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What is an Ideal Customer Profile?

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An ideal customer profile is a definition of the customers you are targeting with a sales effort. It is used as a basis for prospecting, lead qualification and other sales processes such as development of collaterals. The following are common elements of an ideal customer profile.

Target Market

A description of your target market in areas such as demographics, lifestyle and preferences. In the case of B2B sales, you may define the industry, firm size, organizational function and job titles that you are targeting. For example, a target market of the CISO office of large and mid-sized banks.


The geographical reach of your sales efforts.

Customer Needs

A list of problems that you can solve for the customer. For example, customers who are using outdated software that you can improve upon.


Defining the timeline of closing the sale. Some sales efforts may require careful relationship building that take years to close. Other sales efforts may only consider customers with strong potential to buy immediately. This has tradeoffs as your pool of customers shrinks if you're restricted to those who have immediate needs.


Attributes that make it more likely to close the sale. For example, a firm that currently buys from a weak competitor that you know to have poor customer satisfaction.


The financials of the customer and the likelihood they will have budget for your product.


Customers that can be reached by particular sales channels. For example, customers that can be engaged at industry events or through referrals without cold calling.

Buying Process

The processes, influencers and stakeholders involved in the customer purchase decision. For example, some sales teams may have a history of success selling to business units but not to IT departments. As such, they may avoid firms that strictly buy all technology through the IT department.


The following is an illustrative ideal customer profile for risk management software.


An ideal customer profile is typically used for personal selling, particularly for B2B sales.
Overview: Ideal Customer Profile
A definition of the customers you are targeting with a sales effort.
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