There is a common misconception that B2B founders hate selling.
IMHO the reality is that early-stage entrepreneurs enjoy the conversational element of the sales process as it gives them the chance to understand if a prospective customer buys into their vision, has a need for it, and whether they would be willing to pay for it.
However, it's fair to say there are parts of the sales process many dislike with a passion:
The complete inefficiency of the sales prospecting ecosystem for B2B startups
Most B2B business owners struggle to digest miserable email click-through rates or equally as poor cold calling success. When their noses are pressed firmly to the product grindstone, the idea of ‘wasting’ hours emailing, calling or sending Linked In DM’s for little to no reward is not attractive.
Even when they have been able to spin up conversations with prospects that result in a quote being sent over, they then have a visceral reaction to being ‘ghosted’. They have become too emotionally involved in the sales process and view it as a massive personal slight if a prospect chooses not to proceed and blanks them.
Not having the budget to do what they really want to do
They’ve read all the books on brand strategy and have bought into the concept of mass media to drive inbound leads, but quickly realise they simply don’t have the budget to do any of that. Indeed, as product development becomes all-consuming, the reality of short-term bottom-of-funnel performance tactics (paid social, PPC & outbound sales) slowly sinks in...
Is it any wonder that founders seek to bury their heads in the sand and hire a heavily commissioned sales resource as soon as practical?
Well, the good news for early-stage founders is that the explosion in sales and marketing technologies is opening up ever more accessible avenues to create highly targeted & impactful Go-To-Market campaigns that can be spun up in a matter of weeks.
The right tech can,
- Remove much of the inefficiencies of the prospecting ecosystem,
- Score potential customers in a way that founders can understand how much buying intent they really have, and
- Amplify their message in the most optimised and efficient manner.
However, before founders get caught up in a potential technology spaghetti they have to remember the golden rule – the tech always comes second.
Tech Is great — but it’s never a replacement for talking to your prospective customers to understand how your product makes their lives better.