What it Takes to Win in B2B


The key to succeeding in B2B is to learn to think like your customers; to think like an insider. It’s only by looking at the problems through the eyes of your prospects that the bottlenecks in their business become painfully obvious.

You need to understand how your customers work, what they try to accomplish, who they report to, what software they use, what problems they have, how they define success, what they eat, etc.

In general, people tend to behave according to their key performance indicators (KPIs); what will get them a bonus at the end of the year.

You’ll succeed if you’re able to understand the true motivations of the people that have influence over the purchase of your technology. You need to understand their objectives and what matters to them.

  • Can IT block the purchase of your solution? Are they concerned with performance? If so, what’s their concern?
  • Can the CFO keep you from making the sale? Is it because he doesn’t believe in your Return on Investment (ROI) story?
  • Will end users accept your product? Is it easy for them to use?

You’ll need to understand who has influence over the decision to purchase your technology in the enterprise and figure out what they care about, their problems and their reality. You’ll also need to find your voice as a company by taking a strong stand against the problems of the industry.

You’ll be doing better than most entrepreneurs if you’re…

  • Meeting with prospects to validate your business;
  • Making small improvements from one pitch to the next;
  • Really trying to understand your potential customers;
  • Spending your days reaching out to prospects trying to land meetings;
  • Assuming that what you think may not be true and are open to all points of view.

Nine out of ten B2B startups fail to find a profitable product niche. This really doesn’t have to be the fate of your company.

Let’s get to work.


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


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This sampler covers the differences between B2B and Business-to-Customer (B2C) product-market validation, shows you how to define your vision for success, find early adopters, select market opportunities and assess a venture's risk. Download The First 6 Chapters Today »