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The Most Important Thing You Don’t Know About Market Due Diligence Continued…

Posted by Jon Klein of The Topline Strategy Group on Thursday, July 14, 2010 @ 2:15PM

Blog series 4 of 4

Conducting Pipeline Interviews

There are two keys to conducting Pipeline Interviews. First, make sure to interview accounts at a variety of stages in the pipeline. The reasons why prospects don’t progress past the first meeting  usually concern the fundamental fit of the product while prospects that drop out later in the pipeline  typically don’t close due to issues related to value proposition. You have to conduct interviews with accounts at different stages to get the whole picture.

Second, never interview live prospects. Since they haven’t yet fallen out of the pipeline, you don’t know for sure that they aren’t going to buy. Therefore, they aren’t reliable data points as to why prospects don’t buy. In addition, the last thing you want to do is interfere with a sales opportunity.

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This article was contributed by Jon Klein. Jon is the founder and general partner of The Topline Strategy Group, a strategy consulting and market research firm specializing in emerging technologies. Jon brings a unique blend of strategy consulting and hands on operating experience to The Topline Strategy Group and works closely with Semaphore on a variety of engagements.

To read the full White Paper, please go to Semaphore News and click on the May 3, 2010 link titled - White Paper – Market Due Diligence

Topics: diligence, technology, technology diligence, due diligence, market diligence; law firms;, Pipeline Interviews

2 of 4 - The Most Important Thing You Don't Know About Market Due Diligence Continued...

Posted by Jon Klein of The Topline Strategy Group on Thursday, June 10, 2010 @ 3:00PM 

Blog Series 2 of 4

The Standard Market Due Diligence Process

The typical market due diligence effort generally includes three components. To help explain each component and how they fit into the overall market assessment, we'll illustrate this section using an example company that provides CRM software for law firms.

A Market Sizing Analysis

Market sizing analyses are generally quantitative exercises aimed at establishing the Total Available Market. The figures are normally developed bottom-up based on the size and industry segmentation and are supported with top-down data

Example: CRM for Law Firms

Bottom-Up: The solution is targeted at law firms with 100 or more lawyers. There are 1,000 law firms in the US of that size and on average they will spend $100K/year on our solution. Therefore, the market potential is $100 million/year.

Top-Down: Gartner Group estimates the market for legal software is $1 billion and this solution could be about 10% of what a firm spends, or $100 million/year.

 

 

Market Sizing Analyses Establish the Total Available Market

 

Customer Interviews

While customer interviews serve several purposes, when it comes to market due diligence, their primary function is to establish whether the company is selling a pain killer that is likely to be widely adopted across the industry or a vitamin that will be purchased by just a select few.

Example: CRM for Law Firms

Pain Killer: "Our client relationships are managed by teams of attorneys. There is no question that unless each attorney working with a client has access to all of the contacts and opportunities at the account, we lose business."

Vitamin: "The CRM has made the client management process easier and saves us time. Do we win more business because of it? I'm not sure I'd go that far."

Customer Interviews Help Determine Whether the Company has a High Penetration Pain Killer or a Low Penetration Vitamin

 

Loss Interviews

The flipside of customer interviews is loss interviews. Loss interviews provide excellent insight into how the company stacks up against competitors. Understanding whether the company has a strong or weak competitive position helps determine the share of the market they can expect to win.

Example: CRM for Law Firms

Strong Position: The loss interviews uncover that losses are largely attributable to factors that have to do with the company's core offering such as competitors buying the business and relationships.

Weak Position: The loss interviews uncover that losses are largely attributable to a systematic limitation of the company's offerings.

 

Loss Interviews Provide Insight Into the Company's Potential Share

 

This article was contributed by Jon Klein. Jon is the founder and general partner of The Topline Strategy Group, a strategy consulting and market research firm specializing in emerging technologies. Jon brings a unique blend of strategy consulting and hands on operating experience to The Topline Strategy Group and works closely with Semaphore on a variety of engagements.

To read the full White Paper, please go to Semaphore News and click on the May 3, 2010 link titled - White Paper - Market Due Diligence

Topics: due diligence, market diligence; law firms;

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