Identify, monitor, and execute timely account expansions with real-time reports and indicators.
Proactively identify at-risk customers and prevent churn using automation, early warning insights, and more!
Understand your customers interactions with your product and make informed product success decisions.
Define and track onboarding by phase, user progress, account, and portfolios.
Intelligence-driven, scalable insights for onboarding, adoption, retention, and revenue growth.
Handle this critical component of the post sales customer journey.
We aren’t just any Customer Success platform. We have the insights, imagination, and technology that others don’t.
Get a complete view of your customer and all their moving parts.
Deliver consistent customer experiences and repeatable success.
Create the right scoring system for your organization.
Create alert rules that are flexible.
Manage, analyze, and optimize your customer interactions.
Track your tasks easily by account, product, and outcome categories for better efficiency.
Create dynamic segment across accounts and users.
Drive adoption, upsell and cross-sell using extensive product data.
Automate your actions, alerts, playbooks and more.
Proactively uncover key insights and receive data-driven recommendations for your team.
Transcribe your calls and catch key phrases used by customers to trigger actions.
Improve decision making and actions for enhanced outcomes.
Unlock value from your data with our embedded Business Intelligence solution.
Meet the industry’s first virtual assistant (SIA) designed for customer success and account management.
Our core values, team, and community
Get in touch anytime.
Don’t miss an episode of the Customer Success Intelligence Podcast
Our annual survey captures the current state of CS Intelligence and automation.
Resources for new and seasoned Customer Success teams.
Features and SDKs you can integrate into your apps.
Calculate the potential ROI you could achieve with SmartKarrot CS.
This is the ultimate guide to customer development for SaaS companies, startups looking to grow in a product-led manner.
Customer development is important. No business can survive in the long run without a loyal customer base for its services or products. SaaS leaders need to believe and keep the product in mind to guide customers properly. You have heard of the phrase- the customer always comes first. The customer is right. The customer is king, etc.
The customer development methodology was established by Steve Blank, an entrepreneur in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The customer development methodology provides frameworks to modern businesses for assessing product viability via customer demand.
Steve Blank served in the Vietnam war and then moved to multiple tech companies. Once he retired, Blank wrote The Four Steps to the Epiphany. This book is the basis for the Lean Startup Movement. The models in the book are useful for both SaaS companies and startups. Blank feels that there is no structured process for locating markets and customers. The customer development model will bring in discipline and create a useful process for industries. The model will bring specific industries together to improve chances of success. This creates learning and growth so that money is not wasted in an unsuccessful launch.
In simple terms, customer development is a framework that will determine whether or not a product meets customer needs. It is a smart lean startup concept that is based on agile engineering and model design. It validates inferences, sees if a need is required, modifies them and solves a real-world problem. The framework allows companies to strike the right price point for stakeholders.
“The Customer Development model delineates all the customer-related activities in the early stage of a company into their own processes and groups them into four easy-to-understand steps: Customer Discovery, Customer Validation, Customer Creation, and Company Building. These steps mesh seamlessly and support a startup’s ongoing product development activities. Each step results in specific deliverables.”- Steve Blank
The Customer Development model is not a replacement for the Product Development model, but rather a companion to it. As its name should communicate, the Customer Development model focuses on developing customers for the product or service your startup is building.
There are four stages in the customer development process-
This is formulating business models that will see if the creation of inferences, concepts, and hypothesis of the product can be tested. The questions in this stage include-
In this stage, testing is conducted to see if the business project and product is viable and possible. This can mean factors like market fit, feasibility, scalability, and repeatability. Prominent questions in this regard include-
In this stage, customer demand in the form of end users begins. You can see if there is product awareness through marketing and sales avenues. This is beginning of the project execution. Here the de-risking of the product is done and so it is safe to be launched. You must listen to feedback, track industry trends, and adapt to retain customers. It is important to maintain the level you have earned so far or better sustainability of the business. The types of SaaS markets for startups include-
This prevents teams to spend on products, markets, and customers that might be tough to crack and cannot be created.
This phase is all about implementing the transformation that will enable growth and scaling upwards. Steve Blank’s methodology looks into the company and then launches it into the market. The methodology ensures the company grows through a leadership narrative. It transitions the learning and discovery to a project ready for execution. The main aspects in this include defining roles, hiring the right people, having formal departments, and creating a loyal team to accomplish better goals. Companies need to know customer validation so that they can create a product accordingly.
The customer development process needs involvement from product management and marketing teams with customer facing teams. Inputs that come in from customers will shape the business model. This will also ensure that the observations are treated in a valuable manner.
Customer development allows businesses to conduct better assessment of business models before they start operations. The customer development framework also allows for not allowing some concept-based mistakes to happen. This framework can delay financing and reduce the chances of damaging results. It thus makes for only rational projects to come on the floor. This makes the final product well molded for the customer and competitive marketplace.
Secondly, customer development balances the excessive emotions around the product or project. Sometimes businesses can be excited and charged about a product, customer development framework counters this. When the customer-feedback reasoning and rationale is available, it becomes easier to make the product more appealing to customers.
This process ensures that the product is toned and more suited to the market. It also shows better knowledge of the market where the business is conducted. It is also known that companies who implement this process will accept that failure is a natural part of the process. The model ensures it is okay to fail.19
Customer development model is a tried and tested model for businesses to improve relationship with customers and develop products according to that. Customer development helps grow, discover, validate, and launch your product and business. When your team puts this process in practice, you can ensure customer growth and product-led growth in the company.
Kruthan Appanna is a Customer Success Analyst with 5 years of experience. Passionate about leveraging data-driven insights to drive customer satisfaction and retention. Skilled in building strong client relationships and providing strategic solutions.
Published June 25, 2021, Updated June 07, 2023
In this blog, explore the seven biggest reasons why MS Project isn’t...
30 May, 2023
Learn how call coaching can effectively enhance the performance of the...
04 May, 2023
Learn the top 5 Critical mistakes to Avoid in your QA testing process ...
24 Apr, 2023
Sign up for SmartKarrot’s newsletter.
See how SmartKarrot can help you deliverwinning customer outcomes at scale.