kolmapäev, 25. veebruar 2015

Founder Institute: Week 9 – Sales and Traction

This week we tried to answer the following questions:

·          How do you identify and close your very first paying customers?
·         What are best practices to charge these first paying customers?
·         Should you charge more or less in the beginning?
·         How do you develop a sales funnel or conversion funnel?
·         What are some best practices to track leads and sales?
·         How do you hustle leads and close the first sales, whether business licenses or consumer subscriptions?
·         How do you develop a culture of sales and generating revenues in the early days of a new company?

Our mentors this week
·         Lauri Antalainen is an entrepreneur and a manager. His passion is getting things done and having positive impact on people and businesses. Co-founder in GameFounders - the first gaming startup focused business accelerator in Europe. They have invested in around 30 gaming studios from Argentina, Brazil, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, India, Hungary and other countries. Mentor for startups in Startup Highway (Lithuania), Mobile App Camp (Macedonia) and other initiatives in Estonia and Finland.
·         Sven Illing is a business developer, adviser and investor through iCapital and startup accelerators GameFounders and Buildit. During last 10 years he has seen 2000+ pitches/startups and helped with some advice & contacts 100+ teams and invested into 47 startups. He attends 50+ startup events annually, occasionally speaking or moderating as well.

A few tips on how to do B to B sales
First thing – pre-approach, map your potential customers. If you want to succeed then just sending e-mails or calling won’t do. Go on LinkedIn and see who do you have mutual friends with. Let them provide you with an intro.
The aim of the first approach is NOT to sell your product – it’s to get a meeting. Once you achieve that then plan it well. Good structure leaves an excellent impression.
What should the first meeting look like:
1. Start off with a short introduction. So what you do and what your business does.
2. Demand validation. Let them speak about themselves and then start asking questions. This way you will know what their needs are and how to demonstrate your product.
3. Demonstration. By now you should know what the customer s needs are. If you see that the person sitting opposite to you doesn’t need your product then only do a small demo of it. You never know he/she might need it in the future.
4. Closing. Make sure you name the price. Don’t go with “Oh… I will e-mail it to you tomorrow”. At this point your customer is in a positive mood and more open to think about it rather than later when they’re already busy with other things. If they are interested in your product, offer to draft a contract.
5. Make sure you do a follow up.

If you succeed then make sure to do your job well. Good recommendations from customers are the best thing for business!

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