All of our customers have customers of their own, though they may not recognize that.

They may be “real customers,” that is people/organizations they sell to. They may be “internal,” customers. For example, functions like finance, operations, HR, IT, all have end customers they must serve within their own organizations.

Sometimes, particularly for internal customers, our customers forget about this. I once was speaking to a mid-level IT executive. He was complaining, saying, “Everything would be great if it wasn’t for those stupid end users!” What he failed to recognize is that he wouldn’t have a job if it weren’t for supporting the needs of those internal customers.

Our customers jobs, their success is based on how well they serve those customers. Their budgets, funding, priorities, are all driven by responding to what their internal customers need, and how they are helping those customers.

As sales people, understanding our customers’ customers gives us huge leverage in creating value with our customers.

Sometimes, as in the case of that IT Executive, they are so busy or internally focused, they forget about those customers. They forget that the things they want to do, which create opportunities for us, are dependent on creating results for those customers.

Out customers’ customers have problems, frustrations, challenges. We have the opportunity to help our customers become “heroes” to their customers by helping them solve those problems, eliminate the frustrations, address the challenges.

Often, we help our customers keep their jobs, because their customers have other alternatives, just as our customers have.

Too often, our customers get focused on their costs as they address new opportunities. What will it cost them to buy our products, what will it cost them to implement/support them? Do they have the budget, what other projects would they have to cancel? We can help them change that perspective by helping them build the business case for what they help their customers achieve and what they do for those customers? In doing this, the business case for our solution skyrockets!

Too often, we fail to leverage an understanding of our customers’ customers in our selling efforts and in how we help them better serve/create value with their customers. But, this is, possibly, the greatest value we can create and the greatest value we can help our customers create for their customers.

Take some time to understand your customers’ customers. Understand their needs, problems, frustrations, challenges and the impact on them. Help your customer understand them. Help them figure out how to address them. Help them become heroes to their customers.