Are you selling into a new category?

Hi SH community!

I'm curious if anyone is currently selling into a new category / creating a new category along lines of Gong, Chorus, Drift, Outreach, Highspot, Guru, etc.

There's a lot written about brand building/marketing as a category creator, but I haven't found much discussion on what direct sales looks like when you are selling into a new category.

In my experience, some of the challenges include:

*Lack of budget - no one has a line item for your product/solution because it hasn't existed previously
*Need for lots of education on the problem that you are solving before you can focus on your solution
*Sticker shock when you get to pricing as they have no comparison for how much the category of solutions should cost
*Prospects often try to lump you into the wrong category (the one they are familiar with).

Prospect (circa 2018): "Oh, sounds like Gainsight is the Salesforce for CSMs. Rep: Umm sort of but also no."

What else? And how are you all overcoming these challenges?

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      Profile picture of Meet_Paras
      ( 320 POINTS )
      2 days, 4 hours ago

      Valid points Andrew. Creating a new category is hard, that too doing it for the sales community is super hard, as they have a superpower to smell BS from far 😀

      Getting back to your challenges and how we have been tackling them. I am not sure at what stage you are but assuming it is very early right now.

      Firstly, if you have to educate a lot on the problem then it is good to revisit your ICP. Check what led you to make this product and for whom? Find your flagbearer customer and shamelessly ask for references. Use linkedin/crunchbase/similar sites to understand patterns in your early customers.

      Second, are you selling to the right guy in org? If you are solving the right problem, a smart buyer will connect with it instantly. Keep working through your buyer persona until you know who will is the right person. Best to go top down. Sometimes even VP’s won’t understand this issue or might not be willing to risk their budget for it. Go higher and see.

      Thirdly, all you need is 20-20 customers to start using your product. Do whatever it takes to reach there early. You need feedback and a lot of it to improve. Aim for feedback and fit and not customers.

      Hope this helps.

      – Paras, MeetRecord.com

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