Operational startups sales

Once again, the following is written fast for an audience of one. Not a polished blog port, more a “if I write this in an email, I might as well write it as a blog post”. So this is a fast take, that does not claim to be better than what exist. If you want to talk about this write me a mail: s.buenau@gmail.com

This is about b2b sales, three things upfront:

  • sales does not mean to be a pushy person but persistent and somewhat quantitative

  • sales = revenue

  • all sales need to be in line with the legal frameworks

To me, sales breaks down like this:

Product Management OKRs

You need to get people interested and qualified to buy your product or do a transaction (if you are a marketplace) or whatever it is that makes the revenue. You have to strategies: people come to you or you mtry to make them come to you.

Playbook for “make people come to you”

SEO. This has three components:

  • Make content: Getting an article written on a defined topic costs roughly 40-80 Euro per 500 Page Article from a writer, on workgenius (which I use) or upwork. Ideally, you write the first 5 Articles. The average article takes you about 3 hours. The rest of SEO is technical, making sure the headlines are correct and the structure is fine.

  • Technical optimization: This is straightforward stuff that an online SEO tool will help you check. Basically, formatting of the headings, page meta text and mobile ready. Obviously, in hyper competitive spaces this matters a lot but in general it is more table stakes.

  • Get backlinks: This is asking people to place a link to you. Nobody will does this if you do not ask and just placing links on quora is not enough.

Overall, this is 1 week project for you as the a leader, excluding writing the content and the product pages.

Speaking at Conferences and Publishing in Journals

This comes down to contacting the conference and the journals about a particular talk/piece that you have and finding out if it is of interest. That means you need to get a list of all relevant journals and conferences. Than you need to find the names of the people that  matter there. Than you need to email or call them. Making the list probably takes you like 1 hour. Then finding the people that matter and their contact details takes somebody another hour or you outsource it to workgenius. Then you pitch and find out why you do not get in.

LinkedIn Articles just means writing the content.

Playbook for “come to people”

This is very simple. If you have defined group for either companies or people (depending on your go-to-market) it probably looks like this.

Say you have a group of companies by their branchencode (industry-id) in Germany, you go to neugeschäft.de and you buy the relevant data. That costs you about 30-180 cents per data set (name of company and CEO).

So if you need all companies in metal product in German with more than X people you might get 1200 results and this might cost you 2 Euro per piece so now you have spend 2400 Euro but the market is clearly defined. If you want an into to neugeschäft, let me know. I have worked with them a lot

Alternatively, you have somebody (again, I use workgenius) research the relevant companies. You pay a bit less (30 to 40 cents) and might get more information like phone numbers and email addresses.
Next you contact them - a letter costs a 1,20 Euro, phone specialists that you hire by the hour do 20 calls an hour and cost about 60 Euro, so that is 3 euro per contact, email when legal is super cheap.

But essentially, that is it. A full contact costs you somewhere around 3 Euros. Now the question is just to contact them.

There are only two potential reasons: you are not talking to enough people or your product is not good enough. Both are your problem but you no which one you are having.

Once you start contacting, I highly recommend setting up a basic win/loss analyis from the first contact onwards so that you know why you are not doing enough revenue. In addition, the cost of lead acquisition is a key component of your business, so trying to measure that at least somewhat is important.

Very important: Being creative about how you get to your customer is EXTREMELY important. Without a customer the products is not generating revenue and not proven to an investor. Getting a senior advisor from the industry on board, understanding how to get in front of everybody, influencing legislation - there are many areas where competitive advantage can flow from.

Check this out here: https://www.sbuenau.org/blog/2018/2/20/ignore-the-win-analyse-the-los-for-product-managers