Product-Market Fit: How 9 Quick-Thinking B2B Leaders Found It

How do you achieve product-market fit with fierce competition?

In this guide, we speak to nine B2B leaders who pivoted their business despite having $0 revenue caused by the pandemic, maintained their market position, and ran their businesses successfully without compromising their strategy. 

Let’s dig into the good stuff.

What is Product-Market Fit?

Product-market fit is the opportune time a business successfully identifies a product that meets the needs of its target market.

How to Find Product-Market Fit according to 9 B2B Leaders

1. Eavesdrop on conversations

Customer research is the key to standing out in a noisy market. 

Source: Twitter

It helps you identify what triggers customers to buy your solution, what features resonate with them, and the best marketing campaigns that stay on top of their minds. 

And yet, less than 40% of marketers use customer research to drive important decisions.

Greg Gillman, CRO at MuteSix, thinks marketers should research their customers to find the right product-market fit. 

He shares with Breadcrumbs: 

“This requires testing and flexibility. You should take the time to read customer comments and reviews, whether positive or negative, and assess if you’re targeting the right people.”

There are multiple ways to conduct customer research.

Either reach out to customers via surveys or chat with them in person.

Shoanak (Sean) Mallapurkar clearly prefers the latter. 

The CEO of Recruit CRM spoke to over 2000 recruiters to determine his product-market fit. He also shared his value proposition and gathered feedback to refine his CRM system right there and then.

Customer research requires long-term efforts. Companies should still continue to research their customers even if they’ve achieved product-market fit.

“Customer needs change all the time,” explains Greg. 

“Be sure to seek their feedback regularly and adjust your marketing offerings accordingly to help boost customer lifetime value.” 

2. Identify existing holes in market

During customer research, you’ll spot common themes such as your main competitors, your target audience’s pain points and desires, and what’s lacking in the current market.

The last point is crucial as it helps you determine a niche customer segment and, ultimately, your product-market fit.

Source: Twitter
Pro Tip: 

Reach out to prospective customers directly if you’re having trouble identifying the "hole" in your market.

The Nectar team builds relationships with potential decision-makers on LinkedIn and asks what competing products they use on G2.

Trevor Larson, co-founder and CEO of Nectar, shares, “After a few dozen of these conversations, we had a good sense of the market and what our product needed to be successful.”  

There are numerous benefits to zero-ing into a niche market. The biggest one? You become the go-to product for the specific solution you provide and attract more customers.

That’s precisely what happened to Kadence, a hardware-turned-SaaS company.

“We switched from a hardware company to a purely SaaS B2B service because the pandemic exposed an existing hole in the market worth going after,” divulges Dan Bladen, co-founder, and CEO of Kadence.

“It was certainly a risk for us, but we felt confident enough in the absence of any similar product in the marketplace, so we made the change.” 

In the end, the company went from $0 revenue to having over 130 B2B customers

3. Validate everything you’ve learned with an MVP

Customer research, check.

Niche customer segment, check.

Next, it’s time to create a minimum viable product (MVP) to validate product-market fit.

While customer research provides insights on customers’ demographic, competition, and jobs-to-be-done framework, the MVP, Dean Kaplan of The Kaplan Group, explains, offers invaluable proprietary data such as your customers’ behavior, pricing sensitivity, and new feature ideas.

At its core, the MVP acts as an experiment for you to test your hypotheses

Watch out for these two things as you acquire beta users for your product:

(i) Brand relevance

Brand relevance determines how customers perceive your brand and how it impacts their buying decision.

As you start collecting user feedback, check if users are mentioning your product on social media or on platforms that best represent your demographics (e.g., Slack communities, ProductHunt).

If no one is talking about your product, that’s a problem. 

(ii) Behavior analytics

Product analytics tools like Pendo and UserPilot show how customers behave in your product. These tools answer questions like:

  • “Are users benefiting from my product?”
  • “What features do they use the most?”
  • “What features do they use the least?”
  • “Where do they drop off?”
  • “Where are they stuck?”

Companies often create a product and expect it to be used a certain way,” reveals Logan Mallory, the vice president of marketing at Motivosity

But more often than not, that’s not the case.

“If B2B organizations take the time to see how customers actually use the product, they may be surprised and better understand product-market fit.”

Better yet, combine your behavioral analytics with your sales data for a complete view of the customer’s journey. To get started:

  1. Connect your product analytics platform with Breadcrumbs
  2. Determine what makes a product-qualified lead (PQL)
  3. Connect your CRM with Breadcrumbs
  4. Determine what makes a sales-qualified lead (SQL)
  5. Set both scoring models live

Quickly segment your leads in the right buckets and send targeted emails to each one of them to increase activation, boost win rates, and amp up product stickiness—all on one platform.


Book a demo with Breadcrumbs to gather all customer data on one platform and achieve product-market fit today.

4. Refine your product offerings even if there’s initial interest

Few companies did not suffer the same deep sales freeze as their unfortunate counterparts during the pandemic.

In fact, some even lucked out in terms of initial product interest—like TeamBuilding.

Office shutdowns produced a boom in demand for virtual team building services,” says Michael Alexis, the CEO of TeamBuilding.

“We pivoted our in-person team-building model to a remote-first version and enjoyed early success due to the industry climate. Our ability to quickly pivot and position ourselves as one of the industry’s pioneers earned us early success.” 

Today, TeamBuilding offers 30+ unique events

However, as more competitors emerged and companies became accustomed to remote work and started to have more refined tastes, TeamBuilding had to evolve its offerings to hold onto its market position. 

To do this, Michael adds, employees provided feedback and took an active role in designing new offerings. 

“We were able to innovate new products such as events for different virtual platforms, unique games and challenges, and event kits.”

5. Improve intentionally, not excessively

There’s an art to product improvement.

On the one hand, you want to consider user feedback, apply meaningful changes, and create more value for customers (translation: retention). 

But on the other hand, you want to avoid making excessive changes to the point where customers struggle to keep up with them and start questioning your product’s value (translation: churn).

The trick here is to balance personalization and standardization.

When you first start your business, stay flexible to customer feedback and build your product’s definition over time. 

James Diel, founder and CEO of Textel, advises, “The founders should handle the first few sales so that they can make informed moves and guide the business and product strategy based on direct market feedback.”

“Listen to customer feedback, but focus on the overall sentiment rather than designing a product that tries to solve every single issue customers encounter. It’s impossible to do it all well.”

James Diel, founder and CEO of Textel

James is right.

This way, you gain clarity for your product which informs your product-market fit. 

More importantly, as James shares with us, you get to “keep as much individualization as possible without compromising your strategy or values.”

Wrapping up: Achieve product-market fit today

Businesses fail without customer research, validation, and user feedback.

To achieve product-market fit, you need to:

  1. Eavesdrop on customers’ conversations to identify what triggers them to buy your solution, what features resonate with them, and the best marketing campaigns that stay on top of their hearts and minds.
  2. Identify existing holes in the market and determine your niche customer segment.
  3. Validate everything you’ve learned with a minimum viable product. Better yet, score your leads and segment them into appropriate buckets. That way, you can send targeted emails to each one of them to increase activation, boost win rates, and boost product stickiness on one platform.
  4. Refine your product offerings (even if there’s initial interest!) to maintain your market’s position.
  5. Improve intentionally, not excessively. The key is to define your product over time.

Book a demo with Breadcrumbs to gather all customer data on one platform and achieve product-market fit today.

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