One of the popular startup strategies is getting in the door with a customer at a basic level and then upselling them with more functionality so they get more value. Best known as taking a customer up the value curve or the trojan horse strategy, the key is providing value quickly to start building the relationship before working towards the more complex solutions.

Here are a few thoughts on taking a customer up the value curve:

  • Start Quick and Easy – The consumerization of IT is real. Companies want the ease-of-use and feel of a consumer app to solve their business problems. Enable the customer to start quick and easy.
  • Provide Real Value – Quick and easy onboarding doesn’t matter if the product doesn’t provide real value. Ensure that it’s a must-have and not a nice-to-have.
  • Make Upselling Product-Native – Once the customer is in and getting value, incorporate nudges and upsells natively in the product. The most common example of this is an “invite people” feature to add more users in the product.

Entrepreneurs would do well to think through ways to take customers up the value curve and ensure a thoughtful approach.

What else? What are some more thoughts on taking a customer up the value curve?