You need a strong Product Marketing, BizDev and Sales org to drive demand. You need to have them coordinate and be lead (via influence) by Product (not the other way around).
Filtering by Category: Sales
The goal is not to win the “best technology” award. The goal is to win the “best business” award.
More often than not, a more effective sales and marketing operation with a simpler/easier to use product will beat the most comprehensive/powerful technology.
If you’re struggling to build your business around technology that most people don’t understand or can’t digest then consider going back to a blank piece of paper and building something very simple that is easy to understand and adopt. Even if that thing is not necessarily new or novel. Then expand from there.
Let’s call this the “gateway drug strategy”
When thinking of sales/go-to-market for your software, it’s very easy to believe that it’s cheaper/faster/more scalable to partner with others to sell your stuff.
This is almost never the case. Channel sales (selling through others) can be a useful booster once you have your core sales engine running, but initially you typically need to do the hard work of finding your own customers and telling your own story.
No one else will be as effective, articulate or motivated to do it as you and your direct team. There’s no other way to get the learnings you need. There’s no better way to build direct connections and brand awareness in the market. There’s no better way to fast track your sales and control your own destiny.
Figure out who your end customer is and “call” them
Don't hire until you're absolutely ready to hire. Building a team to run an imaginary business just burns time and money.
You know you need someone to join your team when...
1. You, or someone on your team, is underwater and the tasks hitting the floor are holding the business back.
2. You don't have anyone on the team who is good enough to complete an essential and immediate task at the level of quality/effectiveness needed.
For example, don't hire a sales person unless you have a product to sell - and you've personally figured out how to sell it with the first few sales. Don't hire a growth marketer until you have a self-serve product ready to onboard and retain users. Don't hire a community manager until you have a product worth building a community around.
Noticing a trend? Build a PRODUCT that people want to use and is ready to scale before scaling your team.
If no one is buying your product, it doesn't matter how smart/sophisticated it is. You must solve the top of the funnel first. You MUST figure out how to make something simple to understand and use that people will self-adopt.
Pricing strategy is a very interesting game of psychology, unit economics and gamification.
In two sided marketplaces it gets even more interesting. There are so many counter-intuitive ways to get creative to drive the kind of demand and supply side behavior you want.
In the early days of a b2c startup, doing bizdev activity for b2b2c distribution can feel so fun and gratifying.
It can feel like high-momentum, effective work that allows you to lock down glossy brands and partnerships who might get you big batches of users through the door. It also feels great to announce them to friends, family, media etc.
Often times, though, the reality is much, much different. Why? Because...
They often move very, very slowly.
They demand new features and behaviors that are tangential or orthogonal to your core product and business strategy.
They change their mind mid-stream
If you eventually get to ship the partnership/co-marketing program the results/conversion are often much, much smaller than you expect
If the results are marginal (which they almost always are at the beginning), your partner will often give up quickly and not put in the effort to optimise
For all these reasons, and many more, bizdev partnerships for a b2c app is really something to push off for later as a long-term bet and moat.
Instead, there's an axiom that says "Sell your own product'
Often times this feels like a harder, more data driven grind. However if you crack it (and you need to crack it!), it's high-scale, repeatable and has a huge, huge upside. It also forces you to really polish your product so that the user acquisition and retention really works.
When working on product marketing (how you will brand and merchandise your products on marketing materials like your website) you want to be sure to avoid “shipping the org” (i.e. describing things based on the way they were built by internal teams) or doing things for the sake of appearances (e.g. trying to show more products than you have).
You’re number one priority should be to think through the problems and use cases your customers have and describe your product in those terms as clearly and simply as possible.
Show me the money!
Devs (especially top 50 apps from FB to Eventbrite) care about new users, re-engagement and money.
Unless your platform is solving fundamental technical challenge like SMS, Voice/Video etc (i.e. you're offering "nice to have" features) you need to demonstrate - in as concrete terms as possible - how you are going to drive new users, more sessions or more money for the developer.