Launching B2B A product in a B2C company presents unique challenges as you try to strike a balance between successfully establishing a new product and maintaining your original business. But no one says it’s easy it is. Actionable once you understand what is necessary for successful B2B expansion.
I’ve put together six important lessons I learned while launching Codecademy for Business, which should be useful for anyone starting a B2B offering at a B2C company.
Lesson #1: Look at the data to make sure you have B2B viability
When considering entering the B2B space, first determine whether there is a potential market for such an offering. How can you make an informed decision? The answer may lie in understanding how your B2C customers engage with your product or service.
For example, was a personal or business email domain entered during registration? When reviewing your engagement data, do you notice a significant increase in work hours? These are strong indicators of your product’s value in the B2B space, and it may be time to develop a new solution.
One of the benefits of starting a B2B offering at a B2C company is that you are serving a customer within your organization.
We found that about 19% of our user base can sign up using a work email address. In our consumer onboarding questions, we asked if people were using the platform to help in their workplace, and 30% told us they were. Meanwhile, nearly 50% of current account managers previously used Codecademy as a consumer.
Lesson #2: B2B requires a whole new set of tools and new hires
Consumer companies are often driven by marketing and often have the budget to spend heavily on Facebook or Google. However, building a B2B company with paid marketing campaigns is incredibly difficult. Your technology stack is about to fundamentally change.
We implemented Hubspot, a completely new B2B-focused customer relationship management platform. But an even bigger change came in the form of our people: We hired an entirely new sales people department.
This completely different culture required us to assimilate. Instead of focusing on Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) as we did in the past, we learned to use the Sales Performance Investment Fund (SPIF). Hiring salespeople and creating compensation plans to motivate them felt like building a whole new muscle. Fortunately, the more we use our sales function, the stronger it becomes.