The Framework for Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) Development

The Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) defines the firmographic, environmental and behavioral attributes of accounts expected to become a company’s most valuable customers. It is developed through both qualitative and quantitative analyses; and may optionally be informed by predictive analytics software.

Unlike the term “target customer,” which is often used to describe any company that might buy a product or service, the ICP is focused on the most valuable customers and prospects that are also most likely to buy. The Ideal Customer Profile should also not be confused with the Total Addressable Market or Total Available Market, which are calculations or estimates of the universe of potential target customers.

The ICP is a foundational, organization-wide decision impacting downstream sales and marketing efforts. It aligns marketing, sales, service and executive teams to the highest-value accounts. It also creates focus on scalable and repeatable strategies and tactics to engage and convert top accounts. And it drives target account list creation, segmentation, organizational structure, and other key activities.

TOPO Sales Development Council #12 – A Recap

Over 30 sales development leaders from the bay area’s fastest growing companies once again convened at the Four Seasons in San Francisco last Friday for TOPO’s Sales Development Council #12. These Councils offer a unique forum for sales development leaders from high growth companies to learn from each other and share best practices. Each Council features three speakers who share the processes, plays, organizational elements, and technologies they use to drive key revenue metrics. This Council produced a few key themes, including discussions about improving SDR effectiveness, refining the qualification definition, and creating effective touch patterns.

The 2016 TOPO Account-Based Marketing Framework

Over the last 10 years, B2B demand generation teams have used technology such as marketing automation to
 become highly-scaled demand generation engines, delivering high volumes of leads each month. But these 
teams fail to adequately support the sales team’s strategic pursuit of named accounts. In fact, on average, only
 10-20% of the leads generated by marketing are from accounts on the sales team’s target list.

As marketers seek to better align with and enable sales, the focus is moving from a traditional, lead-centric view 
to an account-centric view. This shift is driving innovation throughout the value chain, from targeting and offer strategy, to the sales technology stack, to the ways demand generation teams collaborate.

The 2016 TOPO Sales Framework

In the not too distant past, you could be fairly confident of succeeding in sales with the right mix of good hiring, training, and motivating your reps to sell. But succeeding is a far cry from excelling. The fact is, you can’t apply a run-of-the-mill approach to sales and expect to drive above-average results. And you certainly can’t achieve significant and rapid growth without embracing a systematic, replicable and data-driven approach to building and cultivating your sales operation.

Our research has surfaced a massive shift in how the most successful sales organizations are being designed and run. Simply put, success relies on a strategic rather than tactical approach. Our research also uncovered the elements that are always present in high-growth sales machines. We compiled these into an 8-point framework that is essential for any organization wanting to drive scalable, consistent revenue growth.

Designing a Buyer-Centric Revenue Process: A TOPO Case on LeadMD

The B2B sales and marketing universe has been writing and talking about buyer personas and the buyer journey for the last ten years. Many organizations have built buyer personas and attempted to map the associated buyer journey. For those organizations that have partaken in the buyer persona exercise, their results far exceed those organizations that have not. However, buyer personas are still very subjective and include a lot of opinion. The next step for many organizations is the opportunity to quantifiably narrow in on the personas that have a higher propensity to buy. Predictive analytics provides the opportunity to use a wide set of data to do this.

B2B Predictive Analytics: Marketing Table Stakes by 2016

Predictive analytics is one of today’s hottest B2B marketing technologies. Fueled by drivers such as big data, SaaS delivery models, and data-driven marketing and sales, predictive analytics garners a tremendous amount of attention, particularly given how few customers are in actual production. While the hype can sometimes be excessive, early adopters are realizing demonstrable ROI as they use statistical modeling, machine learning, and scoring technologies to identify and prioritize accounts, leads, contacts, and customers at specific points in the marketing and sales funnel. It’s this demonstrable ROI that’s causing more and more marketing organizations to look at predictive analytics as a new, non-negotiable element of their marketing technology stacks.

The Account Based Marketing Technology Stack Emerges

Earlier this month Demandbase raised $30 million in its latest round of funding. After starting in 2006 as the “iTunes for contacts,” the company has pivoted and morphed over time into one of the early leaders in the emerging Account Based Marketing (ABM) stack. As a matter of fact, Demandbase was one of the first vendors to start talking about Account Based Marketing in 2011. Its funding is further validation that Account Based Marketing is one the biggest trends in B2B sales and marketing. At TOPO, we have been tracking and researching Account Based Marketing for the last two years and have seen a surge in analyst inquiries over the last six months. Now, an ABM technology stack is emerging.

TOPO Demand Generation Council #4 – A Recap

Last Friday, TOPO hosted the fourth meeting of our Demand Generation Council at the Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park. Like other TOPO Council meetings, we focused on providing a forum for leading demand gen practitioners to learn from each other. Each Council features three speakers who share the processes, plays, organizational elements, and technologies they use to drive key revenue metrics. Demand Generation Council #4 attracted over 30 demand generation leaders who were interested in learning about different strategies and tactics. Once again, overall demand gen process, specific programs, and supporting technologies took center stage.

High Growth Sales Development: An Interview with Nick Simmons

As part of TOPO’s ongoing interview series with leading sales development leaders, today we interview Nick Simmons, Senior Manager of Sales Development at Twilio. Twilio is one of the fastest growing companies in the world and enables phones, VoIP, and messaging to be embedded into web, desktop, and mobile software. Nick will share his thoughts on sales development best practices, goals, challenges, technology, and metrics. Note that Nick and Twilio refer to sales development and SDRs as business development and BDRs respectively.

Sales Development in the Security Market: An Interview with David Dulany

TOPO is committed to bringing the sales development community the latest trends, data, and best practices from the world’s fastest-growing companies. Today, we interview David Dulany, the Manager of Sales Development at OpenDNS. He’ll share his thoughts on sales development best practices, goals, challenges, technology, and metrics.

David will be speaking at our upcoming Sales Development Council meeting on April 10.