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How to Sell to Startups

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Startups are a huge opportunity for B2B sales teams, but how can you make sure you're successfully prioritizing and nurturing these leads?

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How to Sell to Startups

  1. #startupsales CBINSIGHTS How to Sell to Startups
  2. #startupsales About Your Hosts 2 Welcome to “How to Sell to Startups,” a webinar hosted by two of Inc Magazine’s fastest growing private companies. www.cbinsights.com/sales Twitter - @cbinsights CB Insights is a National Science Foundation backed software- as-a-service company that uses data science, machine learning and predictive to help B2B sales teams automate how they find their next customer. Anand Sanwal Prior to founding CB Insights in 2009, Anand managed the $50 million Chairman's Innovation Fund at American Express and also worked in their corporate venture and M&A units. Before American Express, he worked overseas in India, China and London for a # of startup companies. He is the author of a book "Optimizing Resource Allocation" and has degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and in finance and accounting from the Wharton School of Business. Janelle Johnson At Act-On Janelle is responsible for everything from email marketing, webinars and content creation to lead generation and nurturing. She is a key player in the development of all processes for lead and pipeline cultivation and maturation, and driving tight alignment between the sales and marketing teams. Janelle has been named to SLMA’s “20 Women to Watch” list as well as the “50 Most Influential People in Sales Lead Management.”
  3. #startupsales JOIN THE CONVERSATION ON TWITTER 3 Share your favorite insights & data points on Twitter @cbinsights #startupsales
  4. #startupsales AGENDA 4 # SECTION 5 Why sell to startups? 17 Our assumptions & the funnel 20 How to identify the right startups 40 Lead nurturing 58 93.9% of your first emails stink
  5. #startupsales Why sell to startups 5
  6. #startupsales GET IN EARLY ON TOMORROW’S GIANT CORPORATIONS 6 ✔️ Faster sales cycles ✔️ Flatter structure means its easier to get to the decision maker(s) ✔️ Get their early, grow alongside your clients ✔️ Less competition with established processes or embedded solutions
  7. #startupsales In Q3 2015 VC-backed companies raised $37.6B across 1799 deals
  8. #startupsales $98.4B DEPLOYED ACROSS 5,640 DEALS TO VC-BACKED COMPANIES IN FIRST THREE QUARTERS OF 2015 8 Funding to VC-backed companies in the first three quarters of 2015 has already topped 2014’s year-end tally by 11%. The first nine quarters of 2015 have seen nearly double the amount of funding to VC-backed companies as 2013. However, deals are on pace to fall below 2014’s total at the current run rate. Annual Global Financing Trends to VC-Backed Companies 2011 – 2015 YTD (Q3’15) Source: Venture Pulse, Q3'15, Global Analysis of Venture Funding, KPMG International and CB Insights (data provided by CB Insights) October 14, 2015 https://www.cbinsights.com/research-q3-2015-venture-capital-report
  9. #startupsales 9
  10. #startupsales NORTH AMERICA: $59.1B ACROSS 3521 DEALS IN FIRST THREE QUARTERS OF 2015 10 In North America, the first 3 quarters of 2015 saw more funding than the entirety of 2014. Funding in North America is on pace to top 2014’s high by 35%, however deal activity is set to fall below 2014’s total at the current run-rate. North American Annual Financing Trends to VC-Backed Companies 2011 – 2015 YTD (Q3’15) Source: Venture Pulse, Q3'15, Global Analysis of Venture Funding, KPMG International and CB Insights (data provided by CB Insights) October 14, 2015 https://www.cbinsights.com/research-q3-2015-venture-capital-report
  11. #startupsales MEDIAN EARLY-STAGE DEAL SIZE MATCHES FIVE-QUARTER HIGH IN Q3’15 11 Median early-stage (Seed-Series A) deal size among all VC-backed companies was $2.5M in Q3’15, the same amount as the previous quarter, matching the five-quarter high. The climate remains competitive for micro VCs, multi-stage funds, and strategic investors looking at early-stage deals. Global Early-Stage Deal Size Q3’14 – Q3’15 Source: Venture Pulse, Q3'15, Global Analysis of Venture Funding, KPMG International and CB Insights (data provided by CB Insights) October 14, 2015 https://www.cbinsights.com/research-q3-2015-venture-capital-report
  12. #startupsales GLOBAL MEDIAN LATE-STAGE DEAL SIZE RISES TO NEW HEIGHTS 12 Behind more than 60 $100M+ financing deals, global late-stage median deal size in Q3’15 hit $35M. That was enough to propel the median late-stage deal size up 75% from the same quarter last year. Global Late-Stage Deal Size Q3’14 – Q3’15 Source: Venture Pulse, Q3'15, Global Analysis of Venture Funding, KPMG International and CB Insights (data provided by CB Insights) October 14, 2015 https://www.cbinsights.com/research-q3-2015-venture-capital-report
  13. #startupsales THE RISE OF THE “PRIVATE IPO”: 170+ $100M+ ROUNDS TO VC- BACKED COMPANIES IN 2015 13 Thus far in 2015 there have been over 170 $100M+ equity financings to VC-backed companies. Q3’15 saw a combined 68 financings, with Asia seeing over 20 $100M+ rounds for the second consecutive quarter. Overall the mega-rounds in Q3’15 raised over $19B cumulatively. $100M+ Financings to VC-Backed Companies North America vs. Asia vs. Europe, Q3’14 – Q3’15 Source: Venture Pulse, Q3'15, Global Analysis of Venture Funding, KPMG International and CB Insights (data provided by CB Insights) October 14, 2015 https://www.cbinsights.com/research-q3-2015-venture-capital-report
  14. #startupsales MORE THAN 45 VC-BACKED UNICORNS HAVE BEEN ADDED IN THE LAST TWO QUARTERS 14 The unicorn growth continues, with Q3'15 adding 23 unicorns, the same number as the previous quarter and nearly double the number added in the first quarter of this year. 46 new unicorns have been added in the last 2 quarters, which is more than the entirety of 2014 (which saw 38 in total). VC-Backed Companies Entering The Unicorn Club Q3’14 – Q3’15 Source: Venture Pulse, Q3'15, Global Analysis of Venture Funding, KPMG International and CB Insights (data provided by CB Insights) October 14, 2015 https://www.cbinsights.com/research-q3-2015-venture-capital-report
  15. #startupsales THE 12 LARGEST ROUNDS OF Q3’15 TOTALED OVER $5.7B, MORE THAN 28% OF FUNDING IN NORTH AMERICA 41 Avidxchange Automated invoice processing Growth equity $200M $225M $300M $325M $275M $300M Fanatics Online retailer of sports merchandise Series D Avant Online lending Series E Vox Media Online media publisher Corporate Minority DraftKings Daily fantasy sports platform Private equity GitHub Online codebase management tools Series B Palantir Technologies Big data analytics software and services Series I-II Social Finance Marketplace lender for student loans Series E Series F Stemcentrx Developing cancer therapies and diagnostics Venture capital Private equity FanDuel Daily fantasy sports platform Series E Uber Mobile car-hailing and logistics app $250M $450M $1B $1.2B Source: Venture Pulse, Q3'15, Global Analysis of Venture Funding, KPMG International and CB Insights (data provided by CB Insights) October 14, 2015 https://www.cbinsights.com/research-q3-2015-venture-capital-report
  16. #startupsales 16
  17. #startupsales Prospecting, Nurturing, Closing OPTIMIZING THE FUNNEL 17 Less data janitor work. Better relationships. More sales.
  18. #startupsales ASSUMPTIONS 18 ✔️ You work in sales / biz dev / marketing / sales operations ✔️ Your product / service is at least $10k per annum (high value) ✔️ Not a transactional sale but a consultative one ✔️ You use email in outreach efforts ✔️ You are willing to do some work to make yourself more successful ✔️ Your underlying product / service is good / great
  19. #startupsales THE SALES FUNNEL 19 Prioritize • Company life- events • Interaction with your team and Content • Basically who is moving from MQL to SQL Target • Find the right companies • Identify the decision makers • Initial Contact Nurture • Deliver value • Stay top-of-mind
  20. #startupsales Finding startups PROSPECTING You are all wasting time pitching the same startups. And doing it too late. STOP IT! 20
  21. #startupsales CASE STUDY: CB INSIGHTS RAISED FINANCING… 21 In August 2015, we raised a round of financing which got some press coverage.
  22. #startupsales 22
  23. #startupsales …AND THE EMAILS STARTED POURING IN (147 IN 2 WEEKS) 23 The challenge for you in business development / sales is that everyone reads the same sources. They are all great sources of information but they provide no informational advantage.
  24. #startupsales EVEN WORSE, 93.9% OF THOSE EMAILS SUCKED (WE WILL COME BACK TO THIS) 24 Source: https://www.cbinsights.com/blog/cold-sales-emails/
  25. #startupsales SALES PEOPLE WASTE INORDINATE AMOUNTS OF TIME PROSPECTING 25 Source: https://www.cbinsights.com/blog/cold-sales-emails/ Source: 101 B2B Marketing and Sales Tip from The B2B Lead 50% of sales time is wasted on unproductive prospecting
  26. #startupsales GOAL: FIND MORE PROSPECTS (EARLIER & QUICKER) AND GET MORE TO CLOSE 26 Scenario Base 1 2 3 Prospects 1000 1500 1000 1500 % agreeing to initial conversation 2% 2% 3% 3% Initial conversations 20 30 3 45 % getting to proposal 20% 20% 20% 20% # of proposals 4 6 6 9 % becoming customers 50% 50% 50% 50% # of new customers 2 3 3 4.5 Revenue per customer $10k Revenue $20k $30k $30k $45k Could you identify 50% more leads every month? Hard with the manual efforts used today. By researching prospects and sending better emails, could you move this from 2% to 3%? Sounds reasonable, eh? Can you do both? Yes. +125% revenue Via smarter prospecting, outreach & nurturing
  27. #startupsales YOUR AUTOMATION APPETITE (FOR FINDING NEW LEADS) 27Illustration by Henrik Kniberg If you’re reading tech blogs, biz journals and newsletters to identify prospects, this is you. Costs Time – very high (data janitor work level is ↑) $ - low Quality of conversation: low Using marketing automation and B2B sales intelligence tools to automate process Costs Time – low (data janitor work level is ↓) $ - higher Quality of conversation: high Use some hacks & free online tools Costs Time –high (data janitor work level is ↑) $ - low Quality of conversation: medium
  28. #startupsales FIND MORE PROSPECTS WHO ARE A BETTER FIT MORE EASILY 28 ✔️ Depending on industries / geos you target, 30-50% of companies raising money are not in the mainstream press ✔️ Find companies similar to those you’ve already closed (or that your competitors have closed) ✔️ Identify companies with traction before they raise that next round
  29. #startupsales 29
  30. #startupsales FINDING SIMILAR PROSPECTS USING MANUAL TOOLS 30 ✔️ Google hack to find similar cos related:[company url] ✔️ LinkedIn “People also viewed” (from Braintree profile)
  31. #startupsales AUTOMATING HOW YOU FIND UNDER-THE-RADAR COMPANIES 31 ✔️ Punch in parameters for your ideal target company including geography, industry, funding… ✔️ Leverage algorithms to automatically surface new targets based on who you’ve sold to in the past
  32. #startupsales TOOLS TO IDENTIFY STARTUPS WITH MOMENTUM 32Illustration by Henrik Kniberg ✔️ Web traffic – Alexa, Quantcast, Compete, SimilarWeb ✔️ Hiring activity – SimplyHired, Monster, Glassdoor, Indeed ✔️ Social media chatter – Twitter search (no great tools for Facebook) ✔️ News volume – Google News
  33. #startupsales AUTOMATING THE IDENTIFICATION OF STARTUPS WITH MOMENTUM (AND ID’ING THE BEST FITS FOR YOUR BIZ) 33Illustration by Henrik Kniberg Get in front of the best startups early Understand signals of growth • Hiring activity • Web traffic • Media chatter • Social media volume • Sentiment • Industry health • Investor quality • Tech/software stack
  34. #startupsales YOU GOT YOUR PROSPECT LIST UNLEASH THE EMAIL BOMBS NO!!!!!!!!!! DON’T JUST OPTIMIZE FOR VOLUME. 34
  35. #startupsales LET’S REVISIT THIS - 93.9% OF COLD EMAILS SUCK 35 Source: https://www.cbinsights.com/blog/cold-sales-emails/
  36. #startupsales 36
  37. #startupsales LET’S REVISIT THIS - 93.9% OF COLD EMAILS SUCK 37 Source: https://www.cbinsights.com/blog/cold-sales-emails/ ✔️ Subject lines were terrible. Getting prospect to open is first battle ✔️ No clear WIIFM - “What’s in it for me” ✔️ The emails got to me too late and there was too much noise. Hard to separate signal from the noise.
  38. #startupsales EQUAL OPPORTUNITY SUCKING 38 Source: https://www.cbinsights.com/blog/cold-sales-emails/
  39. #startupsales SELLING AN EXPENSIVE, IMPORTANT PRODUCT OR SERVICE AND YOU SEND 1 EMAIL? DON’T DO THIS. 39 Source: https://www.cbinsights.com/blog/cold-sales-emails/
  40. #startupsales There is a better way to engage leads over time 40
  41. #startupsales THE BUYER IS ON A MULTI-STAGE JOURNEY 41 Source: https://www.cbinsights.com/blog/cold-sales-emails/ 50% of leads are qualified, but are not yet ready to buy. -Gleanster Research Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at a 33% lower cost. -Forrester Research
  42. #startupsales DEFINING THE BUYING PROCESS 42
  43. #startupsales NURTURE EMAIL PROGRAMS 43 What is it? ✔️ Nurturing is an automated email program that encourages prospects to interact with your brand. ✔️ Nurturing allows you to send highly targeted messages by segmenting based on data you are collecting.
  44. #startupsales NURTURE PROGRAM OBJECTIVES 44 ✔️ Serve the right content at the right time. ✔️ Efficiently move buyers through each stage of the decision making process.
  45. #startupsales 45
  46. #startupsales DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE FUNNEL GET DIFFERENT MESSAGES 46 Introduce brand with lighter content – videos and white papers Offer persona-specific content to help aid buying process for prospect Decision-supportive content, post-sale programs, and ongoing customer communications
  47. #startupsales A NURTURE CONTENT MAP 47 Address day-to-day pain points and interests Validate Interest, offer product information
  48. #startupsales PRIORITIZING Not all leads are created equal 48
  49. #startupsales DEVELOP A SYSTEM TO ID MORE ENGAGED PROSPECTS 49 Lead scoring gives your company an objective system for ranking your leads. Lead scoring is made up of two components: Is the user qualified to buy? Is the user engaged? • Job Title • Company Size • Industry • Budget • Location of HQ • Web Visits • Whitepaper Downloads • Requested Demo • ROI Calculator • Pricing Page Visit
  50. #startupsales NURTURE: SEGMENT, SCORE, AUTOMATE How many Marketing Qualified Leads? What automated programs are most effective? What’s driving lead scores up? 50 More prospects qualified to buy Metrics that Matter Number of new leads, Number of Reopened leads Number of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), Cost per MQL Open rate, CTR of automated programs Number of Leads by lead scores BOTTOM LINE:
  51. #startupsales 51
  52. #startupsales TRACKING YOUR MARKETING EFFORTS & ROI 52 BOTTOM LINE:
  53. #startupsales TACTICS TO CLOSE THE DEAL 53
  54. #startupsales DELIVERING MORE INTELLIGENCE TO SALES Use every engagement opportunity to learn more Share profile data with sales – both demographic and behavioral information Gathering intelligence will save sales time and allow them to tailor their conversation to the individual 54
  55. #startupsales ACCELERATE YOUR PIPELINE Real-time notifications Know when prospects or customers visit the site (or even a key page) Timely engagement Be alerted when customers are most likely ready for a conversation 55 BOTTOM LINE:
  56. #startupsales KNOW YOUR PIPELINE WITH SMART INSIGHTS Use the intelligence gathered to understand your prospects needs 80% of the prospects deemed “bad leads” by sales go on to buy within 24 months Look for patterns and understand what they mean 56 BOTTOM LINE: Source: Sirius Decisions
  57. #startupsales 57
  58. #startupsales SENDING GREAT EMAILS EMAIL TEMPLATES
  59. #startupsales PERSONALIZED OUTREACH 59 ✔️ Gain prospect’s attention ✔️ Build your credibility ✔️ Thoughtfully crafted ✔️ WIIFM focused ✔️ Want their attention (remember, this isn’t a transactional sale) But, this sounds time-consuming
  60. #startupsales THE HARDER I WORK THE LUCKIER I GET 60 ✔️ You can make it scalable ✔️ You have more time because of prospecting efficiency ✔️ Will get you more meetings ✔️ Will close more business
  61. #startupsales MAIL MERGE IS YOUR FRIEND. USE IT. 61 ✔️ Personalize doesn’t mean inefficient ✔️ Develop templates that work for you ✔️ Mass personalized outreach
  62. #startupsales BUILDING BLOCKS OF A GOOD TEMPLATE 62 ✔️ Subject lines are key ✔️ Highlight understanding of prospect’s goals / business ✔️ Be specific ✔️ Makes them smarter ✔️ Gives them time back in their day ✔️ Gimmicks don’t work over the long- term
  63. #startupsales WIIFM STARTS WITH THE SUBJECT LINE 63 Source: https://www.cbinsights.com/blog/cold-sales-emails/
  64. #startupsales GREAT SUBJECT LINES THAT GOT OPENED (IF THEY DON’T OPEN THE EMAIL, IT’S ALL A BIG WASTE) 64 ✔️ Your 55th screw-up as a startup CEO (riffed on a blog post I’d written) ✔️ Content marketing power law (referred to an analysis our team had done) ✔️ CB Insights research – it can generate more leads (knew we use our content to generate leads and that getting more leads was a priority. Didn’t say something generic like “get more revenue”) ✔️ your Series A investors (created curiosity gap as we’d not raised Series A. Offered partial list and got conversation going) ✔️ former Dow Jones VentureSource user (mentioned a competitor and offered product insight)
  65. #startupsales 65
  66. #startupsales LET’S DISSECT ONE OF THOSE EMAILS subject: Content marketing power law 66 Why it worked? ✓ Subject line showed he did HW ✓ Understanding of our biz ✓ Very specific ✓ Potential to make me smarter & as result, save me time Results We were close to making a decision about using a competitor. This email was so good we delayed the decision and took a demo with this firm. $30k opportunity that they got into the mix for because of 1 awesome email.
  67. #startupsales YOUR EMAIL COPY SHOULD ALSO BE ABOUT WIIFM 67 Source: https://www.cbinsights.com/blog/cold-sales-emails/ These are such stupid openings to an email.
  68. #startupsales GREAT BOOK ON HOW TO WRITE COMPELLING COPY 68 ✔️ “Advertising is salesmanship” ✔️ Dozen concise, easily written chapters ✔️ Write like a human
  69. #startupsales GET YOUR MAIL MERGE READY 69 Create an Excel/csv with following columns: 1. First name (person) 2. Company name 3. Blog post or article title 4. Article summary 5. Interesting nugget from article 6. Competitor name 7. Where you can help
  70. #startupsales TEMPLATE 70 Make this your own. Rough guideline. Hi First name (1), I just read blog post or article (3) about company name (2) on the topic of article summary (4) and wanted to reach out. In particular, your view on nugget (5) was pretty (interesting, contrarian, etc.) We’ve worked with folks like competitor (6) on where you can help (7). Do you have a few minutes to see how we might help? Thanks,
  71. #startupsales TELL US WHAT YOU LEARNED 71 Share your favorite insights & data points on Twitter @cbinsights #startupsales
  72. #startupsales GETTING IN TOUCH WITH YOUR HOSTS 72 Anand Sanwal Prior to founding CB Insights in 2009, Anand managed the $50 million Chairman's Innovation Fund at American Express and also worked in their corporate venture and M&A units. Before American Express, he worked overseas in India, China and London for a # of startup companies. He is the author of a book "Optimizing Resource Allocation" and has degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and in finance and accounting from the Wharton School of Business. Janelle Johnson At Act-On Janelle is responsible for everything from email marketing, webinars and content creation to lead generation and nurturing. She is a key player in the development of all processes for lead and pipeline cultivation and maturation, and driving tight alignment between the sales and marketing teams. Janelle has been named to SLMA’s “20 Women to Watch” list as well as the “50 Most Influential People in Sales Lead Management.” janelle.johnson@actonsoftware.com anand.sanwal@cbinsights.com
  73. #startupsales About CB Insights 73 www.cbinsights.com/sales Twitter - @cbinsights CB Insights is a National Science Foundation backed software-as-a-service company that uses data science, machine learning and predictive to help B2B sales teams automate how they find their next customer and then provides real time alerts and deep company research to increase the effectiveness of targeted outreach.
  74. #startupsales 74

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