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What is Product/Market Fit (PMF)?

Product/market fit is the degree to which a company knows:

  • Who their ideal clients are
  • What price points their buyers purchase products at
  • How often their buyers purchase their products (durations)

You would be amazed at how many businesses go years without achieving product/market fit. There are many signs that suggest a company has not quite gotten to product/market fit. When asked questions about the kind of clients they want, they give vague answers like “Anyone with money,” or “Anyone that has the budget,” and believe me, it is hard to sell to just anyone.

There is a large amount of competition between direct competitors, indirect competitors, and non-business model competitors. So many buyers are doing vast amounts of research before they get to you. Your business must be crystal-clear about who exactly is the ideal client you are trying to attract.

Ideally, you will end up with two or three different categories, a primary, secondary, etc. The primary persona would be your company’s highest priority. The primary persona is your business’s most profitable client -- the client you wish you could duplicate over and over again.

Within each of your personas, you should know exactly:

  • Who they are
  • Which products and services they purchase
  • What price points they buy at
  • The duration of the agreement

Having these details ironed out makes an enormous difference in your business strategies, and allows you to step hard on the gas to scale traffic generation, lead generation, opportunity generation, and your sales funnel.


One of the first things your business should do to attract more ideal clients is set SMART goals. SMART goals are goals that are

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Your goals must be specifically bound to what your business is working toward. For example, everyone wants more, but more of what and how much more? More clients? How many more clients?

Your goals should be measurable to help with tracking progress and attainable based on performances in the past. If your company has never scaled beyond a million dollars in revenue, is it a realistic goal to scale from one million to thirty million in a year?

Relevancy is a big factor. When it comes to the things like digital marketing, all too often, the CEO or board are chasing after vanity metrics; their goals are things like “Get more Twitter followers,” or “Gain more Facebook Fans,” but at the end of the day, that has to monetize. It might be an indicator, but social reach only becomes a leading indicator when that social reach becomes visitors, and those visitors convert to leads. You want to be able to attract those full leads all the way through the funnel.

The final stipulation of a SMART goal is it needs to have a deadline or timeline.

Buyer Personas

Besides setting SMART goals, you also need to build buyer personas for each category of clients you are looking to attract. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of one or more of your ideal clients based on some research and educated speculation.

It is extremely important to know:

  • Who these folks are
  • What they care about
  • What’s keeping them up at 2’oclock in the morning
  • What can get them a promotion
  • What can get them fired if they mess up
  • Their job responsibilities
  • Their pain points
  • Their challenges
  • Their goals

After determining who they are, what is driving them nuts, and what their primary motivations are, it becomes a lot easier to attract them early in their buyer’s journey, which is critical to being seen as a subject matter expert, trusted advisor, and being able to command premium pricing.

The Bottom Line

All of the above wraps back up into product/market fit. We absolutely need to know who it is we are trying to attract, what price points they will purchase our products and services at, and the quantities and durations that make the most sense. Without having a handle on these basic metrics, everything else will suffer. Product/market fit has to come first.

Does your company have product/market fit? Let us know in the comments below.

To learn more about achieving product/market fit, enroll now in our free 7-day eCourse: Go-to-Market Strategy 101 for B2B SaaS Startups and Scaleups.

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