How to Research your Users to Build Ideal Customer Profile

It appears that most startups and even well-established companies have a hard time building an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). Many of them would follow their guts when creating a profile. Some of them would try to go through their customers one by one but stop doing it when realizing the […]

It appears that most startups and even well-established companies have a hard time building an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). Many of them would follow their guts when creating a profile. Some of them would try to go through their customers one by one but stop doing it when realizing the amount of work to be done. And I totally get the reason. When we started to work on our ICP for Newoldstamp and MySignature, we didn’t know where to start.

The hardest part is handling the research. Sometimes it takes a lot of manual and monotonous work to get valid data.

I’m going to break down how we handled research and what tools we used for creating ICP.

Pricing plans. Revenue and Retention.

Giving careful thought to what can be a starting point, we decided to segment our customers by the subscription plan.

Even with the first glance, you’ll see what subscription plan brings you the most revenue every month and contributes to your monthly recurring revenue (MRR).

Where you can find this information:

  1. You can check all the data in your payment system.
  2. Ask the dev team to generate a list of users from your database. This one you’d need anyway. You’ll have the spreadsheet with several columns:
  • Email (you’ll need it a bit later)
  • Full name (you’ll need it a bit later)
  • Subscription plan
  • Subscription start date
  • Churn date (if occurred) (you’ll need it a bit later)

After you have the idea about the most profitable subscription plans, you have to dive a bit deeper to see what subscription plans have the best retention.

At this point, you need to make a cohort analysis. Sounds scary. But folks from Visible.vc made a super fantastic template you can use to run retention analysis by different subscription plans.

At the end of this research stage, you’ll see what plans retain for a longer time.

Having all this on your plate leads you to choose the right cohorts for the next step of the research.

In our case, our most profitable subscription plans retained better. The decision was obvious. However, your case can be a bit different. For example, you can have the most considerable revenue from the users with the worst retention or vice versa.

Find your golden mean. Think of customer acquisition costs and efforts to onboard. Then, choose the cohort that has the best combination of CAC, retention, revenue. In the end, this same cohort will bring you most of the profits.

Find the User and the Company.

Now you have the cohort of users you want to know a bit more about. It is part of automation and some manual work.

Start by thinking of what you want to know about your user.

The most common ICP will contain:

  • Title
  • Company industry (Sub Industry if you are niche)
  • Company size
  • Company type
  • Location
  • Revenue
  • Funding (for Startups)
  • Funding round (for Startups)

Build Ideal Customer Profile

As you’ve defined your points of interest, you transition to the “digging stage.”

Where to find the title, industry, size, type, and location?

You can find all this information on LinkedIn. But it will take too much time if you do it manually. The easiest way would be to use automation tools that will help you enrich contacts.

Step 1. Get Linkedin Profile

Go back to your spreadsheet with emails, full names, and companies. Upload it to your enrichment solution. Automation software will match given information with LinkedIn profiles or even provide you with all necessary information for ICP.

Tools:

Phantom Buster Linked In Profile URL Finder. Super easy to use, but not as accurate as you can dream. This phantom matches the user’s name with a company with LinkedIn profiles.

Copper is a CRM that has a profile enrichment feature. They will add not only LinkedIn but also Quora, Facebook, Twitter, and Medium profiles.

Freshworks, as well as Cooper, is the CRM with contact profile enrichment. You’ll get links to social profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Snov.io API. If you are already using a CRM, you can connect to the API and automatically add all required information. It seems to be the best solution as they provide all the necessary information to create ICP.

Step 2. Find title and company LinkedIn

Now your initial spreadsheet should contain one more column called LinkedIn Profile URL. This information will help you scrape open LinkedIn profile information and add a few more columns like current position/title, company LinkedIn URL.

You can use Phantom Buster LinkedIn Profile Scraper.

Step 3. Get company industry, size, type, and location

As you’ve already found LinkedIn, go ahead and use one more Phantom LinkedIn Companies Info. This one will scrape all relevant information about the industry, size, type, and location.

Where to find the Revenue and Funding information?

This part is manual work. If most of your clients are not public companies required to keep their financial information open, you have to be a bit of a detective to find it.

Here are some resources, tools, and hacks that can help you find this information:

  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator with filter “Annual revenue.”
  • Crunchbase will show all possible information about funding and rounds.
  • Nathan Latka SaaS Database has revenue, funding, evaluation insights about thousands of SaaS companies.
  • Owler shows estimated annual revenue.
  • Google {{Company}} revenue, and you’ll see much information from websites like Full Contact, ZoomInfo, Growjo, Rocketreach, Datanize.

You can also calculate approximate revenue using the industry benchmark for average revenue per employee and multiply it by the number of employees.

Once you’ve found all the information, merge it into one file and look for the patterns. Then, build charts using a spreadsheet to find top ICPs.

ASNF

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