Do You Know Your ICP? Here’s Why You Should…

During another intriguing Axcient Facebook Live Chat, “What’s My ICP?”, Theresa Caragol, Founder and CEO of AchieveUnite, joined Axcient’s CRO, Angus Robertson, and moderator and Director of Customer Success, Corey Banner. Theresa and Angus discuss the exercise they completed to define Axcient’s ideal partner profile (IPP). MSPs can use a similar process to identify their ICP, or ideal customer/client profile, for maximum returns on go-to-market strategies.

Watch the 30-minute chat, or keep reading to understand how a detailed dive into your target clients, can inform your sales and marketing strategy – from lead generation to content creation, advertising, and sales reach.

What is an ICP and why does it matter?

It’s not just defining the specifics around the businesses you work with, like a particular vertical. Your ICP identifies how you add value to those clients based on where they are in their journey – from prospect and the sales process, to onboarding, support, and operationalization. Theresa says, “The devil is in the details. The more you understand your sweet spot: a demographic, a service offering, a business value – all the things you thread your own value elements into – the more you can repeat that process and grow those clients over and over again.”

Theresa explains that it’s not just your industry, it’s your micro industry. For example, dentist offices, with three or more dentists, in these key states, located in retail centers, because they need these services. It’s about what solutions are ideal for these specific client profiles.

Angus sees the importance of ICP through a competitive and profitability perspective as well, “We’re all competing, trying to grow, and be profitable. At the end of the day it’s, ‘what unique solution do you have for a particular client demographic?’ If you can’t clearly identify and target that in a specific way, you’re going to be spending a lot more effort – which will effect growth and profitability, and slow your company overall.” He goes on to say, “The more targeted, or relevant you can be for that target audience, the happier they’re going to be. And then you can scale your go-to-market because you have happy clients who are making referrals, and brining you more clients.”

How Axcient is using ICP to add value for partners

Axcient engaged with Theresa and AchieveUnite to not only define our IPP, but use that knowledge for effective business planning. Angus walks you through an overview of that process to show you how Axcient is adding value for our partners, and you could do the same for your clients.

1. Define your targets:
What kind of clients are you trying to attract, solve pain for, and ultimately, help grow their business? For Angus and Axcient, these answers are based on firmographics (size, number of employees), and technographics (the technology they use).

2. Segment your clients:
Once you have that client, how do you engage them? How do they want to engage with you? How do you group clients to align best with your MSP? The framework you develop here is critical because it becomes your baseline to continue iterating and improving. Axcient’s framework segments existing partners into four categories:

  1. Emerging Partners: Newest Axcient partners.
  2. Diamond Partners: Highest growth potential for both Axcient and partner.
  3. MVP Partners: Already invested in Axcient and growing significantly.
  4. Core Partners: Almost completely standardized on Axcient.

3. Allocate appropriate resources:
Based on your target segments, what do these clients need from your MSP? What is the appropriate level of support based on where they are with you? Axcient, for example, provides dedicated partner success resources to Core Partners because they have the highest level of engagement with our solutions. These partners also support Axcient with case studies, livestreams, webinars, and other campaigns that help add new partners, or improve training and certification around products.

For Diamond Partners, who are generally larger and are just starting to try to work with Axcient, we’re more focused on understanding their MSP, helping them understand how we fit into their  MSP, putting a business plan together, and then executing on that strategy. Angus says, “We have to not only provide technology, but we have to understand what that partner is trying to do, and make sure we have the right kind of support to add to those clients, and improve their go-to-market and overall sales velocity.”

4. Determine metrics of success:
How will you know if you’re providing a better client experience? What data do you need to iterate and optimize? Axcient uses the net promoter score (NPS) of our partners to understand their overall level of satisfaction with our services. Additionally, we look at analysis of our spend and our partner’s spend to quantify how much they’ve grown, and how much we’ve grown

Positive engagement results with partners

Angus says since implementing the four segment framework and associated resources, Axcient has seen significantly more engagement, especially with Diamond Partners. Because Axcient was previously  segmenting by spend, we didn’t realize just how large these partners were and the potential possible. Now, with the addition of new capabilities on the Axcient side, we can better support our Diamond Partners and help them realize that potential. Angus says, “It’s been a pretty dramatic change for us, and it’s really helped us help our partners to improve their experience too.”

It’s a great discussion that really gives you a new perspective on your clients. Learn more about applying your ICP to every stop on your client journey, and get more actionable insights in the full chat. Stay tuned for new Facebook Live Chats every week on Axcient’s Facebook page to hear from best-in-class MSPs, leading vendors, and channel experts.

About the Author: 
Liz Mellem // Technical Copywriter, Axcient

Liz Mellem has been a freelance copywriter for over three years in the technology, education, and alternative medicine industries. She produces content, sales collateral, and email marketing campaigns that contribute to digital marketing strategies for sales growth and brand awareness. In her free time, Liz enjoys reading, exploring Austin, and Netflix with her cat, Harlem.