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ICP soup

A Start-Up had done their homework and outlined their ideal customer profiles (ICPs). As the company grew, several employees saw an opportunity to climb the “market size mountain” to bigger, more tempting accounts (i.e., to the enterprise level).

Typically, serving enterprises means achieving a bigger brand and larger revenue opportunities.

Initially, this enterprise ICP was added as a sidetrack to the Start-Up’s existing sales audiences and processes. Because the enterprise ICP was treated as a test, it was not clearly communicated internally through the Start-Up.

As the enterprise ICP became significant from a revenue standpoint, confusion grew in all functions.

In sales, team members were unsure about who owned the deal(s), leading to heated discussions.

In marketing, team members didn't know how (or even if) they should contribute to creative processes with assets, campaigns, or events.

In the product function, team members were bewildered to get input on new development for this audience segment. Note: the enterprise ICP usually comes with many varied requests for new features.


Having a lack of clarity and communication around a strategy for any given ICP will befuddle both your organization-wide team members and your customers.

Even more, it will likely consume LOTs of time in discussions and resources to deliver on the elements needed for value delivery and to course-correct as one-off processes are developed and implemented.

And, because that rogue ICP is operating outside agreed-upon growth strategies, serving an unclear ICP could lead team members down an incorrect strategic path.

Shifting to accommodate a new ICP takes resources. If you plan to extend to serve another ICP, make sure the groundwork is in place around the impact it will have on your other systems. The revenue opportunity is just one element–you need to review the impact of working with the ICP. That means considering the practical value delivery processes from various perspectives, including team, individual, market share, product development, financial, marketing, and legal.

Altogether, employees simply cannot deliver on what they don’t understand. Communicate your ICPs and their associated strategies and processes clearly so everyone can support that ICP’s eXperience with your Start-Up.

After all, it’s your employees who, ultimately, shape and deliver your customer and brand eXperiences.

*Bloopers might be real or fictional

Image credit: Photo by Igor Omilaev on Unsplash