Ideal Client Profile: What is it?

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An Ideal Client Profile is a genius breakaway tool from the less convincing, and less helpful Buyer Persona. Of course, all of the buyer personas fall short. The Ideal Client Profile is a close-up look at the individual person. 500 or 1000 of these people would have the highest probability of converting into a sale.

Thus, this is the group that makes the most sense to engage in the sales process. It is literally 2 (rather full) pages, and the information found there informs more than 80% of our marketing efforts and better yet, yields results upwards of 40%.


Page 1: Defines the Personality

The personality of your Ideal Client Profile tells us exactly WHAT to put into your marketing communications to ensure your prospecting works hard for you, and that the steps you use to create qualified marketing leads deliver. 

So super important. It’s this that informs nearly 80% of your marketing activity. 


Page 2: Defines the Activity

The online and offline activity of your Ideal Client Profile tells us exactly WHERE to put 

Success with B2b Sales Funnels comes down to two things: 

  • understanding the mechanics of a sales funnel
  • understanding how to fill/move individuals through your sales funnel 

b2b sales funnels that achieves results begins with a well designed sales funnel followed by a clear understanding of how to use the sales funnel to support your commercial goals. 

If you’re curious as to what a solid b2b Sales Funnel looks and sounds like, where it originates from and how it systematically unfolds to support the commercials of a business, here’s everything you need to know about creating a b2b Sales Funnel. 


B2B Sales Funnel: the mechanics of how it works to define your Ideal Client Profile

A b2b sales funnel is nothing more than a well-oiled process that clearly understands three core phases: Prospect, Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). How each phase differs. How each phase supports each other and what qualifies an individual to belong to one phase over the other.


Here are four things to keep straight as it pertains to the b2b Sales Funnel.

1. One sale funnel per target market required!

Using one sales funnel for multiple target market is a risky move and yields all sorts of waste. One sale funnel per target market segment is the only way to go when you’re after results that support commercial goals. If you’re not sure what a target market is, you can find out all you need here in this article. But for the purpose of what we’re doing here, Academics, Corporates and NGOs would warrant 3 unique sales funnels. Those would definitely be 3 distinct target markets.

2. B2b sales funnel divided into thirds for a damn good reason.

Prospecting: The top third of the funnel exists to bring prospects into the fold for the purpose of converting those individuals into a Marketing Qualified Lead. Content and activity for the top third of your funnel (Marketing Collateral) is designed exclusively for the target market segment and reflects the situation, opportunity, challenge in ways that educate, inspire, and invite the target market segment to contribute their own genius on the subject.

Marketing Qualified Leads: The middle third of the funnel exists to develop marketing qualified leads to the degree that they enter into the sales qualified lead space. The middle of your funnel is where marketing wraps up its activity and sales begins its own activity. Content and collateral here tend to be more product, service-driven. Includes case Studies, Tech Specs, Demos.

Sales Qualified Leads: The bottom third of the funnel exists to support the sales transaction. Things like; Statements of Work, proposals, terms of engagement, letters of intent, letters of engagement.

3. To go from cold to qualified marketing lead <16 weeks.

That means you have identified the individuals within your target market and invited them to participate in the prospecting stage. Considered a Marketing Qualified lead when you engage them well enough in the prospecting stage to move them along your sales funnel. Once sufficiently qualified, handed over to Sales who will have a few steps of their own to cover before considering the Marketing Qualified Lead to be a Sales Qualified Lead.

4. The maths to calculate how many in the top vs how many out the bottom.

A good rule of thumb is 1:20! For every 20 perfect for you individuals inside your Target Market that you engage, 1 will buy you at the yearly average transaction price. 20 in the top. 1 out the bottom. 

Ideal Client Profile

One size does not fit all, and this is a good place to start before you finesse it to make it right for you.


Final thoughts

  1. Too many businesses have not properly invested the time to clearly define what it means to be a prospect, a marketing lead and/or a sales lead. Add a layer of qualified and the numbers of businesses who have invested time in this, go down 80%. 
  2. A sales funnel has 3 distinct phases to move someone through – prospecting, marketing, sales. 
  3. The first third of your funnel is all about the target market – disrupting that segment in a way that is hyper relevant to them. This is not the time for your product brochures, sales collateral. Too soon. 
  4. Marketing is really about delivering qualified leads on the door step of a trial of sorts. 
  5. Sales is about optimising that trial to have the highest probability of conversion. 

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