5 Things You Must Know About Your Customer For Success

August 12, 2014 Pam McBride

5 Things You Must Know About Your Customer For Success

Thanks to an article authored by Douglas Burdett, I not only discovered the 5 things I must know about my buyer persona to generate leads, but I was also introduced to Adele Revella, the Buyer Persona Institute and an incredible wealth of education and knowledge found on their website and blog.

These sources made me aware of the Five Rings of Buying Insight™ – the five things that will determine if you have buyer personas that will positively impact your content creation, lead generation and sales.

Customer For Success

  1. Priority Initiatives “What causes certain buyers to invest in a solution like yours, and how are they different from buyers who remain attached to the status quo?” What three to five problems or objectives does your buyer persona dedicate time, budget and political capital? It’s not about you or your product.
  2. Success Factors “What operational or personal results does your buyer persona expect from purchasing this solution?” To understand the buyer’s approach to a Priority Initiative, identify what tangible or intangible rewards he or she associates with success.
  3. Perceived Barriers “What concerns cause your buyer to believe that your solution or company is not their best option?” What could prompt the buyer to question whether your company or solution is capable of achieving his or her Success Factors?
  4. The Buyer’s Journey “…reveals the behind-the-scenes story at each phase of the evaluation.” What process does this persona follow in researching and selecting a solution that can overcome the Perceived Barriers and achieve the Success Factors?
  5. Decision Criteria “Which aspects of the competing offerings do your buyers perceive as most critical, and what do they expect from each one?” What aspects of each product will the buyer assess in evaluating the alternative solutions available?

Armed with these five insights, Revella explains that your buyer personas will “reveal the buying decision you need to influence – telling how when and why the buyer engages to choose you or a competitor, or to stick with the status quo.”

It occurred to me that these rings of insight could be easily associated with Customer Success. The Five Rings of (Buyer) Insight – the five things that will determine if you have customers that will positively impact your product, relationships and growth.

  1. Priority Initiatives – “What caused the customer to invest in your solution, and how are they different than your existing customers?” What three to five business goals is your customer trying to achieve with your product? It’s not about you or your product but their outcomes.
  2. Success Factors – “What operational or personal results does the customer expect from your solution?” To understand the customer’s Priority Initiative, identify what tangible or intangible rewards he or she associates with success.
  3. Perceived Barriers – “What concerns cause your customer from fully adopting your solution?” What could prompt the customer to question whether your company or solution is capable of achieving his or her Success Factors?
  4. The Buyer’s Journey – “…reveals the behind-the-scenes story at each phase of their lifecycle.” What process does this customer follow in using your solution that can overcome the Perceived Barriers and achieve the Success Factors for adoption and retention?
  5. Decision Criteria – “Which aspects of your offering do your customers perceive as most critical, and what do they expect from each one?” What aspects of your product will the customer assess in evaluating your solution and what growth opportunities are available?

As we are aware, SaaS and other recurring revenue models have three core stages critical to their success – acquiring customers, retaining customers and monetizing customers. For each of these core stages the 5 rings of (buyer’s) insight can be applied. To piggyback on Revella’s explanation – your customers will “reveal the buying decision you need to influence – telling how when and why the buyer engages to choose you or a competitor, or to stick with the status quo.” – you as in growth opportunity, your competitor as in churn or status quo as in retention.

Your organization should be constantly thinking about your product, your prospects, your customers and the 5 rings. You can be rest assured these 5 things are on your customers minds.

Do the 5 rings reflect how you determine your buyer’s persona?

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