As a founder working to start a tech business, identifying the problems your customers face and offering a solution is one of the keys to success.
It sounds easy enough – just iterate the problem and solve it.
The path to success as a tech startup is more complicated than that simple equation might imply. To achieve success, you must first find the right product/market fit for your solution.The Precursa early-stage startup platform was designed to help determine how best to solve problems for your customers and turn the answers into actionable steps that lead to an MVP (minimum viable product) launch.
The simple checklist for product/market fit
Like you, most of today’s tech startup founders are thinking about their short-term and long-reaching goals. They make decisions based on what is likely to help them execute their strategic plan for growth and profit.
To get to an MVP launch, one of your goals is to help uncover sources of pain for potential customers and create solutions that are a fit for the niche you plan to inhabit.
In some cases, you may have already determined the problem without yet having a full solution outlined or in place. In other cases, drilling down from impact to cause is necessary.
When done correctly, finding product/market fit can feel like pushing the easy button repeatedly. If approached with empathy, it generates innovative solutions, and ultimately creates ease for the customer.
Precursa advises tech startup businesses to use a modern-day solution-based sales approach instead of the hard sale approach of the past.
After all, nobody likes it when an old-school salesman takes a hard sales approach, jamming their offering into a pitch that may (or may not) help to solve gaps or business problems.
Customers prefer a modern and thoughtful approach to defining their problem so they can make educated decisions about how to solve it.
To begin to discover product/market fit for your tech startup concept, ask yourself if you understand the problem you’re really solving.
Then practice empathy, be innovative in your solutions and create ease for your potential customers.
These are the three simple tactics that should feed your modern approach in order to ensure you are actually helpful.
EMPATHY: Define it and then practice it.
Often the word empathy is misunderstood, especially as it relates to how we work together. Do you know what it means to your business and your personal interactions with people?
To gain clarity around how empathy is applicable in getting to know your market, let’s start with defining what it DOES NOT mean. It doesn’t mean that you should allow emotion to trump reason. It doesn’t mean you need to hug it out and be schmoopy in professional relationships. It certainly doesn’t mean that you must become a pushover.
What DOES it mean then? Of course, we all pull from different levels of emotional intelligence (EQ). To effectively practice empathy with colleagues, prospects, and customers, do these three things and you’ll be miles ahead of the competition, especially those with a low EQ.
Be an active listener.
It requires active listening in order to really understand the position and reasoning of another.
Keep your ears open and your mouth shut long enough to learn from your prospect.
Dig for the answers.
Generally, it takes asking “Why?” five times in order to get to the heart of the information a customer is sharing with you.
Ask probing questions until you can pinpoint the source of the problem.
Avoid presenting solutions until after you have peeled back layers of the onion, exposing the reason for a problem instead of the current symptoms that the problem is causing.
Repeat what you’ve heard.
Reiterating what you think you’ve heard to ensure that you’re not misinterpreting what has been said is always advised.
More often than not there is a new detail or nuances that you’ll be glad to have uncovered.
Entrepreneur magazine previously wrote an article about how empathy in business is vital to an entrepreneur’s success saying, “The companies that will last are those that make the effort to understand their employees, investors, and customers.
The successful entrepreneurs will be those who practice empathy.”
INNOVATION: It’s not just about technology.
Most businesses attribute innovation to the product development team, the marketing communications experts, or the technology gurus. Some fail to realize that if we all delivered innovatively, businesses would naturally exceed their goals.
To problem solve with innovation is to think creatively, leverage expertise, and sometimes combine the unexpected.
Beginning with the end goal, you can work through the limitations or hurdles posed in reaching it. Never forget that there is always more than one solution to a problem.
Platforms such as Precursa allow you to consider problem-solving from a new angle that you may not have thought of unless you were cognizant of being empathetic toward stakeholders with whom you’re working and trying to support.
It’s quite possible that the expertise you need is not under one roof. Look to partners, vendors, volunteers, and even how the competition may have overcome the problem you’re trying to solve for help.
Combine the unexpected.
Traditional solutions become an established method of solving a problem because often times it’s efficient and/or effective to wash, rinse, and repeat. However, that is not to say it’s your only option or even the best solution.
By thinking creatively and leveraging the expertise available to you, you just may find a new combination that solves your problem more innovatively.
The key is to use an empathetic approach to help you drive innovation. According to a Hubspot article about sales innovation, “The concept of customer-centric sales rests on prioritizing empathy for the customer above all else.”
EASE: Who buys things that are difficult?
Creating an offer or product that is an easy-to-use solution for your customers includes a combination of active listening, digging for the answers, repeating what you’ve heard.
Tech founders who think creatively, leverage expertise, and combine the unexpected are the most successful.
Creating ease requires both empathy and innovation. And, most importantly it requires eliminating things customers don’t really need so the solution solves their problem without unnecessary time, hassle or expense.
Using Precursa to find product/market fit and solution-based selling
The most profitable tech startups deeply understand what keeps their ideal client up at night and use this knowledge to find product/market fit for their ideas.
Precursa can help with innovative tools and actionable steps that answer how to create a concept that provides the empathy and ease your customer needs.
If solving your customer’s problems is approached with empathy, you’ll generate innovative solutions. By generating innovative solutions, you can create ease for your customer.
Offer a solution to a real problem for real people, and do it in an innovative and easy-to-use way.