template to DEMO Path

For you to build your sales process, you need to identify a Core Customer profile to go after and prospect against.

Once you have that, here’s a sample email you can use to reach out cold and kick off the conversation.

Subject: quick request

Hey [first name],

I hope this email finds you well! I wanted to reach out because [explain how you got their contact information and how you relate to them: talked to a colleague, saw your company online, etc.].

[Name of company] has a new platform that will help (your team at) [organization name]. [One sentence pitch of benefits].

I know that [our product] will be able to help [name of your company] [insert high level benefit here].

Are you available for a quick call [time and date]?

Cheers,

Signature

That should at least get your foot in the door…

… then you continue diving deeper with the prospect around the following info using the B.A.N.T. framework:

  1. Budget: Is there a budget set aside?
  2. Authority: Who is involved in the decision?
  3. Need: Do they have a problem?
  4. Timeline: Is this a now or later thing?
  5. Etc…

Once you’ve got that, then you want to schedule a demo for them with one of your Account Execs or what I like to call my “Product Specialists” (nicer word for salesperson :).

That’s the outbound sales model.

Go out there, add value, connect, identify needs and try and schedule them with a product specialist for a demo.

During the webinar I’m going to go over what makes a KICK ASS demo.

One where the prospect pulls out their credit card on the spot to get signed up and deployed.

But before that, you’ve got to do some homework…

  1. Who is your Core Customer?
  2. Do you have a list of them? (if not, I can help you below)
  3. Do you have a process for prospecting?
  4. Are you qualifying them?

During tomorrow’s webinar, I’m going to be breaking down the SaaS business model.

>>> Register here for The SaaS Model Masterclass

We’ll be covering what metrics matter most, and what sequence you should be attacking them in.

It’ll be a compressed version of my SaaS Academy Metrics but it will give you an actionable game plan to execute against.

More to come…

Dan “selling is my jam” Martell

good way to look at next goals and features for product dev

from Startups Live:

1. Assume no one has the answer (because the don’t) so all efforts are just around questions and how to answer them. It’s not “what feature do we build?” as much as “what don’t we know about our customer and how could a feature help us learn?”

 

[6:43]
2. Keep milestones incredibly small, short. Focus on what’s done by Friday, not this quarter. The fastest way to get lazy is to give yourself more time.

Two Things Required to WIN in SaaS

from Dan the man Martell:

(warning – long email ahead PACKED with value)

Want to know the non-negotiables / absolutes / must haves / can’t build a business without it things required in Saas?

Here they are…

Solve painful problems.
Solve it in a way the customer wants it solved.
Do this wrong and you’ll move sideways in frustration under the false belief that you’ve got something awesome and that any day now customers will realize it.

Nail this and you’ll have millions of people signing up for your software every month (FYI: Dropbox generated 4M referred signups in 15 months!)

Great SaaS companies solve really painful problems.

ONE:

So your solution needs to be a Painkiller!

Problems like:

Team collaboration/communication missteps
Marketing program inefficiency
Losing sales
Managing infrastructure
Financial risk
The opposite of that kind of solution is a Vitamin. Something that may make you better but doesn’t address an immediate pain.

Like taking a vitamin… it’s preventative.

Things like:

Individual productivity
Marketing presentations
Business reporting
Employee morale
Improving documentation
These are all great things to have in your business but they don’t stand out as solving an immediate painful problem.

Never forget that: People buy what they desire, businesses buy what they NEED.

For someone to buy from you, two of the following things need to be true:

The customer has to have a budget to solve it.
The customer has it as a goal to solve.
Their career depends on solving that problem.
The good news is that many times, the issue is not the product, it’s the positioning.

If you look at both lists above (Painkiller vs. Vitamin) you may notice that all I did was take the same list but reframed them…

… I’m talking about the same issues but with a different “lens”, or positioning.

If you’re having trouble selling your solution, it’s probably because you solve a painful problem for the customers but they can’t connect the dots based on how you explain it.

So, to fix the Product Positioning method by filling in the blanks:

Who is your primary customer?
What 2 problems do you solve?
What 3 ways do you do this?
Then use this format:

We help [type of customer] with [problem 1] and [problem 2] by [solution 1], [solution 2] and [solution 3]

This will do a few things:

It’ll get you crystal clear as to what problem you solve – that your customer cares about.
It’ll force you to differentiate why your solution is different from other solutions in the market.
It’ll keep things short and to the point.
Most entrepreneurs are horrible at explaining what they do, who they do it for, and what problem they solve.

This process will get you there.

TWO:

The second problem you need to fix is building your solution in a way the customer wants it solved.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been pitched a product and thought…

… who in the world wants to solve that problem that way?

I’m talking crazy things like requiring a company to:

Give a solution access to all their corporate emails
Migrate their current solutions to a new platform
Force them to complete several form fields to get something created
The better way is to work backwards from the customer’s pain, and solve it in an elegant way that…

Doesn’t require any setup work
Works with their existing products / solutions
Doesn’t change the way they work
Because if you don’t, that just adds friction and could slow down adoption.

What you want to do instead is ask them the IPO Question…

The question is simple:

“If you could wave a magic wand and have this problem solved by a software solution, how would you want it to work?”

Then sit back and listen…

Ask that question to 10 of your potential customers all with the same problem, and look for the 80% that’s shared amongst their answers.

That’s how you should solve their problem!

Now, that doesn’t mean you can just build that and win.

Nope, you’re not off the hook… you’ll still need to take into consideration other factors like:

Technology landscape
Competitive solutions
Business goals
But their answers will at least align your product to solve the problem in an elegant way that won’t add issues to your sales process which we cover in my next email.

So until then, be sure to complete the following:

Write out your positioning statement
Email your customers and ask them the IPO Question
Dan “more painful, more money” Martell

Republishing – check outlets doing republishing

This approach helped Sarah to get over 1,000 new subscribers in 60 hours with $0 spent

You’ve created an awesome article, it gained a bunch of shares and a good position on Google.
You invested a week to create it and 2 weeks to promote it.

Now the only way to grow more is to invest 3 more weeks into another epic article.
Right?

Wrong.

Sarah Peterson used a different approach, invested one day, and got over 1,000 new subscribers in 60 hours. All while spending $0.

The approach is called republishing.
Here’s how you can apply it:

1. Find media that accepts republishing.
Here’s a simple hack on how to do this fast:
Just Google:
YOUR_TOPIC “this article was originally published”

2. Send an email similar to this:
Subject: [Something eye-catching and not generic]
Body:
Hi [Editor name],

[Personal connection point]

I recently wrote an article about [topic] which my audience has enjoyed. I think [publication name’s] audience would love the article as well, because [why?].

I’ve included the article in the body of this email below, and if you’d rather check the original article out here is the link:

[link].

If you enjoy the article and think it would be a good fit, I would love to have it republished on [publication name].

Let me know what you think.

[Your name]

3. When your article gets accepted, ask to place a canonical tag to your original article (it helps Google to understand where the original article is):
<link rel=”canonical” href=”YOUR_URL_HERE”>

Source: sumo.com
Created by Aladdin Happy. Copy edited by: Eric Sundal (he is a great growth hacker)

lol now this is a growth hack – the Princess

// taken from a guide on Guides.co

‘Cause A Problem’ To Reach Out To Customers
The Hack – Cause a Problem Intentionally to Reach Out to Users

AARRR stage – Retention

Growth Problem – How to Get Users to Contact Customer Support

Haxplanation:

You’re intently staring at your screen, trying to get something important – no – crucial done. That one big task, which will tip the balance of your day’s productivity on the ‘getting shit done’ scale. And then your SaaS app crashes. OMG! WTF! NOOOO!!!

But then… As if by magic, you see an email pop up in your inbox from the Customer Success team of this already-foresaken app developer (which is now on your ‘to unsubscribe as soon as I find a suitable alternative’ list). In a very excited, slightly self-indulgent tone, the mail points out that their system has picked up on a problem with your app instance but the issue has already been fixed by their developers.

They also offer you a 30% discount on their annual subscription as an apology. “WOW! That’s some pretty outstanding customer support” you think and straight-away reply thanking them for saving your day. You then promptly take the app off your ‘to unsubscribe as soon as I find a suitable alternative list’ and purchase their annual plan. In short, you are now a BELIEVER.

But guess what? You just got Growth Punk’d! (now THAT would be a cool show)

Just Hack It:

Wha?! Let me repeat that. Growth. Punk’d.
“But, why? They seemed so nice!”
Uh-huh, that’s what they all say. Anyway, you have just experienced a very clever hack from the ‘customer success as marketing’ playbook
If you think about it, it’s Psychology 101: save the princess, be the hero. And that’s exactly what you are now. A princess…
Now that you know, don’t be so gullible next time. Look after yourself in that gangster’s paradise a.k.a. the SaaS startup world
And definitely have a think about whether you can ethically replicate this hack for your own users
Just be careful how you do it – the last thing you want is to lose any customers this way. Not everyone is as gullible, princess…
Source or Inspiration:

SaaS Marketing: 21 Growth Hacks to Test Today

7 Steps to the Success of Mint and the 170 M Acquisition

[Study] How a solo founder managed to make $170 million in 3 years…

You probably know Mint, founded by Aaron Patzer in 2006.
Usually, startups are founded by a team. This guy founded it alone.

In 3 years, the company was acquired for $170 million.

Here‘s the path Aaron followed to achieve this result:

#1. Starting from 2006, Aaron focused on high-quality blogging.
Delivered finance tips, link roundups, videos and infographics.

#2. At the end of every blog post, he had a beta list email opt-in.

#3. Mint‘s articles went viral on Reddit and Digg.

#4. In 9 months, they built a list of over 20k emails before even launching their app.

#5. Asked their users to embed a badge saying “I want Mint” on their blogs and social media page in exchange for VIP access.
Result: got links on 600+ blogs while the users competed for access.

#6. Participated in startup events. Result: won TechCrunch40.

#7. Hired PR agency that secured Aaron about 550 interviews in a couple of years. For 1 week every two months, Aaron did a press tour.

Unpowered Exoskeleton – invention I contributed to

An unpowered exoskeleton makes walking more efficient, by engaging a spring in parallel with the Achilles tendon. – finally someone used the notes they made during the Intel ISEF 2006. This was what Vidrighin, Macicasan Tudor and I went to the finals with.

We didn’t win the competition, but I am quite happy someone made use of this great idea! It’s almost the same design and it’s 100% the same principle that we employed for creating our own prototype back then.

A lot of people took notes from our research and presentation. I always wondered why none of them did anything. Until today:

http://www.nature.com/news/exoskeleton-boots-improve-on-evolution-1.17237

Hey, Today.

Good morning today,
My yesterday’s self is still in dismay
The sun it turned all up and down
In this endless quest each day I drown
For times they are always a-changing
Rolling their dice while destiny’s clinging
To the soul of today’s sorrow,
Trying to influence your taste of tomorrow