corporate, culture, operators meeting, customer success

Customer Success: Sell to the Right Customer

Create a happier, healthier workplace 

By Greg Wilson / Jul 11, 2019

What does it mean to sell to the right customer?

Matching your company with your clients business is critical to your future success. Remember that your customers are you biggest assets and finding the RIGHT customer is critical. The right customer will help define and direct what needs in the market you should be solving with your products and services, while the wrong customers can derail your focus and take valuable resources away from your core business.

If you're trying to satisfy customers that don’t actually align with who you are and what you sell, you're wasting time and money. So, in other words, find your perfect business match.

But how do you define the right customer? There are multiple ways to look at it- whether a particular use case (e.g. solving a need for employee food service), a line of business, industry vertical or perhaps the size of a customer (e.g. An employee base large enough to support a healthy market), but most important, it’s the customer that values the service you provide.


Take the time to analyze your current customer base and see what's working today. This could help you evaluate other areas where you aren't currently doing business to see what to target next. You may also identify current customer segments to deprioritize given poor performance or requiring too many resources to sustain.

From this point, marketing must target the right customers and sales must be willing to disqualify those who aren't a great fit. It's important not to try to be everything to everyone.

Why does all this matter? Because the cost of signing customers that can't result in mutual success can be enormous- from customer acquisition costs, to applying resources to the wrong customers and then often investing more when they struggle; investing time and company commitment to the wrong customers can be costly.

Now, your customer base will mature, and their needs will change and that is ok as long as marketing, sales and customer success are all aligned with the product- and the business value and who, how, and why it will affect and influence customers

In an ideal world you only sell to the right customer, but that's not always so easy when you are trying to optimize growth. If you have to expand your definition of the ideal customer, be sure to track the metrics so you know what resources you are having to devote, the cost of acquiring those customers and their lifetime value.

You can also define specific services or products available for your less-than-ideal customer segments. You can minimize risk from over allocation of resources with a lower touch process- through self-service webinars and online resources instead of investing a lot of face-to-face and hands on training for those you forecast to be lower lifetime value.

Capture churn reasons and look at those across various customer segments- Was it poor adoption? Product fit issues? Or product gaps compared to customer needs? Use this data to continue to hone your customer targets.

You need to have organizational alignment on what the right customer is, and what indicators of success are. For instance, selling to the right customer vs. selling to anyone. The latter might incite quick growth overall, but customer churn and dissatisfaction are sure to be higher, not to mention the strain that puts on all company resources.

Putting the right products in front of the right customers, supported by alignment on priorities across the organization will minimize the noise and help you focus on excellence throughout your customer engagement life cycle.

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