We were kicking off a project for a new client. I had a meeting scheduled with the VP Marketing and his team, and also had short 1:1 meetings set up with key stakeholders in sales, and the CEO.

I’d overviewed our goals and process, and asked the CEO what he wanted to learn about his buyers. He was deeply concerned. “Startup buyers don’t understand our business value. It’s an afterthought. Even when we win, too many of them churn.”

Interviewing these startup buyers we found the CEO’s concern was accurate about some of them, but not all. At a firmographic level, these technology SMBs were just one segment. But the interviews revealed an essential difference. Some had begun generating substantial revenue, some had not.

Engineering teams in both segments had problems with quality and speed. On the face of it, my client’s “faster, better” value prop should have interested the CTOs, CIOs, and Eng VPs at these tech SMBs. But the win rates and interviews showed that only one was motivated to make a change — the segment where revenue was threatened.

The point of the story?

Dig deeper than firmographics to target your ICP. If you don’t, you may be wasting precious marketing and sales resources to target low propensity buyers.


This short post is part of our series called How The Buyer Sees It. We’re revealing the buyer’s perspective on the puzzles that keep our clients up at night.