5 Ways to Rank Business Problems in B2B Customer Development


You’ve been collecting a lot of information during customer interviews about problems you can solve and problems you can’t solve; customers you can have and customers you’ll never have. The next step of B2B customer development is about making decisions and deciding which prospects to listen to.

It doesn’t matter how painful pollution in China is to your prospects; if it’s not a problem you can solve, it’s best to let it go. Moving forward, the only problems that matter are the ones you can solve.

You have a long list of problems to analyze and know which prospects seemed interested. How do you identify the problems that matter most?

There are five ways to score (prioritize) problems:

  1. By frequencyIs this pain shared by a lot of early adopters?
  2. By intensity of painIs this a painful problem? Are prospects actively trying to solve it? (Read: How to Find your Prospect’s Most Painful Problems)
  3. By budget availabilityIs this the pain of a buyer? Have budgets already been assigned? (Read: How to Score Customer Problems by Budget Availability)
  4. By impactWhat kind of ROI can you expect if you solve this problem? What impact will it have on the organization?
  5. By market educationIs there competition? Would you need to create a completely new paradigm to succeed?

Your objective is to solve a big pain and deliver a big gain. Although it is possible to succeed while working on a lesser problem, choosing which problem to solve is one of the most critical decisions in the life of a startup.

How will you score your customer’s problems?


⚡⚡ Enjoyed this content? I go into way more detail on this subject in Lean B2B. The book covers the ins and outs of finding traction in the market for B2B products. Check it out »


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