Secure B2B customers for your startup with these 3 steps
You had a brilliant idea; you secured seed funding and created your startup. After a period of development, you have produced a minimal viable product that is ready for B2B customers to give feedback, which is exactly what you need. Customer feedback will enhance and focus your product development.
So, how do you find them? In my experience, there are 3 steps you need to go through to find the right customers for your early-stage startup.
Step 1: Who do they work for?
As much as you might think it, it is unlikely that your product will work for every company. The 1st step to finding the right users is to identify what companies they work for? What companies will benefit the most by using your product? Keep narrowing the list down until you have a few key businesses you can target.
Be cautious however, don’t assume you have the right companies the first time. Always question your assumptions and be prepared to reconsider companies you had previously ruled out.
Step 2: Who are the end-users?
The 2nd step is to identify who you need to target within the companies. This involves identifying both who the end-users are as well as who the decision-makers are. You need to reach out to both and seek to build a relationship with them. Targeting the end users can create internal advocates for the value your product provides.
Step 3: Reach Out.
Finally, you need to contact them. Reach out with a warm introduction if possible or contact them via direct email with a cold email. At this early stage, you want to ask them to become an advisor to your company and if appropriate try out your product. It is all about getting them engaged and interested in what you have to offer. Change up your email text if your response rate isn’t where you need it and avoid reaching out through social media channels.
TAKEAWAY: For your startup to be successful sooner you need to get your product or idea in front of customers as soon as possible. The sooner the customers get your product, the sooner they can give you feedback that you can include in your development cycle.