Imagine you just graduated from Y Combinator startup school and want to validate your business idea. You have zero sales experience and are wondering where to find your first users. Even worse, you don’t know how to engage with users. What will you do? The marketplace is replete with apps offering “qualified leads”. However, in most cases, 30%+ are reported to bounce. Even after using other, more credible platforms, offering ludicrous subscriptions to automate unremarkable email engagements, there are no leads to survey.
To accomplish this feat, it is important to understand the following 3 key ideas:
In the next 2 minutes, I’ll share quick and easy tips on how ClosedWon validated assumptions by combining market validation, user research, and sales techniques and PandaDoc.
What is ClosedWon?
ClosedWon auto-pilots lead generation, email outreach & social engagements in under 60 seconds.
What is PandaDoc?
PandaDoc is a sales document workflow software with built-in electronic signatures, workflow management, a document builder, and CPQ functionality.
If ClosedWon brings in the sales meetings, PandaDoc closes the deals. Hopefully, you too could apply & practice our assertive ClosedWon framework. Often preached yet never taught.
Identify a problem you are personally experiencing. If you are not experiencing the issue first hand, there is no reason for trying to build the idea. Odds are already against you. Also, notice the singularity of the problem. The more focused a pain point is, the easier it is to collect data when it comes to market research.
Now that you have identified your pain point, ask yourself this question, “Are there a million others out there experiencing my pain?” If your answer is “Yes,” then you have a total addressable market (TAM) of a million users who are experiencing the same pain point.
First, I signed up to PandaDoc.com as a tool to streamline the agreement as well as collect payment.
Then, I created a new template with the following sections:
Second, I reached out to 100 potential users with a professional background similar to mine: an entrepreneur, a technologist with a sales background.
I asked users who fall within this buying persona the following questions:
Below are the questions we used to survey potential users, along with the top 3 answers collected. I still use them today.
Third, we used those answers to create our content for the PandaDoc proposal. See if you can spot the mirroring technique.
*Did you know that users at Twitter started the concept of #hashtags?”
If you don’t know where to find leads, no need to worry! We will find verified leads for you. We apply quality assurance and will manually do the work for you.
If you don’t know what to say or don’t know what to ask, we will help you with that too.
Never waste your time again because what matters the most are sales calls that get you to hit your quota.
If you don’t have sales experience, we have got you covered there as well. We will show you how to record and manage potential users, give you answers to the most pressing sales enablement questions, and even connect you to our network of top tech sales professionals.
Start connecting with the right leads today.
Four, include your idea in The process section of the document. For most development shops, they call this the Proof of Concept (POC). This is an excellent opportunity to add your great idea on how to solve the problem you seek to verify. Reposition the potential solution as a proof of concept. After all, when entrepreneurs request dev shops to build their idea – isn’t it the same thing?
Supposedly you would add a sketch drawing, an explainer video, a flow chart, a prototype, a Canva design showcasing your potential startup. We didn’t do any of these. Instead, we used an excel sheet as a POC. to explain our ultimate vision.
Five, The timeline is a tool that works impeccably well when determining the team and the execution of the product you are going to build. Urgency is your friend when speaking to potential users. Include expiration dates to help create the illusion of gravity.
A timeline will also motivate you and your co-founders to move faster on shipping something.
Six, test 1 price assumption at a time and collect payment. You are probably thinking, “I can’t do that! Charge for an idea without a completed product?” If you want to validate your idea, a paying user is the best validation. The best entrepreneurs figure this out from the get-go.
Here’s how we determined our pricing model.
Now let’s put this into context: To solve prospecting, qualifying, and booking meetings, what was the most I’d pay? It was $3300. I was willing to hire an SDR to do all three things for me.
Then, I tested my assumption.
In PandaDoc’s pricing table, I created ‘monthly subscription’ as an option. Too many choices confuse when it’s time to make the decision. Our intention was to get to a firm “yes” or “no” and not dilly dally. This eliminates the case of ‘choice overload’ and prompts us to think logically in order to begin negotiations.
Finally, we integrated PandaDoc with stripe to collect payment. Here is a short video on how to use PandaDoc’s Stripe payment integration.
Streamlining this process will allow you to say, “Great, once the contract is signed and the payment is processed, we will send the welcome packet to get you started.” The goal now is to get the buyer to think about getting started instead of placing their credit card within Stripe.
Notice the progress in paradigm with each stage of the sales process?
Nothing keeps us more humbled and grounded than learning from the numbers. We use PandaDoc’s KPI board as an indicator to increase or slow down our client onboarding pace.
There are operational limitations to growing when servicing clients at an idea stage. The number 1 metrics we track is revenue. We know that we have to grow at 20% month over month in revenue before thinking about scaling or fundraising. The 2nd metric we need to track after launch is product retention.
Our assumption in 2018 was “We believe B2B companies will pay $3195/mo for 1000 qualified leads delivered in a 30-day timeline if it was converted to a sales meeting by sending a drip campaign that integrated email, voice, text, and Linkedin.”
Testing our assumption meant we had to send out proposals to learn whether companies will pay for a platform like ClosedWon.
We realized the lack of a platform that generates leads and schedules meetings. We understood that agencies would provide these services, however, we couldn’t find software to solve the problem effectively. We learned that finding qualified leads and converting them into qualified sales meeting is a 2019 priority for enterprise executives, B2B entrepreneurs, and early-stage founders and will continue to be at the top of the priority going forward.
If we built an MVP without experimentation, weeks, even months would fly prototyping, designing and debating on a core product that has zero data to back it.
It would have taken 2x longer for us to learn what we uncovered:
We improved and iterated on the ClosedWon framework for 12 months to generate over $100K in revenue with zero funding. Today, we are fortunate to have reinvested 100% of the revenue to productize and launch ClosedWon 2.0. And for that, we are deeply grateful to our alpha users.
By exercising 6 actionable sales techniques, we were able to drill down in learning what clients are willing to pay for. If you want to drastically increase your odds of success, let’s connect here.
Please join us while we host a debate around the evolving role of Sales Development Representatives. We believe that SDRs will evolve into Smarketers (Smart Marketers).