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Identifying the Ideal Lead

If you don’t know who you’re looking for, how do you expect to find them? 

Finding the ideal customer is a goal that all businesses strive to reach. It helps you to make accurate predictions when converting leads, refine your proposition and helps to facilitate a smooth buyer’s journey. The question then arises: what does your ideal customer look like? 

In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the methodology you can follow to create an image of your ideal customers. Let’s get started. 

Creating an Ideal Customer Profile

An ideal customer profile (ICP) is a document that defines the best possible customer for your company’s product or service. It can be used to help you qualify any leads that come into contact with your brand. 

It can be tempting to want to send every lead you get to your sales team. But some leads might not be the right fit for what you do, and bad leads can cause a lot of time to be spent needlessly nurturing them, when all they’re going to do is exit your marketing funnel. 

In short, an ICP defines what a good fit looks like. When creating your own, you might want to consider the following: 

  • Location - is your ideal customer from a particular region?
  • Industry - does your ideal customer work in a specific industry?
  • Budget - what is the lowest cost threshold that a customer would need to pay to obtain your product or service?
  • Legality - are their legal requirements causing you to limit your customer base, such as age, location or governmental statue?

There are plenty of other things you can add to your ICP to flesh it out. These are the boxes that your lead needs to check in order to buy from you. If they don’t meet these requirements, you can disqualify them, to ensure your sales team is spending time with the leads that are a better fit. 

After you’ve established your ICP, you can then begin constructing your buyer personas. This will further help to align your sales and marketing efforts. Here’s what you need to do:

Create a Buyer Persona 

A buyer persona is a generalised, semi-fictional representation of your customers. The reason we say semi-fictional is because although this persona will be made up, it will be created from the experiences that you have had running your business, adding a little truth to the fiction. 

Your buyer persona will build on your ICP as it will contain:

  • Your ideal customer’s demographics.
  • The goals they want to achieve.
  • Their motivations for wanting to achieve it.
  • And the challenges they face when achieving them. 

Your company might have two to five personas. What’s important is not falling into the trap of creating a persona for every job title a customer might have. Instead, you want to look at the day-to-day challenges they encounter that your product or service can help with. Rather than Doctor Daniel or Solicitor Sarah, you’ll want to focus on Business Owner Bethany or Tech-savvy Trina. Focus on what their specific pain points look like and how you can construct the ideal buying process to help with them. 

Read more: You know your 'marketing personas', but what are your 'seller personas'?

Identify bad fit Leads

When a lead now begins their journey with your company, you can determine if they fit into your ICP. After that, you can find which buyer persona best aligns with them. If you’re finding that they don’t meet any of the criteria that you’ve set out in your ICP and personas, then there’s a high chance that they’re a bad fit lead and you can disqualify them from your sales efforts. 

However, we can go even deeper than this. Which leads us to our next tip...

Use Lead-scoring 

Lead-scoring is the process of assigning numerical values or ‘points’ to each lead that comes down your funnel. This helps your sales team prioritise which leads to pursue first. The score is determined by a series of attributes outlined by your sales & marketing teams, based on lead data you’ve acquired. You’re looking for the attributes that make up the main bulk of your customer base. This might be their job role, their age or their purchasing habits. 

A good rule of thumb is to assign a value of between 0-100 to each lead, with every lead-scoring model being created to support a particular attribute of your customer base. Here are some for you to consider:


If you’re running a B2B operation, you should consider the type of organisation you want to interact with. What’s their size or industry? Do you want to target other B2B companies or perhaps B2C? Make sure to ask the relevant questions on your landing page forms so you can better score your leads. 


Are you selling to people from a certain geographical area? Are you selling to the CEOs of finance companies? If these factors are important to the quality of your leads then ask questions on your landing page forms. You can then use their answers to see how well they fit in with your target market. You can subtract points for people who fall into a category you don’t sell to, and add points for those who do. 

Online conduct

Monitoring how a lead behaves when interacting with your website tends to reveal a lot about how interested they are in your product or service. A good rule of thumb is to analyse the leads who became customers. What pieces of content did they download? Which pages did they visit on your site, and how long for?

You might give a better score to a lead who visited valued pages, such as the pricing page or your customer case study pages. Similarly, you might give a better score to a lead that filled out higher value forms, such as a request for a product demo. 

When a prospect fills in a form on your website to download a piece of content, you might also award extra points to those who provide information even when the field is optional (their phone number or location, for example). 

Social engagement

How often does a particular lead engage with your brand on the social networking sites you’re active on? Do they retweet or share your posts? The more often a lead engages with your posts and pages, the higher the score. 

What sort of network do these leads operate in? Are they engaged with other influencers in your market segment? You may even want to see if potential leads are engaging with your competitors, which shows they are weighing up their actions when selecting which company to go with. 


Finding that ideal lead is the dream of many companies, and with a little bit of planning from your data, those dreams can become a reality. 

If you’re looking to find out more about how you can align your sales and marketing efforts into a cohesive strategic unit, read our blog on 8 ways to align marketing and sales.

That said, if you have any questions about what we’ve discussed above or would like to know more, feel free to get in contact

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