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Free template: Build your ideal customer profile to win more (and better) medical billing business

Want to improve your medical billing business? Start by creating a detailed ideal customer profile. This guide and free worksheet will show you how.

woman smiling after downloading medical billing ideal customer profile template

At a Glance

  • Medical billing companies rely on 3 main acquisition channels: outbound prospects pursued directly, inbound leads from marketing or the company’s site, and referrals or word of mouth. Knowing the dynamics of each enhances success.
  • An ideal customer profile (ICP) is pivotal for targeting marketing efforts, allowing medical billing businesses to understand prospects better and craft messaging specifically for them.
  • Creating an ICP requires thoughtful examination of current clients, understanding demographics, values, goals, and capacity.

As a business owner in the medical billing industry, you may have asked yourself: “How can I find and win more clients?” 

The answer is clear: understanding and targeting your ideal customer profile (ICP). 

Creating an effective buyer persona allows you to focus your marketing efforts on those most likely interested in your services. By building an ideal customer profile for your medical billing business, you will better understand who these prospects are — and use this information strategically when crafting messaging and content tailored specifically for them.

But how do you know who to focus on? The answer lies in leveraging your data, industry knowledge, and assessment of your current book of business. Here’s how. 

What are the different acquisition channels for medical billing companies?

Reviewing customer acquisition channels is essential to winning sales and driving revenue to your medical billing company.

Most medical billing companies use a mix of 3 different channels to acquire new customers:

  • Prospects you go after
  • Prospects who come to you
  • Prospects whom existing customers send your way

Outbound prospects are those you specifically pursue. 

“Prospecting is the best way to acquire prospects that fit your ideal customer profile,” as Jamie Howard, channel sales manager at Kareo, a Tebra company, explained in a leveraging pipeline management session at Kareo Live in Huntington Beach, Calif.

Outbound, inbound, and word of mouth

Outbound prospecting is often more in line with your strategy and a way to use your efforts to generate the highest return for your business. 

However, it’s also more of a numbers game in the current market, with a lower success rate and more activity needed, since prospects are cold and might not be looking for a new solution. 

To be successful, it’s crucial to do your research, prepare before you reach out, and identify a problem to which you have the solution.

Inbound channel leads have expressed interest, whether from paid marketing or your website. They often have a pain point or something driving their need for change internally, so success involves identifying that problem and how you will solve it.

Having a good understanding of your product and the current market will help. So will driving value into their transition, whether from another solution or from paper. 

Finally, referral or word of mouth is the most common way medical billing companies acquire new customers, leading to prospects who are the easiest to convert and close. 

“It naturally has a high success rate, since prospects are recommended in some way to your company or solution, or they have peers that have had success with your solution or partnership,” Howard said. 

For that reason, it’s crucial for your growth to maintain positive client relationships and improve your client retention in order to boost your chances of receiving referrals.

No matter what acquisition channel you consider, it’s important to prepare, to focus your efforts on qualifying prospects, and to be able to identify their pain points or problems and how your solution can help. 

That’s why an important step is to determine your ideal customer profile. 

What is an ideal customer profile (ICP)?

It’s important to understand your prospects, but it’s just as important to internally establish your ideal customer profile. So what is an ideal customer profile? 

“An ideal customer profile defines the customer that is the perfect buyer for your services or solution,” Howard said.

While an ideal customer profile may seem similar to a buyer persona, an ideal customer profile is about the target practice, while a buyer persona is about the individual contact at that practice. While both are valuable tools, an ideal customer profile is an important first step.

[An ideal customer profile] will help you identify your customer’s attributes and purchasing behaviors so that you can focus and target sales and marketing efforts on prospects that are going to net you the most-desired results. ”
Jamie Howard, Channel Sales Manager

Why is an ideal customer profile (ICP) important? 

In order to drive revenue, medical billing companies must optimize the customer acquisition pipeline — which means knowing which prospects to focus on as not only the best for your business, but the best fit for theirs.

“[An ideal customer profile] will help you identify your customer’s attributes and purchasing behaviors so that you can focus and target sales and marketing efforts on prospects that are going to net you the most-desired results,” Howard said. 

This helps you maximize efficiency. It’s especially important when you’re going outbound to target new prospects, but it’s just as important when you’re considering inbound channel leads and even referrals. 

How to create an ideal customer profile (ICP)?

When creating your ideal customer profile, “This should be a thoughtful exercise completed using data, industry knowledge, and assessment of your current book of business,” Howard said. 

Some customer qualities to consider are:

  • Return on investment (ROI) 
  • Understanding your company’s expertise and experience and how that relates to the market
  • Where you see success and gaps with customers you currently work with
  • What types of practices your solution will benefit the most

Step 1: Reflect on your existing customers’ qualities  

First, consider your existing customers. What types of practices generate the highest return on investment for your business right now? 

Consider specialty and practice size, but don’t stop there.

Getting more specific about your existing customers’ demographics can help you determine where to focus your efforts. Ask yourself what types of practices you’ve seen the most success and those with which you’ve seen the least, and why. 

Step 2: Think about your ideal customer’s demographics

Next, think about the demographics of your ideal customer: 

  • Are they new, established, or somewhere in between? 
  • What is their segmentation? 
  • Are they local to you, semi-local, or national? 
  • What is their practice specialty? 
  • Do they have a low or high volume? 
  • What’s their approach to technology, and do they prefer early adoption, existing methods, or trying new things? 

Step 3: Think about your ideal customer’s values and goals 

After drilling into demographics, it’s time to get more specific by considering your ideal customer’s values and goals.

 Doing so can help you identify who they are and also help you select where to focus your efforts. 

  • How does your ideal customer view their business? 
  • Do they want to grow it, maintain it, or streamline it? 
  • Are they highly engaged or on cruise control? 
  • What experience do they aim to create for their patients or clients?
  • How are they currently hitting, missing, or working towards that target? 

Step 4: Evaluate what you can offer 

Understanding the value that you offer customers, and the internal bandwidth you have for offering it, is just as important as figuring out who those customers are. 

Consider both the number of clients and their transaction volumes. What is your capacity? What types of practice does your solution benefit the most? 

Knowing what you can offer will help you to paint a clearer picture of your ideal practice customer.

Step 5: Refine and define your ideal customer profile 

Review the data you’ve gathered. Who is your ideal customer? Though you might be able to answer the question in-depth, you should also be able to describe them in a few short sentences. 

Ready to get more and better billing clients? Download this free worksheet to get started. 

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Written by

Ryan Yates, consultant, editor, and writer

Ryan Yates, BA, is a multi-hyphenate writer, editor, and consultant with roots in the queer media, personal well-being and health, and B2B worlds. They cultivate presence, embodiment, and connection and operate across contexts, channels, audiences, and deliverable types, and are interested in the way that independent practices can support enhanced patient care by bringing those sensibilities to every step of the patient journey. Ryan Yates has healthcare- and well-being-related bylines in USA Today, the Daily Beast, Nylon, Refinery29, and other publications. They have also been featured in the Economist’s 1834, Vice, and elsewhere.

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