*Editors Note: Live updates from the Sales Hacker Series – Lead Gen & List Building in Dublin are brought to you by Betts Recruiting. Betts Recruiting helps companies teams staff and attract talent for all revenue generating roles. Follow us @BettsRecruiting. Slides from the session are embedded below the text.
This session is titled Sales Prospecting Through Customer Development Tactics by the CEO at InvestorSheet, Russell Banks.
Two types of sales: Hunters or Farmers.
- Different skill sets that people gravitate towards. However, in startups you have to do both.
- Fear vs Fun – either you need to buy this or you’re in trouble vs get on board, this is the place to be!
- Friends make all the difference in sales – if they like you just a bit more than the other guy, that could be the difference.
- Cold Calling – can be a nightmare, you KNOW you are interrupting them. It’s a hostile start!
There is a better way….CUSTOMER DEVELOPMENT!
- A process of identifying whether or not they have a problem that you can solve. (The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development is the handbook to this) People will try and tell you what you want to hear but don’t RUSH. Think of it as pre-sales. You can’t just jump right into the sale.
- Think of how your product is being perceived. See where you fall on their pain points. f you think there is a real need, they’ll be happy to hear from you again.
- As a person, email is just easier on you and the lead. Not quite as painful.
- Run the customer dev meeting well by asking the proper questions so that they can’t just tell you what you want to hear. You don’t want them to lie to you to make you happy.
- Create PERSONAS
- Develop hypothesises and plan the strategy towards the overall view of the lead.
- Ask the 5 why’s. Understand what personas the leads are and how you can approach that down the road.
- Send all cold emails from a personal account – begin the relationship, not the sale.
- Start with an emotional intro, personalized and researched.
- Give them a brief description of your activity, don’t sell them or give them too much info.
- Spark their interest and gauge their pain point.
- Validate with a case by case example if needed.
- Try to set up your Skype (especially good for the 24 hour workday available here in Ireland) or phone call for further development.
- Yesware or ToutApp to track your email blasts.
Customer Development Meetings
- Don’t tell them what you’re doing until the END.
- You need to discover what their needs are, evaluate the lead while building the relationship.
- Let THEM do the talking (90% of it)
- YOU ARE NOT SELLING! – Note the emotion of the conversation, but do not drop the sales pitch. It may be tempting, but the perception of the relationship can change dramatically if switched on to the sale too soon.
- Have a questionnaire, offer up the fact that you are taking notes so that you can learn more about them.
- Don’t ask questions set in the future that are a set up for failure. “Would you” and “could you” questions setup a hypothetical that people will find a way out of.
- “Why”s are a good question, let them talk and don’t lead them. No Leading Questions!
- Builds for a positive first impression/experience with each other. You’ve quickly done all the research on them in a conversation or two.