Building Customer Experiences With Airbnb Global Product Lead: How Sales Complexity Impacts your Startup’s Viability - For Entrepreneurs


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 29, 2023

4 min read


Building Customer Experiences With Airbnb Global Product Lead: How Sales Complexity Impacts your Startup’s Viability - For Entrepreneurs

In the world of product management, the ultimate goal is to change the behavior of your customers. Whether it's through a new feature, functionality, or product, understanding how and why customers behave the way they do is crucial. This is where user research comes into play. By delving deep into the needs and psyche of your users, you can gain valuable insights that will make a significant difference in the success of your product or service.

One important aspect to consider is the job that the user is trying to accomplish with your company's offering. This concept, known as the "job to be done," should be at the forefront of your mind as you develop and iterate on your product. By understanding the specific problem your users are trying to solve, you can better tailor your product to meet their needs.

Of course, timelines are always important when it comes to product development. However, it's essential to take a step back and look at the overall shipping goal. By working backward from this goal, you can effectively prioritize and deprioritize features and functionalities that may or may not be necessary in the initial launch. This approach can help streamline the development process and ensure that you're delivering the most impactful product to your users.

It's worth noting that predicting user behavior doesn't always require complex machine learning models. Sometimes, the ability to anticipate how your product will change user behavior comes from a deep understanding of your users and their needs. By focusing on solving user problems and driving meaningful behavior changes, product managers can achieve the ultimate outcome for their users.

But how do you stay on top of industry best practices and continue to improve as a product manager? One suggestion is to actively participate in open discussions, seek out a product mentor, attend webinars, and continuously educate yourself on the latest trends and techniques. Additionally, it's crucial to identify and track metrics that truly matter to your product and company's success. A great resource for this is the book "Measure What Matters" by John Doerr.

Moving on to the world of startups, one of the key requirements for success is the ability to generate more revenue from customers than what is spent to acquire them. This concept, known as the lifetime value (LTV) of a customer versus the cost of customer acquisition (CAC), is a fundamental metric for evaluating a startup's viability.

Entrepreneurs must carefully consider the complexity of their sales process and the associated cost of customer acquisition. These factors play a significant role in a company's ability to generate revenue and attract investors. In some cases, a startup may opt for a freemium model, where a basic version of the product or service is given away for free, with the goal of upselling or cross-selling over time. However, not all free customers will convert into paying customers, so it's important to strike a balance.

Different sales models come with varying levels of complexity. For instance, in a no-touch direct field sales model, customers convert to paying customers without the need for salespeople. On the other end of the spectrum, an on-site sales model requires multiple on-site visits, engagement with multiple decision-makers, and potentially proof-of-concept installations. Interestingly, the cost of customer acquisition tends to increase exponentially as sales complexity increases.

When it comes to selling products, it's essential to consider the buyer's perspective. Low customer pain and a lack of urgency can make it challenging to sell a product, regardless of the sales model being used. To overcome these hurdles, startups need to provide value, address significant pain points, and create a sense of urgency in their customers. Without these driving forces, startups may find themselves in the unprofitable zone, where customers are unwilling to pay enough to cover sales and marketing costs.

To navigate the sales complexity landscape, startups can leverage strategic partners to resell their products. By partnering with established companies, startups can tap into existing customer bases and gain credibility, ultimately moving from the red zone to the blue zone. However, building and maintaining successful channel partnerships can be a complex endeavor that requires careful planning and execution.

Another strategy to reduce sales complexity is to leverage low-cost sales models that rely on the transformative effects of the internet. Companies like JBoss, SolarWinds, Acronis, and HubSpot have successfully used techniques such as lead generation, marketing automation, and inside sales to sell software at high volumes and low prices. These low-cost sales models have the potential to disrupt traditional enterprise sales models and make selling sophisticated software to the SMB market more profitable.

In conclusion, understanding the sales complexity of your startup is crucial for developing a viable business model. By considering factors such as customer value, pain, and urgency, entrepreneurs can assess whether their product or service is likely to succeed. Reducing the amount of human touch in the sales process, leveraging strategic partners or low-cost sales models, and continuously improving through education and industry best practices are actionable steps that startups can take to increase their chances of success.

Hatch New Ideas with Glasp AI 🐣

Glasp AI allows you to hatch new ideas based on your curated content. Let's curate and create with Glasp AI :)