Defining the Ideal Customer Profile

Earlier today I did a live SaaStr AMA talking about sales and marketing alignment, among a number of other topics. One of the first conversations was on defining the ideal customer profile. As for startups, early on there’s a good bit of trial and error to find any customer that’s interested. Over time, as the business grows, patterns start to emerge and the ideal customer profile becomes apparent. One of the best things an entrepreneur can do is really narrow down their definition of the ideal customer profile.

At Pardot, we spent years refining our ideal customer profile. By 2012, here’s what our ideal customer profile looked like:

  • Company with 20-200 total employees
  • 5-50 employees in sales and marketing
  • At least one full-time, in-house marketing person
  • Buys Google AdWords for direct response lead generation
  • Has an email newsletter sign-up box on their website
  • Closes deals with a consultative sales team

By maintaining a tight focus on companies that fit our ideal customer profile, we were able to make our outbound prospecting and marketing much more successful. Spend time refining your ideal customer profile — it’ll be worth it.

What else? What are some more thoughts on the ideal customer profile?

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