B2B sales · B2b marketing

What is the best strategy to do pre-sales of the B2B SaaS?

Alex Step Entrepreneur and founder, AI and ML adept

June 12th, 2019

We are seeking the most efficient way of reaching our target audience.

For now we are on presale stage and cannot invest a lot into marketing as our product is not released yet.

We are developing AI-tool which is targeted to a very wide range of companies. Can anyone recommend a time/cost efficient way of reaching Enterprise decision-makers?

Thank you.

Robin Belle Financing and Accelerating the UN Sustainable Development Goals with Blockchain

June 13th, 2019

The quickest way to real traction for your pre-release stage, in my view, would be to

a) identify the low hanging fruit in terms of "company user persona", that type of company in a specific one or two sectors that are really hurting/losing because they don't have your new solution

b) prepare a lite paper as to why your solution is especially potent for this user persona

c) craft what I call an "Xtraordinary Value Proposition" for your first 10-20 pre-release clients, that won't be available to post-release clients

d) establish relationships with half a dozen B2B independent (commission-only) sales professionals, who already have solid relationships with the enterprise decision-makers of the specific companies matching your "sweet spot" company persona and pay them a very generous commission for getting you pre-sales. I don't know your price point but I'd recommend you pay those ISPs 100% commission on their very first sale for you... and as close to that as possible on the next two sales. Why? Because those first few client acquisitions will be far more valuable to your startup than any of the cash those clients will pay, especially if they are F1000 companies.

The reason you don't want to start with a broad company type focus, is because once you sell one company in a given sector, it's easier to sell the next company in that same sector leveraging the use case of the first company in that sector, so pick a potent sector and pick ISPs in different markets so that you're not trying to sell to companies in one area that are direct and immediate competitors.

No disrespect to Jean Paul here, but IMHO, while content marketing has clear value, its value is most beneficial once you have those initial 10-20 solid early clients under your belt and you are sure you're ready to scale things with an actual "released" product.

If you don't know how to find the right (optimally qualified) independent sales professionals quickly, without spending a fortune on job board listings and "hoping" (ie. gambling) for quality responses in a short timeframe, just get in touch with me and I will help you with that. The high-performance sales professionals you need are busy engaging your prospective clients with other products in their portfolio; they're not trolling job sites looking at listings. So you need to know how to find them quickly and you need to reach out to them with an offer that justifies them taking their focus off their existing products long enough to give serious consideration to what you're offering.

Don't try to convince them to drop their current products and focus solely or primarily on yours... those existing products put food on their families' tables and are proven... your product at this stage merely represents "potential" significant earnings, so pitch it as a strong "compliment" to what they're already selling.

Hope that helps.

David Insro Founder & CEO, Serial Entrepreneur

June 20th, 2019

It depends on whether you pre or post product market fit. I'm guessing you are pre. Your main tasks should be to talk to many users to see what is the value in your product. Talking to decision makers at this time would be a waste of time unless their users (who are their employees) can articulate the value of your product to the decision makers. Doing marketing or engaging with sales when you are pre pmf is a waste of time and money and is the fastest way to kill your startup.

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business advisor

June 21st, 2019

You're in the same boat as everyone else trying to promote their product. You can only have two of three things: speed, quality, or price. If you want fast and cheap as you said, you are guaranteed to sacrifice quality. It's really that simple.

The PRIMARY part of product development is marketing strategy. If you are developing your product and you haven't already figured out your strategy, you're on the wrong track, should put a hard stop on development, and entirely focus on your product/market fit that will define your strategy before you put another dime into the software development.

You are in a very narrow market, and enterprise decision-makers do NOT want to hear from you. That means you're going to have to have such a supremely good fit for what benefits they're looking to derive, that they'll seek you out, not you seek them out.

So in part Jean Paul is correct, content marketing will be your long-tail sales strategy, but Robin is also partly right in that you need to know your market much better before you go any further with development. Unfortunately you will not find commission-only salespeople that Robin thinks exist, not without giving them at least 50% commission. So, get your strategy in place and solid now with what money you have on-hand, and you'll be less worried about the cost to complete development.

Jean Paul Passionate about solving SaaS problems.

June 12th, 2019

Yes, the most effective way is to focus on the core problems your tool solves. In other words, you can get their attention by publishing material that lets them know how you'll deal with these issues. In fact, if you do this right you will get quite a few pre-orders.