What’s your customer’s problem?

“It’s not just sales and marketing—it’s understanding your customer’s problem.” Jon Dogterom, Practice Lead, Cleantech, MaRS

At last week’s Entrepreneurship 101 lecture, Jon Dogterom, gave an exceptional presentation on Go-to-Market Strategy.  His lecture focused on practical tips for taking your product to market and how to break barriers along the way.

A good starting point for your go-to-market strategy is defining how you will win new customers. The best way to do this is to take a customer-oriented approach and ask yourself some questions.

Fundamental questions for winning new customers

  • How are you delivering value?
  • How are you creating value?
  • How are you capturing value?

The most important part of going to market is focusing on your customer’s perspective.  Keep in mind that customers already recognize that they have a problem—your job is to educate them on the solution.

Your go-to-market strategy should address the following questions:

  • Where do you fit in the value chain?
  • How will your sales team be structured?
  • What is your customer’s buying process?
  • How will you educate customers about your solution?
  • What makes you different from the competition?

See Jon’s slides for a detailed chart on the customer buying process and how this fits into your company’s focus.

During his lecture, Jon mentioned two very important factors in the go-to-market process:

  1. Negotiation plays an important role in purchase decisions and being prepared is your key to success. For more tips on successful negotiation, watch this video: Negotiating and Resolving Disputes: Five Hot Tips for Startups.
  2. Partnerships are important in helping spread the word about your product. Learn more about how to leverage these relationships successfully here: Forging Effective Alliances: Four Hot Tips for Startups.

For more tips on successful market entry, watch the Quick Hits video:

To watch the entire lecture, click here.


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Next week’s lecture: Sales with Krista Jones and Nathan Monk.