales reps to create the profile of your most valuable customers. It includes defining specific essential characteristics related to your highest value customers:

  • Budget
  • Size of company
  • Industry in which company is operating
  • Pain points/Challenges
  • Needs/Motivations
  • Geographical location
  • Revenue
  • Technology used
  • Number of employees
5 stages of ab testing

The more detailed your profile, the easier it will be to identify ideal accounts to target. It can help you optimize your sales model in various ways, which we will discuss in the following sections.

Why is it Essential for an Account-Based Model?

Targeting your ideal customer is the only way to ensure your chances of succeeding increase. But why is it so important to define your ideal customer’s profile? It is because having it in place has manifold benefits. It lies at the centre stage of your account-based sales methodology. Here are some important reasons why you need to start putting together the profile of your ideal customer right away:

Remove Guesswork

Smart sales reps are eliminating guesswork from their prospecting to save time and effort. Your ICP helps you make the best use of your data to identify the target customers. The most important accounts are identified, and common points from the collated data are used to identify characteristics. The key attributes of these top accounts are used to create the profile of your ideal customers. It is thus indicative of the types of accounts that the sales reps should primarily target. It removes the guesswork from the sales prospecting process and makes it more targeted and insightful.

Optimize Available Resources

Finding and attracting new customers streamlines the time and effort spent on research and making use of customization. Whenever you pursue a prospect who is not a good fit, you miss out on accounts that could have been a better fit. A defined profile of your target segments ensures that the ideal customers are targeted, as they are more likely to become long-term revenue-generating accounts.

Improve Sales Conversion Rates

Having a defined profile can help you increase your sales conversion. It assists you in identifying target customers who are likely to be valuable. Using an ideal customer profile framework ensures that your ideal customers are looking for is integrated into your sales activities. Having a consistent positioning and messaging across all of these channels helps you appear as a trusted source. It eventually helps boost sales conversion rates.

Optimize the Sales Cycle

You would have to rely on trial and error to reach your prospective customers if you did not have your ideal customer’s profile in place. It directs who you should target and thus shortens your sales cycle. The increased focus towards the target audience steers you away from accounts that aren’t right for you and would turn “bad” sooner or later.

Personalize Customer Conversations

Great messaging is the key to talking effectively to your customers and getting them talking. It is essential to understand your most valuable accounts and create their profile. Understanding the challenges, motivations, and other such firmographic data is vital. It can help you further understand how to speak to your customers and keep them talking about you. Staying on the top of your customer’s mind is a difficult task made much easier by a well-defined customer profile within your account-based model.

Identify and Nurture High-value Customers

ICP ensures that you target high-value customers. Using your ideal customer profile framework to target only the best-fit customers increases customer satisfaction and encourages renewals. Soon enough, these happy customers become the best advocates of your product or service to new potential customers. Thus, it helps you create high-value customers that don’t bring in value in terms of revenue but new customers.

Connecting to Account-based Sales

The ideal customer profile goes a step further to help align the selling and marketing efforts in your account-based sales methodology. Defining and creating a suitable customer profile right is instrumental to getting your messaging right.

Account-based sales require an ideal customer profile to keep the customers at the centre of your selling efforts. It involves using several channels in the sales funnel to make a wholesome campaign. Defining the profile of your high-valued customers helps you personalize interactions with customers. It also helps find out the channels where they can be reached out. Your outreach strategy should revolve around connecting with your customers through the channels where they are most active and most likely to engage.

Once you have designed your target customers’ profile, make sure that you integrate it within all the concerned departments. It can help you improve your sales conversion massively and align your sales and marketing efforts.

Road Ahead

Congratulations! You have already taken the first step towards success by understanding how you can make the most out of your account-based sales model. Defining your ideal customer’s profile and doing it yourself is the next step. It’s your turn to fine-tune your account-based selling approach and give your marketing efforts a direction. Remember that your target customer’s profile isn’t set in stone. It will change over time, and it is on you to revisit and revise it periodically. Make sure that it is then aligned with the workings of your sales and marketing teams. Buckle up and buck all trends!

Richa Sharma
Content Marketer
Richa Sharma
Content Marketer
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