The first thing you need to do to build a great product is understand who your core customers are and their biggest pain points.

This is what we call the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).

What is Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)?

An ICP is a profile of your ideal customers. It should be as specific as possible, and the best way to define your ICP is to look at the common characteristics of the most active customers.

If you’re an early-stage startup and don’t have a lot of customers yet, it can be difficult to define your ICP specifically. If so, you can start by defining your ICP simply filling out the following fields.

  • Company size
  • Industry
  • Annual revenue
  • Decision-making process
  • Titles and departments of decision-makers

Using the information above, you should define a rough ICP and then update it based on what you learn as you talk to prospects. It is okay that the initial ICP has some errors and misunderstandings. It is where you can start and always refine your ICP.

Once you understand your ICP well, you can quickly improve your product and sell effectively.

Improve Your Product Based on Your ICP

Especially as a startup, it’s important to talk to your ICP. If you start listening to feedback and requests from non-ICP customers, you’re more likely to end up with a product that doesn’t address the pain points of your ICP.

That’s why it’s important that you spend most of your time with your ICP and improve your product for your ICP.

Sell to Your ICP

Similarly, your sales team should focus on finding and talking to your ICP to increase sales efficiency. That’s why it’s important to qualify your prospects.

For outbound sales, making cold calls and sending cold emails to your ICP can increase sales efficiency.

For inbound sales, generating content your ICP would search for can generate more leads.

If you are working with non-ICP customers, you are likely wasting your resources, won’t close the deal, and lose them quickly even after you close.