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Mastering ICPs for B2B Success: A Guide by Evergrowth

Mastering ICPs for B2B Success: A Guide by Evergrowth

intent signals & hooks

Identifying crucial customer insights such as interests and behavior patterns

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Key Reasons to Document Your ICP

At Evergrowth, we are religious about our clients' ICPs. And that’s probably why we get asked all the time what they are and why we think all B2B companies should be documenting their own ICPs.

If you’re struggling to see the value of this exercise, here’s a roundup of the key reasons why ICPs top the agenda of today’s most successful organisations. 

1. To document your common sense

If you're leading a marketing or sales team right now, chances are that you're already thinking and talking like your customers. Everything you say makes sense to them and the other way around, too. But guess what, it probably took you months, if not years, to get to this level of common sense. Documenting your ICPs will help you to document your common sense because if the knowledge only stays in your head...then it's broken.

2. It's the best way to train new sales and marketing colleagues

We all know your product is the best. But like in sales, instead of starting the conversion by talking about yourself, we recommend starting to train new talent with your ICPs. This will help them to understand the type of companies you're targeting and most and foremost, it will also help your new colleagues to understand the main KPIs and pain points of the persona you're targeting. No matter the role of your new colleague, this exercise will help them to develop empathy for the personas, and eventually, help to engage in meaningful conversations with your prospects that create an obvious connection to the key benefits of your products.

3. Dive into data-driven sales

Part of the ICP exercise includes categorizing companies by size, verticals, and region. Size criteria can vary based on the product you sell. For example, the number of employees matters for a SaaS company selling HR software. However, if you sell a product for an e-commerce store, then the main size criteria will most likely be related to their site traffic, which can be guesstimated with tools like Alexa or Similarweb. We also recommend categorizing personas by expertise rather than their job title because it becomes super helpful when you integrate this data point in your CRM and pull a pie chart report on expertise. Why is that useful? Simple reasons, really. You can unify and create patterns for expertise - you can not do the same for job titles. Finally, following the same logic, we categorize personas in 3 categories based on their influence on the decision process: decision-makers, influencers, and champions.

Way too often, we follow opinions instead of following data. Implementing data-driven ICPs will help you to create a data-driven decision process and unify Marketing and Sales on common thinking, ways to categorize and analyze your customers and prospects! 

Pro tip: You can use tools like Clearbit to reverse engineer your existing customers with several data points.

4. To unify sales and marketing direction

Because of the nature of the channel's market, sales often focus and have different expertise in different parts of the ICPs. Much too often, these two areas of expertise are not combined. For example, in outbound sales, prior to looking and contacting key personas, salespeople analyze the company’s business model to determine whether there's a potential fit with the product they're offering. On the other hand, because modern marketing teams are now heavily involved in content marketing, they have a strong focus and knowledge when it comes to producing and delivering content that will engage different key personas. The ICPs framework will help to you combine knowledge from both teams, align and create stronger links between your marketing and sales teams.

Pro tip: Product guys also have tons of knowledge about how your personas interact with the products. Don't be shy to invite them into the conversation and contribute to the ICP documentation process.

5. Estimate your Total Addressable market

Depending on the criteria you used to categorize the type of companies you want to target, you can use a variety of tools to estimate your total addressable market and adapt your go-to-market accordingly. For example, if you target IT companies between 11 to 200 employees in the UK, you can easily use Linkedin sales navigator to estimate your TAM.

6. Get a leaner go-to-market

Chances are that you are mastering 1 or 2 niches and you know very well which personas to target in certain verticals. On the other hand, you might also be looking at how to expand your clients' base and enter new verticals. Documenting your ICPs with assumptions from day 1 will help you to have a disciplined and leaner approach on how you verify your prospects’ main pain points. The main goal is not to just confirm your assumptions, but to adjust and update your ICPs according to the market feedback. We often have wrong assumptions about the main decision makers vs. key influencers or even about which KPIs our product is mostly impacting.

7. This is isn't something we invented

There are good reasons why leading companies are as religious about their ICPs as we are.

Feel free to use our free ICP Template to start documenting your ICPs today!

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