Definitive Guide Series: Ideal Customer Profile

Definitive Guide Series: Ideal Customer Profile

The most important project a sales leader can undertake is creating an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). This process will help you understand your customer, your product, and how the two mesh so that you can attract, close, and retain customers for life. An all-encompassing endeavor, creating an ICP involves deep introspection, research on your clients, and conversations with your clients. The end result will drive every interaction you have with your clients, and, if done correctly, the direction of the company.

Our guide will direct you to the best available resources to make the most of the precious selling moments you have. We will also share our own tips. Many salespeople wish to have more shots on net, building an Ideal Customer Profile will help you make sure you are shooting at the right net rather than getting caught in one. 

Ideal Customer Profile Best Practices Guide

Myk Pono: Ideal Customer Profile (ICP): How To Create an Ideal Customer Profile

This is, by far, the most comprehensive resource on creating an ICP. It’s a 42 minute read and includes a 1-hour webinar.


Ideal Customer Profile

Close: How to create your Ideal Customer Profile

Complete with a 7-minute youtube explainer video from the author Steli Efti himself, this 9 minute-read is a great step-by-step approach that defines ICP, the value, and a template to create one. 


What: An ICP is an imaginary company that represents the type of company that stands to benefit the most from purchasing your product or service.

Why: Defining your ICP helps your sales, marketing, and product team to work together effectively and stay focused on common objectives.

3-Parts of the Definition:

  1. How does this imaginary organization provide value to your company?
  2. How does this imaginary organization get value from using your product/service?
  3. Now we said it’s a fictitious organization, but the fiction is based on some solid facts and real data

Steps to Create an ICP

  1. Make a List of your Best Customers
  2. Find Common Attributes
  3. Prioritize Attributes of your Ideal Customers
  4. Fill Out the ICP Template (Links directly to 

ZoomInfo: How to Create an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) to Target the Right Prospects

A 7-minute read with links to additional resources, this post focuses on what an ICP is, why it’s important, and how to create one. This post also dives into the topic of how an ICP can help align sales and marketing. 


If you know your ICP well, then you’ll be aware of how you can solve their pain points now and in the future.

What is it? An ICP is a combination of firmographic and behavioral characteristics that define an organization’s most valuable customers

An ICP can inform your entire sales and marketing strategy, from content creation to advertising to sales outreach, by answering critical questions.

Steps to Creating an ICP

  1. Find the Data
  2. Identify your Best Customer
    1. Criteria vary by the organization and you’ll need to determine what “best” means to you.
  3. Find the Similarities

Last piece of advice? Revisit your ICP data to evaluate fit ratings over time – say, once a year – and also to reassess resource allocation and strategies.

Additional Resources:

Albacross: How to Create the ICP

New Breed Marketing: What is an Ideal Customer Profile

Hubspot: ICP’s and Buyer Personas—How Are They Different?

Terminus: Worksheet: How to Define an Ideal Customer Profile for ABM

Sixteen Ventures: ICP Framework

Propeller CRM: A B2B Startup’s Guide to Creating an ICP

Topo: The Framework for ICP Development

Mailshake: How to Intelligently Define Your ICP

About the Definitive Guide Series:

At RapportNinja, we spend a lot of time researching ways to elevate sales and improve the buying experience. Grounded in our Core Value of “Always Be Giving,” the Definitive Guide Series is meant to be the starting point in your learning process for all things sales. Think of it as a sort of “Cliff’s Notes” or “Spark Notes” for sales topics.  


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