Customer Acquisition as the #1 Startup Challenge

There’s a reason Why Lead Velocity Rate is the Most Important Metric in SaaS: customer acquisition is the #1 challenge for entrepreneurs. Nowadays, building great technology still takes work, but there are a number of excellent people out there that can do it. When it comes to building a customer acquisition machine that combines lead generation, brand building, and consultative sales reps, all in a cost effective manner, there are many fewer people out there that can do it. Oh, and it’s hard. Really hard.

Here are a few thoughts on customer acquisition as the #1 startup challenge:

  • When talking to entrepreneurs, they always say they want to grow revenue faster (I’ve never heard an entrepreneur say “we’re growing too fast”)
  • When an entrepreneur fails, it’s always due to not signing enough customers to breakeven (or reach another funding milestone)
  • Traction outlines 19 different marketing channels, and most startups aren’t good at more than one or two of them
  • Building a high quality sales team is really hard (hint: it all starts with the hiring)
  • While finding product/market fit comes before building a repeatable customer acquisition process in the four stages of a startup, building a repeatable customer acquisition process is even harder

As Guy Kawasaki likes to say, sales fixes everything. Figure out a repeatable customer acquisition process that’s financially viable and you have the makings of a very successful business. Customer acquisition is the #1 startup challenge.

What else? What are some more thoughts on customer acquisition as the #1 startup challenge?

One thought on “Customer Acquisition as the #1 Startup Challenge

  1. I just started reading these posts routinely and am continuously impressed. Coming from an engineering background, I don’t have a lot of marketing and sales context and this blog has really helped shape my understanding.

    One comment I do have is that we (Entrepreneurs) must never loose focus of our need to create real value for the world. Sometimes when we chop our responsibilities into small enough bites, it’s easy to forget that our job is the big picture. At the end of the day, we should be changing things. Hopefully that change is an improvement. If we can balance these small tasks of lead generation, funnel conversion measurements, etc with the desire of sincerely wanting to help someone, then we’ll see our metrics organically grow because we’ve created authentic value.

    Most of the things we’re building are tools (fancy hammers) and we should not forget that.

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