Sunita Mohanty

Stepping back to understand deeper context and underlying motivation is important because people are notoriously bad at predicting what they want.

Craig Wortmann

Just because somebody is willing to take something rudimentary from you for free is not proof you have a customer. But when someone commits financially—even at a major discount—that person is serious. And he or she is going to evaluate your product or service much more critically. That’s the kind of feedback you need.

You can also try to get upfront sales, though that’s a … [ Read more ]

Randy Komisar

You will do market research, but that comes later. Before trying to figure out how big your market is, you need to know that people have accepted and will continue to accept the gist of your value proposition. Otherwise, you’ll be piling assumption on top of assumption.

Charles Conn, Robert McLean

Don’t take a lack of external data as an impediment—it may actually be a gift, since purchasable data is almost always from a conventional way of meeting needs, and is available to your competitors too. Your own experiments allow you to generate your own data; this gives you insights that others don’t have. If it is difficult (or unethical) to experiment, look for the “natural … [ Read more ]

Mark W. Johnson

Every thriving enterprise is propelled by a strong customer value proposition (CVP)—a product, service, or combination thereof that helps customers more effectively, conveniently, or affordably do a job they’ve been trying to do.

Don Otvos

A direct line of communication between a sales ops leader and someone analyzing user behavior is hugely valuable. Together we can go through the data and figure out what we need to change in our process. Who should sales development reps be calling? Who should the customer success team be worried about for renewals? Your analytics person could say, “Hey, here are your top users, … [ Read more ]

Don Otvos

You always want to compensate your reps based on what they can actually control. You want to tie as much of people’s compensation as you can to things like “meetings set” or “demos given” — actual activities. When you’re at a startup, it’s hard to figure out what your quotas should be — there’s usually no precedent, so you throw a number out there, and … [ Read more ]

Bharat Kapoor, Scott Tsangeos

By gauging consumer sentiment, you’re not guessing what consumers want and tweaking prototypes. Rather, you’re either validating or disproving your assumptions with data that’s already in the marketplace. Compared with surveys, focus groups, and other traditional methods of obtaining customer feedback, sentiment analysis generates better insights faster, allowing you to incorporate those insights into product design more quickly. By shortening the product development cycle, you … [ Read more ]

Bob Moore

Product/market fit isn’t a diploma you hang on your company’s wall. It’s a moving target that you constantly have to monitor. Take it from me — you can find it, only to watch it slip through your fingers.

Nikhyl Singhal

Here’s my simple definition of product/market fit: The value of each user is greater than the cost of bringing them into the product. It means there are enough customers out there and you can efficiently bring them in. […] There are a lot of product/market fit definitions out there that focus on how many users love you. But that misses a key ingredient: the profitability … [ Read more ]

Jiaona “JZ” Zhang

Your alpha group is the one that already loves you, that would even love your MVP. It’s your mom who will love anything you make. On the other end of the spectrum, your GA is far more skeptical. Your GA is much harder to please. Their trust is hard to earn and even harder to regain once lost. Your beta is your sweet spot for … [ Read more ]

Jiaona “JZ” Zhang

Say you’re trying to test whether people like pizza. If you serve them burnt pizza, you’re not getting feedback on whether they like pizza. You only know that they don’t like burnt pizza. Similarly, when you’re only relying on the MVP [minimum viable product], the fastest and cheapest functional prototype, you risk not actually testing your product, but rather a poor or flawed version of … [ Read more ]

Thales S. Teixeira, Renato Mendes

Any business can — and should — classify their customers’ value chain into value-creating, value-charging (monetizing) and value-eroding activities.

Farzana Nasser

Brand-driven insight is your truth—the WHY behind all that you do. Performance marketing is your plan put into action—the HOW and WHAT of manifesting that truth. You can be optimized to a T and your performance channels can be solid, but without leveraging brand learnings your organization will not achieve the growth and success that it can when those two realms are combined. Needless to … [ Read more ]

Paul Magill

To executives used to managing their businesses through the scrutiny of numbers, marketing’s uncertainties can be frustrating. As the saying goes, “What gets measured gets managed.” If marketing is hard to measure precisely, how can we manage it? The answer: Marketing does have valid metrics through which its activities can be assessed and managed. A/B testing and test markets can confirm or refute hypotheses to … [ Read more ]

Scott Belsky

Your challenge is to create product experiences for two different mindsets, one for your potential customers and one for your engaged customers. Initially, if you want your prospective customers to engage, think of them as lazy, vain, and selfish. Then for the customers who survive the first 30 seconds and actually come through the door, build a meaningful experience and relationship that lasts a lifetime. … [ Read more ]

Scott Belsky

Whether you’re building a product, creating art, or writing a book, you need to remember that your customers or patrons make sweeping judgments in their first experience interacting with your creation – especially in the first thirty seconds. I call this the “first mile,” and it is the most critical yet underserved part of a product. […] In a world of moving fast and pushing … [ Read more ]

Scott Belsky

Life is just time and how you use it. Every product or service in your life either helps you spend time or save time. […] The only exceptions are rare products … that add a time-consuming action to your plate while also making that experience faster than it normally would be.

Elad Gil

A lot of founders will go to customers and say “Hey, would you want to use this?” And customers will say “That’s great, we’d love to use it.” And so the founders go off and build it, but when then they come back with a product, no one’s using it. That’s because what they should have asked is, “Would you pay for this?” Being interested … [ Read more ]

Sally Helgesen, Marshall Goldsmith

People buy what you’re selling because they like and trust you, and because they believe that what you offer may have value for them. Why do they believe this? Because you so obviously do. Mesmerizing belief in the product is the secret of every great salesperson.