3 Data-Driven Tips for Getting Demos of Your Product

October 24, 2016

9:00 pm

You could have the best product in the world and still never land a single customer. Why? Because you need to get out and make companies care about you before they’ll even know you exist. Here’s where to start.

Step 1: Generate a List of Targeted Companies

First, look for companies that are similar to your current customers. For instance, some of our customers are box businesses. It turns out there are several websites that list all box businesses (like Cratejoy). We used Kimono to scrape these lists and generate a csv with the details of each company. Kimono helps you generate a csv out of those 162 companies in seconds.

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We also looked for companies using competitive products. In our case, we looked for companies using Zendesk.

There are a ton of tools out there to help you with that, our favorite tools are Clearbit Discovery (very rich data) and Buitwith (pretty cheap: $300/m for about 4000 companies). Clearbit provides you with 58 data points per company.

Once you get the list, it’s time to exclude all the companies that won’t be a good fit. You don’t want to spend time in later steps with people who’ll never use your product.

To identify companies that have repetitive customer service, we used the number of Twitter followers, and checked that companies had a Pinterest & Instagram account, as our current customers do.

Step 2: Try to Get a Warm Intro

The most efficient way to connect with a company was to get a warm introduction to one of their employees.

We started doing this manually: for each company, we checked the list of employees on LinkedIn to see if an employee was 2nd degree to us. Then, we sent a forwardable email to our common connection:

Hey Alex,

I’d like to get in touch with {company} and I’ve seen you know {employee}. Given they get repetitive support requests, I thought it would be interesting to connect with them. Could you please pass them this note?

Romain

Followed by:

Hi {employee},

{your pitch to the employee here}

In 60 percent of the cases, the employee would opt-in for the intro.

It turns out it’s easy to automate this process using Selenium scripts on LinkedIn. Given a list of companies, the script returns a list of employees who are 2nd degree to you that you can contact.

The script’s output: second degree connections who work at the target company, plus your common connection with them.

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Then, all you need to do is select the employee you want to contact, and then ask your common connection to introduce you.

We’ve shared the script on Github if you’d like to try this technique. Thanks to Brice Maurin for helping here.

Step 3: Alternatively, Send a Cold Email to the Right Person

If you don’t have a common connection with the company, your best option is now cold emailing.

Targeting is your best ally here. First, identify the role of your ideal target. In our case, this was the Customer Support Manager or the CEO.

Then, we used the Clearbit Sheets (an add-on on Google Sheets) to find who this person was for each company. The cool thing is that it also gives you their email address. Clearbit helps you find the right point of contact along with their email.

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Now, you can set up an email campaign to get the attention of this person.

This article is courtesy of Techstars, the best global ecosystem for entrepreneurs to bring new technologies to market. From inspiration to IPO, Techstars empowers the world’s most promising entrepreneurs throughout their lifelong journey by providing a global ecosystem made up of tens of thousands of community leaders, founders, mentors, investors, and corporate partners.

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Techstars helps entrepreneurs succeed. Through the Techstars Worldwide Entrepreneur Network, founders connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporations to grow their companies. Techstars operates four divisions: Techstars Startup Programs, Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs, Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships, and the Techstars Venture Capital Fund.

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