Customer Profile - Early Market

  • Customer Profile
    Early Market

    Create Target Customer Profile

    The target customer profile considers specific customer segments that require similar offerings and have similar buying processes. This will drive a sales process that will add value and will best serve this customer segment which will in turn drive a go-to-market model and sales-force structure and size.

    An "early market" is one that is defined by buyers early in the product adoption cycle.It is normally 16% of the total market.

    These buyers are willing to take risks for the reward that a new product will bring and willing to forego the usual need for exacting references.

    They are willing also to work with partially developed products or products that though fully developed do not provide the full solution required by the customer. They are therefore called partial products and ones that provide the whole solution are called whole products.There are two market sub-segments within the early market

    • The Innovator("Techie") segment (2.5% of the total market)
    • The Early Adopter("Visionary") segment (13.5% of the total market)

  • Customer Profile

    Innovator("Techie") Segment

    • Proposition:- Latest (& Greatest) Technology
    • Product Status:- Partial Solution
    • Message:- Product Technology Focussed

    • Leads:- Technical boards, shows, seminars
    • Might Say:- "Give me the truth about your product & free access to your techies"

  • Customer Profile
    Early Adopter

    Early Adopter("Visionary") Segment

    • Proposition:- Order of magnitude leap in benefits
    • Product:- Partial solution
    • Message:- Product( Visionary)

    • Leads:- Innovator segment (Techies)
    • Might Say:- "Leapfrog the competition with early technology"

  • Customer Profile
    Early Market Sales Team

    Early Market Sales Team Requirements

    For the Early Market, it is necessary to create a small top level direct sales team to work on opportunities. This sales force will work closely with senior management to ensure that that hurdles can successfully be overcome. The buying process may not be very formalised and there is an opportunity to manage the evaluation process by suggesting and then managing the process. Communicate technical differentiators via trade shows, seminars and direct advertising in technical journals. Opportunities need to be qualified well to ensure to ensure that resources do not become overstretched.

    Build position in Innovator segment and then with careful targeting and effective communications the breakthrough accounts will enable domination of the Innovator segment. Then this can be used as base to enter Early Adopter segment. Buyers from the Early Adopter segment identify their next visionary product from the "techies" in the Innovator segment.

    More details the relevant sections outlined in More Information.

  • Customer Profile
    Early Market Hurdles

    Overcome Early Market Specific Hurdles

    A sales force for this market is a small top level direct salesforce with tight control on the negotiations of any large deal. This recognises the hurdles that must be overcome:

    • Limited Resources:- The company invariable will have limited resources. People & capital. The company often is driven by individuals with large ambitions and must be careful not to "bite off more than they can chew". Balance resources available with ambition.
    • No Infrastructure:- At this stage of the company development there are limited or no processes, systems and possible even companies in certain territories. The product may be still in development and require leadership to bring to market or to new territories. Creating this infrastructure is required but must not become a distraction. Professional project management techniques are very useful in this scenario to manage efficiently.

    • Manage Customers:- (1) Negotiate realistic deliverables:- The difficulty will be to meet customer expectations. Visionaries may expect too much and techies may demand too much. The challenge is to negotiate realistic deliverables whilst keeping the customer with you. (2) Achieve ROI:- For visionaries it is important that the expected ROI is achieved and recognised as such.
    • Develop Product:- Normally the real return for the vendor is in the mainstream market and the product development resources must ensure that customizations are suitable also for the mainstream market and do not deflect the company from this goal.