How To Find The Customer Sweet Spot

Apr 15 2015
By Joseph Knecht in Insights

Tons of organizations struggle with focus. Most companies know they need more focus, but don’t know how to get there. Especially startups. They find themselves chasing so many interesting new ideas, possibilities or partnerships but lose track of who their best customers are or could be.

They often chase the first few people who are willing to write a check, even if they aren’t the ones who will get the most value from their product. This inevitably leads to expensive build outs and extensive feature development, which seriously inhibits scalability.

I first encountered this phenomenon at a previous employer. We offered multiple products that were widely marketable to a huge range of customers. After spending some time trying to figure out how to improve sales performance, I realized the issue was our focus! So I looked at our best customers - and these three qualities stood out:

  • Academic medical centers
  • Investing in better patient experience
  • Focused on Lean-process improvement

    After recognizing that this was where we were having the most success - we began to target companies that fit these criteria. Low and behold - it worked! So here’s what we came up with:

    Companies that fit these three criteria were in our customer sweet spot - these are the companies that were fully optimizing our services. Meaning this is where our advertising dollars should be spent and this is who we should gear our events and content toward. Same thing went for new product development and new hires.

    Since then, I’ve used this strategy to help many other firms to find their customer sweet spots. Pick three different qualities, like who, what, and where. Then define those qualities for your existing customers. Your “whos” will generally (but not always) be your existing star customers. Then search for your “what” and “where” and that will help you determine where to best spend your time and money. This is what that looks like for us at VentureTech:

Now, this doesn’t mean that you ignore people outside of that core.  It just gives you a lens to prioritize efforts. Now it’s your turn. How do you determine your target market?

Joseph Knecht
Post by Joseph Knecht

Joseph Knecht is the CEO at Proteus and loves to cover the topics of entrepreneurship, digital transformation, and web product commercialization.