* Passing along what I have heard together with resources to help. *
This blog shares five themes from my recent conversations with founder CEOs of emerging companies. Drop me a note if these strike a chord.
Actionable Market Segmentation.
Fine-grain market segmentation is critical for company focus. For starters, this drives resource allocation decisions.
OpenView Labs penned a useful article on this topic: VCs Weigh In: How, Why & When Startups Need to Conduct Market Segmentation. Besides accurately conveying magnitude in terms of dollars and customers, this is your foundation for building personas, ideal customer profile, messaging, buying process, and the like.
People’s Buying Habits Have Changed Forever.
The web has changed everything. Acquiring new customers in more capital efficient ways is possible with inbound marketing. But having the right strategy that brings together SEO, content, and marketing automation is key.
Art and Science of Pricing.
Figuring out what to charge is always a hot topic. How do you know if a product’s price is too high or too low? Testing your pricing hypothesis is important as you acquire the first customer cohort, but don’t leap to conclusions prematurely.
This is a helpful resource to avoid common pricing pitfalls: The Ultimate SaaS Pricing Resources Guide. My experience is nine out of ten times prices charged by emerging companies are too low.
Tapping into Emotional Connection.
I am struck by how often sellers forget customers engage emotionally, and justify rationally. A genuine conversation is much more likely if you can connect with your potential customer “where they are.” Andy Raskin’s analysis of Zuora’s sales deck is a popular read: The Greatest Sales Deck I’ve Ever Seen.
You don’t have to be a Silicon Valley unicorn like Zuora to benefit. Scope 5’s Great Sales Decks Create Emotional Connection makes this real for thousands of aspiring unicorns.
Pair this approach with the fundamentals of selling for a potent combination. Robert Herjavec’s Tips for Selling Anything to Anyone will ground you in the basics so you can connect the dots.
Time and Speed.
Focus and speed come up in conversations with founder CEOs all the time. Having the discipline to filter out countless daily distractions is a competitive advantage. According to Only Three Things Matter, founder CEOs should focus on vision, talent, and cash.
Once there is focus, turn your attention to speed. Aside from the startup rule of thumb “if you are two-thirds sure, do it,” the fact is speed is the ultimate weapon in business. Dave Girouard, CEO of personal finance startup Upstart, riffs on its importance in Speed as a Habit.
One or more of these five themes has come up in every client conversation in the last two months. Drop me a note if this strike a chord. Or reach out if you’d like to start a conversation about tackling challenges you face.
Chris Preston is a business advisor and sales leader who helps turn emerging companies into market leaders. A former Microsoft executive, two-time startup veteran, and board member, he is founder of True Partners Advisory. If you’d like a little help, contact us.