An easier way to transition into the world of B2B sales is to start with pre-sales interviews with customers who fit your ideal customer profile. Luckily (if you did the last step) you now have a list to start with.
How you do it
It’s important to know who you are selling to. We’ve built the ICP, but sometimes you’ll want to put a little more into knowing about the individual at the company you are targeting. Sometimes called persona development, in b2b sales you’re going to meet customers and figure out the motion of what they need/want. If you don’t do this intentionally, you’re left looking for patterns from live sales calls, where people typically are more reserved about telling you how they buy, if they have power, if they have rank, etc. These interviews are different from just user interviews. In this interview, you are asking about how they buy stuff. Particularly how much value they place on your stuff and how they have bought similar stuff. Find out what price they paid for similar tools and if your tool would be interesting.
During these meetings, it’s cool to ask for intros to other companies and prospects who might be helpful for you to learn from. But make sure you are clear that you only want introductions to companies and people within your ICP. However, one thing that people sometimes screw up in this process is to do two2 meetings and get busy with other things and think they have found a pattern that is actually not a pattern but just happened twice. You need to meet a good handful of folks for this exercise, you need to talk to people across your ICP so you can see if this is a pattern.
Common Mistakes Founders Make
It can be very tempting to turn every one of these customer development meetings into sales pitches. Don’t do this. Don’t even think about doing this. You’re here to learn and if there is interest, then you circle back with a separate sales meeting.
Customer Development, Customer Feedback, Client Advisory Boards, Pre-Sales Research
One of the best potential bi-products of this process is connecting with potential customers who can give you good feedback on your product and your sales process. Bringing these folks together would create a customer advisory board. Have a look at Peter Kazanji’s approach to this here