The Outbound League
Part I : Know Your ICP
Hey, this is Melissa Peters here, Director of Client Experience with RevBoss. Welcome to the Outbound League, a collection of videos to coach you through advancing and converting your leads. Because let’s be real, outbound marketing is a whole different ballgame.
In this first segment, we want to talk about your ICP. It’s your playbook. It’s going to be what guides you through everything else you do in your Outbound Marketing efforts. Before diving in, I want to chat about pitfalls we’ve seen clients fall into to drive home why you need to spend time developing your ICP.
First and foremost, we’ve had clients that simply don’t have an ICP. To them, an ICP is we like to work with nice people. The other one is we can work with anyone. Even though you can, doesn’t mean you should.
For instance, we worked with a very early stage SaaS company, and by the end of our engagement, we were not able to perform for them because through months of working and iterating, we never could land on what market they went after, what problems were they solving.
And without being able to answer those base questions that form the foundation of your Outbound Playbook, you’re not going to be able to go farther than that.
So what is your ICP? And what steps go into developing a good one?
Start with the basics. Your ICP is the attributes of your most valuable customer, the ones most likely to benefit from the products and services you offer. Really, it’s what players best serve your team and who do you want on your roster?
Common attributes that you should be considering in your ICP include things like company size, industry, geography, budget, technologies that companies use, and their pain points. Pain points is one that’s often overlooked, but one of the most critical, and what we think is step one in developing your ICP.
So what might you do to start figuring out what your ICP is? You know that client roster you have? You have a few of those on there that are your favorite players, those best customers, the ones that if you could clone, you would do it.
We recommend you start there. Have a conversation with them. Start thinking about what attributes they have in common. Talk with them about why they chose you. What problems do you solve for them? What is it about your product that makes their life easier?
The more you can learn about the clients you really love, the more you can start mapping backwards and deciding. We want to find more like that. And then start looking at your whole customer base. What patterns do you see?
Are they all within a certain revenue range? 50 million to 100 million? Are they all within a geographical region? Are they within a few industries? Are there some bad fits? Are there ones that you’re like, yeah, you know what? We touched that, we shouldn’t have done that. Let’s trim those out and make sure we don’t do that again. As you start to do this, compile a document that takes all these attributes and lets them live in one place so that you, your sales team, your marketing team, you all are aligned and know who your ICP is and can stay aligned in your efforts in reaching out to them.
As you develop and strengthen this ICP, make sure that you’re working to inform the people involved in your outbound efforts, the people doing your prospecting. RevBoss, make sure they know so that they can make sure that your outbound efforts align with the work you’ve put into developing this ICP.
At the end of the day, you always wanna be drafting the best players to your client roster. There’s another topic I wanna pivot into that relates to your ICP, but is about expanding into new areas. We often have clients who come to us and say, I really wanna use you guys to test new markets or we’ve been working together for a few months and you’re like, I really wanna see what we can do in XYZ.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but there’s a few things that have to be taken in consideration when you choose to do this. First and foremost, it’s testing. It’s exploratory in nature and your expectations have to be aligned accordingly.
That’s not to say that you cannot take the hard work and effort you put into developing your ICP to make logical decisions about where to branch out to next.
Remember industry and how that’s part of your ICP? Let’s think logically. You found that you are excelling in fashion and apparel. You know what problem you solve for them. You know what company size. You know where you wanna be reaching out to. You’ve done some research and you feel that the cosmetics industry shares a lot of similarities with that. Okay, let’s test that out. And then as you do that, you can make iterations to see where there might be differences.
It’s about understanding that it’s a test. There’s explorations and their expectations have to be adjusted accordingly. To wrap it up, Idol customer profiles help you to find exactly who you should be reaching out to so you’re pursuing qualified leads and ultimately earning the highest possible ROI from your marketing and sales efforts.
As a heads up, next time, we’re gonna be diving into personas. The next step after figuring out the organizations you wanna sell into, AKA your ICP, is figuring out who in those organizations you should be interacting with so that you can close those deals.