what does icp mean

What Does ICP Stand For in Sales?

ICP in Business and Sales

Man oh man, sometimes being in tech sales feels like death by acronym. It seems there are new ones everyday, and all of them have multiple meaning. So Just what does ICP mean in business and sales? No it’s not Insane Clown Posse (Gangsta rap from the 80s; seriously, look it up on wikipedia).

What is ICP?

ICP = Ideal Customer Profile

Essentially figuring out the attribute of your ideal target customer or account. Targets are good right? Poor targeting is the single most damaging factor in your sales engine. You can’t close someone who has no need for your product or service, no matter how skilled your reps are or what sales methodology you use. The ICP has multiple dimensions, and here are the most generic:

  • Industry
  • Revenue
  • Employee Count
  • Geography
  • Main Challenges
  • Technology Stack

Rather than a buying persona, it’s the profile of the customer organization that is your sweet spot.

Why have an ICP?

It’s a big world out there, and in 2019, there were over 30 million businesses in the United States alone. The ICP can be used by sales and marketing, as well as product, to tailor your messaging and target market to insure a fit. I’ve worked in organizations that has missed the mark on this both ways, and its like pushing rope, and a huge drain on time and resources. It is imperative that this profile is known and ingrained in the mind of every salesperson on the team. If it doesn’t fit the profile, with a margin of error +- some percentage (10% is a good starting point), learn to say “Next” and move on to the next prospect account.

How do I know I have the right ICP?

Early stage companies have some broad idea of where their product can fit, but it is not static and requires refinement. Taking feedback and tracking conversion rates, lost deals and wins can refine and hone your target.

Just a short post today, I had someone ask this in a meeting and thought I would outline the basics. Happy selling!


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