Having a message-market fit, in B2B marketing, can be quantified as getting 15–30% interaction rate on the message that you proactively put out in front of your target audience.
Message market fit - does not mean you have closed a deal. And exposing yourself to rejection sometimes can hurt.
However, getting a lot of NOs is much better than not getting any resonance on your outreach.
Getting No’s means that your channel has the audience’s attention – you only have to figure out what’s driving value and what message is perceived as interesting.
This also offers a plateau where you can follow up with your audience and get their feedback to improve your communication.
In B2B sales, there is nothing like “low-quality leads” – it’s an absolute hoax.
It’s always one of 3 situations:
1. The prospect has not bought into your thesis
In this case, you have to make your thesis stronger and provide value.
2. Prospects are interested, but your timing isn’t right
You have to (1) qualify better to know this AND (2) work to make your offer more specific, valuable, and urgent.
3. You are targeting the wrong segment altogether.
Here, it’s your job (as the CEO) to brief your sales and marketing teams clearly on who you are trying to target.
One mistake I often see CEOs making is that they delegate their marketing and sales processes too early. You need to rigorously test and understand the process yourself before you get other people to help you. If you can’t close yourself, don’t expect somebody else to solve that problem for you.
When thinking about solving problems for our B2B customers, we should always be in the lean start-up mode.
Here are the steps that we see work well when developing a new feature or service:
- Identifying a problem
- Validating if the problem is actually worth solving
- Identify what you need to arrive at the solution - is it tech, a process, or a service?
- Push a test solution out super fast and see what it does
- Iterate based on feedback, not on ideas
We are beginning to see what the new normal will be.
As the lockdown in Germany is slowly being lifted, the workplaces are reopening again.
This has got me thinking about what we learned through this period.
We noticed that our client’s performance – based on engagement rates and message-market fit – went through the roof, which is super counterintuitive.
I think it happened because the crisis forced us to go back to the fundamentals.
We also are learning that while we are happy to have our team back in the office we need to make sure we do so by setting new standards that can ensure we don’t put ourselves at risk.
During our ComX corona chats, we found some recurring statements and themes across industries.
1. Cash is king – You need to build profitably and have reserves in order to navigate through a tough time.
2. Value is essential – This pandemic has taught us that value will survive a crisis.
3. Do not stop sales – You must do it with a lot more empathy, but if you stop engaging with your customers, you are done.
I really admire how the business community navigated through this crisis with a lot of humbleness and openness.
The display of vulnerability and honesty we experienced when we reached out to people was really humbling.
What are some of your lessons and observations during this period?
Complex B2B sales in times of crisis is an empathy exercise.
If you are struggling with pipeline building, here are 3 questions you should ask yourself right now.
1. Do you get the attention of your target audience?
What is the ONE problem you can solve, that is RELEVANT enough for people to give you their attention?
2. Are people willing to spend time with you, are you able to book meetings?
If you get their attention - Great. But are people willing to sit down with you and actually give you their TIME?
3. Time is great, but will people pay for you to solve their problem right now?
If the answer is NO - that means your offer or solution is not relevant enough at the moment.
What should you do? Spend time with your target audience to find out what would help - get back to the drawing board and review value drivers, offer, and communication.
It all comes down to how well you understand your audience's problems.
If you are not willing to go that path, you might as well stop sales altogether.
The is a misconception out there that high ticket B2B Services and Products can not be sold via a standardised way.
CEOs believe that every deal is so komplex and buying centres so unique that they can't possibly the "Secret Sauce"
We tend to disagree...
Watch the Video to learn why.
Everybody believes that their product or service is so different and complex that they can’t train people to sell or streamline their sales process.
I’d like to disagree!
To claim that high ticket B2B deals are easy would be wrong. They are complex, messy and take a lot of energy.
But what we found out after working with 100s of teams to decrease their sales cycles is that there is a process behind every deal. And that process follows the decision path of the prospect and NOT your product or service.
In this video, I walk you through the steps we’ve identified that lead to a close. They are universally applicable to every deal ever made.
It might be a counterintuitive thing to say. But even as a software business:
We DO NOT BELIEVE that SOFTWARE is the answer.
We believe the right process is.
Software is only an accelerator of the right tasks to be done. Without knowing what exact tasks you need to get to your desired result, no software will help you.
So when you are wondering why things are not going the way you like, rather take a step back and look at your process, instead of looking to buy the next tool.
You might find some interesting results in fixing the process instead of fixing the tool.
What is the right time to start optimizing for SEO on your website?
You picked the wrong question.
The question should be: How can we find confirmation on the message-market fit the fastest way and use those learnings to optimize our content?
In order to optimize their website (headlines, terminology, blog posts, videos, etc.) for those terms that potential prospects will search for, many B2B companies will resort to workshops, inviting agencies to make assumptions on what these topics will be.
Here is an alternative:
- Use the mom test to arrive at an open-ended question catalog;
- Get 10-20 15 min calls with potential prospects finding out about their current situation and problems;
- Confirm or reject your assumptions with real market data;
- Start using those insights to always be right, when it comes to content choice.
Do not start fiddling around with your website traffic without having your relevant topics confirmed first.
If you nail these topics, you won't even need website traffic to close your first deals.
If you don’t know what content to produce, here is a suggestion: CASE STUDIES.
1. Evidence beats opinion. Your clients speaking for you and confirming your claim with evidence is way more powerful than you bragging.
2. By asking your customers for case studies, you will learn very quickly why they will or won't give you a case study AND what you need to do to get better.
3. Focusing on becoming so good that customers would talk about your solution on camera will make your product better and better over time as your attention moves towards bringing value to your client ALWAYS.
4. And - if those points have not convinced you: Case studies are easy and cheap to produce. It doesn’t require any creative energy. All you need is a question catalogue and Zoom.
There are different approaches to designing the right remuneration model for your sales teams, such as on-target earnings, base salary, and little commission, and commissions only.
The phase your business is in defines which approach is suitable here is what has worked for us. Keeping in mind: for profitable businesses with ambitious growth targets of 100% year-over-year - hire 25–35-year-olds who are up for a challenge and are fueled by a deep desire to move something forward.
- Award a direct percentage of commission on each deal made to the sales employee.
- Never set a target you have not achieved yourself as the founders/head of sales.
Can’t do it yourself? WTF? STOP Hiring.
Offer a base salary that gives security but does NOT satisfy your team.
How can consultancies and service businesses calculate LTV if they don’t have license fees, or where most customer revenue is realized a long time after the deal is made?
I made a video talking about how B2B founders and CEOs shouldn’t hire for sales if their LTV isn’t yet 3x of CAC (linked below).
I have made a video explaining what other metrics B2B service CEOs and founders can use if LTV seems hard to calculate:
Instead of LTV, you guys can look at another metric called 'Cash Collected within 30 days after the deal closed'.
This can be:
- The first workshop you invoice,
- Your onboarding fee,
- Or any first invoice you send to the customer.
The trick is to optimize for Cash Collected to be higher than your CAC. If you manage to get this done, it will be a lot easier to:
- Hire for sales,
- Onboard more new customers more quickly (at least there won't be a cost issue),
- Optimize for faster value delivery to your customer.
If you manage to get your Cash Collected to be as high as 3x your CAC, you can shout high five and push forward.
I got this question the other day. Here’s how we approach it:
First, split your CAC into “Marketing CAC” and “Sales CAC.”
- Marketing CAC is the cost of converting a COLD prospect into a qualified, INTERESTED prospect (generating a demo). You can do that through outbound prospecting, ads, LinkedIn content, etc.
- Sales CAC is the cost of converting that qualified, interested prospect into a paying customer. It consists of the salary of the person closing the deal and the commission.
Second, if prospects approach you through referrals, assume your Marketing CAC to be $0. Then calculate your Sales CAC from there because there’s always a cost (or time) associated with closing a deal.
Third, if prospects approach you through content you put out, that’s Marketing CAC. Measure the time you need to spend on creating videos and writing copy to
generate 1 demo and assign yourself an hourly rate and calculate your marketing spend based on that.
Since 2018, we don’t use “leads” or “opportunities” as a KPI when we measure our sales team. Here’s why:
KPIs can vary depending on the size of your organization, your industry, and your focus.
However, we’ve learned that using broad terms like “opportunities” or “leads” can end up whitewashing your results. You might recognize the situation where one person claims that something is *totally* a hot lead or *totally* an opportunity. When this happens, you know you are at the mercy of people’s biases. And people are terrible at assessing situations.
What we measure in the sales process are PROSPECTS' actions, NOT our sales team’s actions.
Here is what we measure:
# of questionnaires - people who are qualifying themselves on our website. (A questionnaire indicates interest as it’s quite comprehensive.)
# of demos - a prospect books a demo with you.
# of concrete feedback talks - a prospect books a go/no-go meeting.
# of signatures - a prospect signs with you.
If you’re dealing with high ticket products or services, it’s important that you make sure that your prospect is actually able to afford your solution. If people do not have a budget at all - why even carry on speaking? What is the benefit of you and your team spending hours and hours with prospects who simply won’t be able to pay the bills?
We aim to bring up the subject of MONEY in the first couple of minutes during our demos.
One way to do this is to ask them politely if they are able to afford a solution in a certain pricing range in case it gives them the results they are looking for. Sometimes, it gets a little awkward, but it creates transparency around the budget. For Germans, it is uncomfortable to talk about money. But not addressing this really important area of a deal will bite you in the butt later.
A tagline must include the true description that people associate themselves with.
Here are 2 approaches to find that:
- Pattern recognition:
Talk to your target group and ask them, “How’d you describe your business generically?” or “How’d you describe your situation?”
Do 20 Interviews and choose the stuff that comes up the most.
- Include the specifics:
You can give ranges. For example, state that you work with “companies that have between 5-10 million ARR.”
Or you can talk about particular issues like “companies that work with ABC” or “companies that struggle with XYZ.”
You can then test it via email, via LinkedIn, or within your demos. It’s this mixture of sales and marketing practices. Once you see that something resonates, just go with it and adjust over time.
As long as it's accurate enough and has been tested enough in in-person meetings, any tagline/headline can work.
Here’s an exercise for you:
People are often afraid to be expensive and get stuck on a number that feels right.
What you should be doing instead is keep increasing your price in enough demos and negotiations until you find the level where true resistance is met.
“Hey Phill, this sounds awesome. Everything is great but for that price, no way!”
You must hear that 5-10 times before you know that your pricing can’t be increased. That’s how you know the true value of your solution.
Also, by doing this exercise, you learn that deals are NOT LOST because of pricing.
They are lost because:
- Prospects don’t believe you are supporting them well enough
- Prospects don’t trust that you can deliver on your promise
- Prospects do not feel comfortable enough to give you their time and effort
At ComX, we learned that changing the way we invoice had a higher impact than changing the price. Since we started out we had at least 12 iterations on that.
P.S. Book recommendation on niches: Zero to One by Peter Thiel
If your PROSPECT says:
“Send me a proposal and we keep chatting next week” - You just lost a DEAL.
If somebody isn’t able to allocate resources for your solution, you need to ask yourself:
- Did I qualify for the right problem?
- Did I have buy-in that my approach to solving the problem is the right one?
- Did I present an offer with a price tag on it and the required next step?
- Did I receive a timeline on the signature (such as “If those conditions are held true, then we will sign next week")?
Unless you’ve ticked these points, creating and sending a proposal is useless.
In fact, we don’t send proposals at all at @ComX.
If there is a fit, our prospects receive all the information transparently in our first meeting.
If everything is on the table, there’s no need for the intermediary step of sending out proposals.
If people don't want to go sign up with you it’s normally for a reason and you haven't done your job. You have to figure out a couple of other things first.
- Your offer isn’t relevant, and hence, you are having dozens of conversations that don’t close.
- You are qualifying prospects poorly and don't know why some talks go great and others don't
- You are penetrating your existing database with newsletters but rarely receive any clicks or sign-ups.
- You are pushing Google ads for search to get people on your website, but then nothing happens.
None of these is a LEAD PROBLEM.
Here are 4 things you must look at:
- Message Market Fit: You need to produce content people engage and resonate with.
- Booking meetings: If they aren’t willing to spend time with you, you need to fix your messaging or the overall value you can provide.
- Closing cycles of existing opportunities: You must find out if you’re capable of closing prospects, how long it takes, and what your margin is.
- Scaling up: You must automate to get your message in front of the right B2B people at the right time.
"Levin, 24 years of age - closing 75K+ EUR in less than 8 weeks"
Levin joined ComX during lockdown on 1 April 2020, doing his onboarding from his home office. He had just completed his Bachelors in Business Administration and, before joining ComX, was doing a few student jobs on the side, in between traveling. His sales experience was minimal - simply in a student job capacity and with very little contact with the customer.
Just over 2 and a half months later, Levin has undergone a rapid ramp-up with plenty of training and resources. Trained by Phil himself, in just 2 to 3 weeks, Levin was conducting his first demos.
It was another 2 to 3 weeks after leading demos that Levin was closing his own deals. That's pretty fast!
Since conducting his first demo, Levin has closed 75K EUR in less than 8 weeks! It feels GOOD!
"What are the tools B2B founders can use to get to message-market fit?"
Message-market fit is difficult to find, because it consists of multiple disciplines. There a few different tools that we normally recommend, bearing in mind that this all needs to take place at the intersection between human relations, connection and communication.
Firstly, you have to know the literature relating to message-market fit inside out. A good example is "Zero to One" by Peter Thiel, which discusses the importance of niches.
Another great read is "The Lean Startup" by Eric Ries, which talks about selling before building. Get to grips with this material, especially the fact that your product doesn't have to be ready to make a compelling offer and find the right message-market fit.
"The Mom Test" by Rob Fitzpatrick is also a must-read, which provides you with the questions to ask potential customers about your business.
What tools will this literature help you build?
Anything you would normally do in the sales process can lead you to message-market fit, but it entails perseverance.
"B2B Services & Tech. How to quantify your message-market fit and know you got it"
As an entrepreneur, you have to quantify your message-market fit, where in business, sales and lead generation marketing, you want a 15% to 30% interaction rate with the message which you proactively put out there into the market. Being proactive entails using LinkedIn, cold outreach via telephone, fairs, webinars or running traffic to your landing page.
What does the interaction rate mean? It's not the conversion rate. The interaction rate looks at those people who interact with your content, communicate with you, or perform an action, such as clicking on a particular button or signing up with the brand. Interaction rates also entail looking at the 'nos' which you collect in your outbound communication strategies, such as LinkedIn spearing or chatting to people at fairs. Getting a negative response is better than no reaction at all, as it shows that the message is not relevant right now and offers an opportunity to open the conversation and understand why this is the case. Be satisfied with every 'no' you receive, as it should help drive you in the right direction.
If you are receiving too many 'nos', it doesn't mean your channel is wrong. It means your communication is off. It's way worse not to get any resonance at all. In the case of a 'no', the resonance is there and it's about working with it and tweaking communication. Getting too many 'nos' can actually be a good thing, as it shows the communication channel which you are using gets the attention of your audience.
You simply need to go back and ask:
Then, test these assumptions and make the adjustments you need to get your message working in the market.
"Why I call BS on "low quality B2B leads" and what you can do to end the finger-pointing"
There's no such thing as low-quality leads! It's a hoax and an excuse.
Why are leads described as low quality? Usually, because something is not clicking in the demo or because leads are not closing.
There are 3 reasons for this:
SOLUTION: make your thesis better and provide value.
SOLUTION: you need to improve your qualification process and understand when the timing is right. You need to make your offer more urgent and specific.
SOLUTION: make sure the sales team has briefed marketing correctly on who the prospect is; get your team better at qualification; CEOs need to be sure not to delegate to sales and marketing too early, before you are sure of the prospect yourself.
Basically, it's about strengthening your thesis, value proposition and making sure your target market is specific enough.
"Navigating a remote sales team set up"
This has been especially important during the coronavirus pandemic.
Some tips we've tried when setting up a remote team:
"How to build crisis resistant B2B offers, get meetings and close in weeks"
It is essential to understand that your target audience has their own agendas and their own priorities and problems. It's about empathy. Without this, you might as well stop marketing your product.
You need to ask yourself 3 questions:
1. Do I still have the ability to get the attention of my target audience?
If not, your message is not working, either because your target audience has shifted to a different channel or their priorities and problems have changed.
2. Once you get the attention of your target audience, are you capable of booking meetings?
If not, why not? It usually entails thinking about how to get time from people, so that they are willing to have a meeting with you.
3. Are you able to make an offer and close on meeting calls?
If not, you do not have the right solution in place. Consider how you can lower the commitment level required from the potential customer or create value that is crucial and hard to say no to. This then again comes back to empathy and listening to the needs of your target audience.
"Covid-19 Sales Funnel Adjustments - The 5 questions you need to ask NOW to navigate this crisis"
Despite coronavirus, ComX has been able to book loads of demos. How did we do this and how have we continued to get the attention of our target audience? We shared the tools we used to ensure this result with our customers and they are experiencing similar success, with fully booked calendars with potential clients. ComX, as well as our customers, are closing plenty of deals, even during the pandemic.
So, what are the 5 questions which we asked which have helped us navigate through this crisis?
"IT B2B & Service Providers - Here is why your leads don't close and how to fix it"
We get this question often. Why is it that after a good sales meeting, where it seems that the lead resonates with what we are saying, we are still not closing? I would challenge that and ask why you feel your meeting went well in the first place, if you don't close afterwards. If there is no commitment during the meeting, the meeting didn't actually go well.
Indicators to gauge whether a meeting went well:
"THE ONE REASON why B2B sales is so expensive to set up"
When I worked at Schindler, it was always mind-blowing to me how high their cost base was.
The main reason why sales is so expensive in B2B is because it relies on people, which includes paying salaries, offices, social insurance packages etc. But, people also make mistakes and these needed to be accounted for. They have to be managed, hired, retained and possibly retrenched. There is hence also an emotional cost.
It gets very expensive when you consider the cost of hiring a person and then getting into a situation where the salesperson does not return any value after 6 months and you do not know what went wrong in the process. Repeating this cycle numerous times adds to this cost.
So, following the lean startup approach, you want to initiate small review timeframes, where you test something and see the results for a few weeks and then reiterate if this is successful. You really shouldn't "try something out for 6 months". You need to see results almost immediately. Certainly, you can be committed for long periods of time, but the testing and reiterating process needs to be short.
"The reason why you have sunk 100s of thousands of euros into your sales team with no results"
Unfortunately, all too often, businesses sink money when leaders and CEOs remove themselves from the sales process. Why is it always such a struggle to hand sales over to someone else in the business? The question which is regularly asked is, "Have I hired the wrong person?"
Honestly, I don't really think there is a right person. It's a combination of elements that you have to have in place that makes a great salesperson.
These are as follows:
"When is my sales team ready for remote work?"
We often get asked what one should consider when initiating remote work with the team and when it is okay to leave the team alone.
My answer is always, if you're unsure about leaving your time to work alone, just leave and see what happens. I suggest bravery in doing this, because:
I don't really like the word 'trust', as it doesn't adequately describe what happens when you work successfully in a remote way. Trust is created by aligning company goals, where this ultimately allows you not to micromanage your team. When the whole team is on the same page regarding company objectives, predicting outcomes becomes easier, such as when a certain task will be completed. This accurate prediction of outcomes with your team is then what some people would call trust. You want to have this securely in place and establish this practice with your team.
"When to think about pricing and when not [for complex high ticket solutions]"
We received a question asking how much pricing affects message-market fit and how much pricing should be kept in mind. The answer might be surprising to you. NOT AT ALL. Do not think about your pricing at all when establishing your message-market fit.
It doesn't mean that pricing is not important, but it doesn't affect your message-market fit, because pricing affects your offer. An offer is essentially delivering the promise that the message-market fit encapsulates.
Message-market fit has nothing to do with your pricing, your features or your company. Rather, message-market fit is the written awareness when identifying a specific person with a specific problem and making an attempt to help that person. It's about understanding the problem of a specific person and authentically trying to help that person.
You can figure out pricing afterwards, where this helps your offer to be better and your product-market fit to be sustainable.
"How to create break throughs - get the hell out of coworking spaces!!"
I don't believe in coworking. I think it's a bad idea and that it doesn't work.
I've been using coworking spaces for all of my teams for the past 5 or 6 years. I've always enjoyed it. It's got great benefits and it's a proven business model.
However, most of my breakthroughs have been created in solitude. Certainly, connection is important, input is needed and tastes differ. But, this is the research phase and not where breakthroughs happen. It's the difference between input for the research phase and output, which is the breakthrough, where something is put into the world. I normally call this the execution phase.
For me, these breakthroughs are when I'm sitting at my desk alone, after a workout and meditation. I don't see anyone for the whole day, barely open my email and my phone is in another room. I get good food, don't talk to anyone and I just create.
For high output people, coworking is a terrible idea. Go there to mingle, but be aware that this is not your output time.
"When is the right time to update your messaging?"
The question often crops up as to whether it is necessary to change anything when your company is doing well and has been marketing and selling the same way over a number of years. I would never suggest changing anything if your profitability is where you want it to be. In this case, your business is working.
However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't be prepared to change. It's important to understand that techniques which have been working for your business may disappear, as practices and technologies change. Therefore, there needs to be a structure and culture in place where you as the leader have your ears and eyes open and are capable of changing when it is necessary.
Basically, enjoy profitable sales while they last, because selling techniques are bound to change. Remember, if you are not disrupting your own sales techniques and processes, somebody else will.
"How to find the ONE message that will pack your calendars with demos"
We always get the question: what are the steps and the flow of actions that you need to find message-market fit?
It is a controlled process. We use a flow that has worked for us to build multiple 7-figure businesses and we have confirmed this hundreds of times.
We have learned this process over our own journey, but also by applying critical literature, such as "The Lean Startup" by Eric Ries and "Predictable Revenue" by Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler. We have even applied aspects of evolutionary psychology, such as that in "Sapiens" by Yuval Noah Harari.
It involves a structured way of identifying the person who you are talking to and identifying this person's current problem. We use a flow, where we identify the ideal customer profile for you, in terms of your niche and the customer's current state and desired state.
Next, we identify the promise you have to make to them and we then apply language processing to understand whether that promise resonates. We hence use technology to verify your promise.
Once we achieve this, we find the right people to run an AB test.
We do this all in only 14 days. We find the right message-market fit and resonance, as well as a 15-30% response rate and interaction rate in just two weeks.
So, this method has proven to work like clockwork. It's how we have evolved our business and more and more features of our product. In fact, any successful entrepreneur and marketer has gone through this process, even if this is not consciously done in a step-by-step manner. Before I had written the process out, it often took months or years to find new offers. This way, it can be achieved in days.
"How to decide on your next piece of content"
Since coronavirus impacted the world, we have been involved in the production of much content, such as LinkedIn videos. The question arises regarding what content to do when.
In addition, it is often asked:
How do we decide how to get into our customers' heads?
What should be done about marketing?
What is the next feature we should build?
What is the market we should enter?
What new business should we start?
The most important thing in the case of such questions is to find a problem and try to solve it and provide value through that solution. If you are done in terms of providing value through a solution, do it again and test whether it resonates and helps. Do this 20 times. 50 times. By doing so, all of a sudden, you become very busy.
So, let's look at the question: what can we do to get into our clients' heads?
Find a problem or a question which they have been asking themselves, and then answer that for them and provide value doing so. See if this resonates with them and then repeat this process.
Whenever you are in a situation where you feel stuck, just take a step back and ask what you can do to help your clients or potential customers. Test whether this resonates and take it from there.
"The question catalogue that will get you to your next service, feature or business"
You have to create products not just from ideas, but by looking at a specific problem of a certain person. This will guarantee results if that problem is worth solving for that person.
The question is how to get there. We recommend using "The Mom Test" by Rob Fitzpatrick, which equips you with the right questions in order to find a problem worth solving.
For instance, some questions are not useful for your purposes, such as showing a person your product and asking if the person likes it. Generally, people will lie to you to make you feel better. Rather, a good question would be asking people how they solve the problem you are interested in or how much time they invest in solving the problem. Open ended questions such as these are very useful.
If you need help implementing these questions from "The Mom Test", as it's not always straight forward, comment below and I'll send you the question catalogue we've been using for you to implement.
"The process on how to use your list of lost deals to win the next one GUARANTEED"
Have you lost a deal recently? Of course you have. We all have. The point is to understand what was lost and why. This is about learning, as there's always something to learn.
There are always deals which do not close and there are always reasons why this took place. Some of these reasons we cannot influence, such as the wrong timing, when the person does not have a problem worth solving, or you have not been talking to the right decision-makers.
However, there are factors you can influence when it comes to closing, such as whether your offer is good enough and whether your offer needs to change according to the context.
For every lost deal, analyse it. Celebrate those deals you lose and view them as an opportunity to improve your offer.
"How to win your first 5 B2B customers, get paid and launch a profitable B2B business FAST"
What do you do when you find a problem worth solving for a particular person? Ideally, you have 5 to 10 people with such a problem, who are willing to talk to you about your offer or solution.
Now, you map out your offer. You can simply use a spreadsheet or Keynote that maps out what you're going to do, how you're going to do it and how people will benefit from it. Test this, with a price tag on it, with those people who indicated that they were interested. In this way, you can come to understand the main objections as to why people would not be willing to buy from you. You actually need to try and sell your product, rather than just collecting feedback.
Celebrate the objections you receive as an opportunity to improve. Understand whether the objections are similar, as this is really useful in the improvement process.
With regard to pricing, price your offer at least 5 times more than what you are comfortable with, as you can always bring your price down. Anchoring your price is really important for finding the true potential of your offer. People will tell you when it's too expensive.
Once you have your offer and price, you need to start closing your first 5 customers and then work on your success mechanism going forward. Do not involve tech too much, but work on the services yourself, getting the help where you need it, such as from freelancers. Be sure to collect case studies as you go along as proof of your success.
"Why we take the team to work from the countryside once a quarter"
It's a tradition for us to make an attempt to work from the countryside once a quarter.
Why do we do this? While cities are great, it is also important to get out. We have found that getting into the countryside for a whole week results in us getting more done as a team. We have no commute, it's quieter and we can't run away from any difficult questions we have to ask ourselves.
It's also great for exercising and this can be done directly after an intense work session.
A coliving environment also means that people can really get to know one another and it opens a space to talk about difficult work issues.
I really recommend it for your team, as only good things come out of it.
"Why I call BS on long ramping times for your new sales employees"
One year ago, we decided to move to Berlin to grow our German-speaking team. We had reservations.
At the beginning of April, when coronavirus was taking off, we hired two ambitious sales guys. They were worried about joining us, as it was the middle of a crisis, which is a difficult time to start a sales job.
As at 2 July, those two very bright gents, with no sales experience in B2B whatsoever, have closed 200 000 euros in cash collected in their first quarter. I've rarely seen this in my career, but it is possible if you have the right ramping process in place, if your product is good, and you're actually helping people.
This is something we should celebrate. So, congratulations to Levin and Dennis! The ramping period, or the training period, is always hard, as you take in all the learnings. But, these guys have just been hitting the ball out of the park.
I'm so glad that I can confirm with evidence that it's rubbish to ramp salespeople up over 6 months plus. If you want to learn how to ramp up your salespeople, let me know.
"Why the founder should NEVER delegate sales of a new offer to the team"
We always tend to talk about our successes, but I want to talk about my latest fuck up!
The learning I had last week is that if you have used your learnings to arrive at principles, do not start deviating from those principles, even if people might be offended or disappointed.
So, I had two gents ramping up in the sales team. They were doing well and we had made some offer adjustments to make it easier for potential clients to sign up with us. This involved changes in our script and how we presented the solution. I got lazy. I presented that idea to my guys and I delegated it away, in terms of the slide presentation and copywriting. This did not go well. We had two weeks of utter confusion.
I always preach founder does it first and I didn't do this. So, I rectified this, doing the slides, building the process, and onboarding myself as a customer, and afterwards, it just worked.