🌿 Subscribe to Ivy's Newsletter
As mentioned in my last post, it's fundamental for a business to know its customers to pursue the critical path. But in practice, how does a company learn about its customers? In this article, I'll analyze this question from a B2B perspective, the one I'm most familiar with.
On a high level, there are three aspects to learn about customers: who they are, what they need, and how their supply chains/tech stacks look like.
Who customers are
The following are some general dimensions a business should learn about its customers. The amount of effort to learn about each one depends on the business. If any of them is clear and known to all employees, a company can skip that part.
Getting to know who customers are should be part of the sales preparation and should be done before the first sales call. Otherwise, a business risks losing the chance to best interact with customers.
- Macroeconomy dimensions - learn from public data or market research report
- Country income level
- Correlates to ARPU, and indicates profit margin in a country
- Indicates total addressable market
- Penetration of a technology/product/etc.
- Annual revenue per user (ARPU) of the technology/product/etc.
- Indicates profitability in a country/market
- Indicates the boundary of a business, and reminds things to pay attention to
- Customer profiles
- Financial health (Revenue/Profit/Profit margin/ARPU)
- Indicates capability and willingness to pay
- Market position
- Indicates what kind of approach customer is taking, whether they focus more on growth or more cost-sensitive
- From customers' user acquisition, cost-saving activities, etc can estimate customer needs
- Technology maturity
- Indicates what kind of solutions a customer may want
- Software self-development capabilities
- Indicate whether a customer would consider building some products on their own
- Buyers' personas, influencer and decision-making process
- Buyer - CTO/CIO/CMO...
- The product needs to fit their goal, such as revenue or cost KPI