Checking in here to see what experts here have to say about a new B2B Product launch.
We have developed an enterprise cloud through 100% bootstrapping. The product is ready to ship.
Preferably, We would not want to raise any outside capital even at this point. We also do not have substantial budget for a business development executive.
I am contemplating an idea to bring a co-founder as equity partner with absolutely rock solid biz dev skills.
Are there any similar experiences that anyone can share? How to get your first B2B customer and enter into the market? Was anyone able to acquire their first customers with constraints mentioned above?
As I had mentioned in my previous post you should make sure you have product-market fit. What this means is your customers are currently using certain products which is their "status quo". Does your product provide significant gains and minimize losses for your customers by replacing their status quo? Founders need to work with their customers to figure this out. In my mind this process of figuring out with your customers is early stages of biz dev. It does not matter whether you offer your product for free or for a fee but what matters is to figure out P-M fit. Once you establish this you can hire biz dev folks.
You mentioned the product is ready to ship. But you did not mention if the product is useful to customers -- meaning is the product-market fit achieved. Will customers pay for it?
I'd suggest the founders do the first few BD deals to understand customer requirements, deployment scenarios, etc before bringing in biz dev folks. Once you have few customers biz dev folks can scale the business for you.
Thank you for the post. What are specific characteristics of such "BD Deals" as you have mentioned? This is a ground zero and up product launch. Do you imply, free usage for a extended period to customers?
I would have to agree that Kris is right. The founders should do the initial sales so they have an understanding on what they need in that role. I'm assuming you don't have current customers so I would recommend cold calls and cold email since you have to get the ball rolling.
Ask yourself these initial questions:
1. When I say enterprise what do I mean and what would be the top 5 ideal clients?
2. Who in those organization would actually be the decision making to give the go ahead to pay for the service? Also, what would be their likely title (often times for enterprise it is not the CEO)? ACTION ITEM - when you figure out the title, message people on Linkedin with similar titles to learn their buying habits and what pain point your product is solving. These interviews will craft your messaging and marketing.
After answering these questions do the following:
1. Use services like hunter.io to find the emails of potential clients (the decision makers) , and send them a message indicting the who you, what pain point your product solves, something that intrigues you about their company, and if they want to schedule a quick call or demo.
2. MOST IMPORTANT PART: FOLLOW UP!!!