Engaging Prospects
MIT Portugal Innovation Symposium
Beth E. Zonis
May 13, 2014
Agenda
➜  Objectives: Startups and Industry
➜  Offer
➜  4 Ps of Prospecting:
➜  Value Proposition
➜  Profile ideal prospec...
Startup objectives are…
… to establish and build
relationships with businesses
who will:
➜  Purchase products and
services...
Industry objectives are…
➜  For BUYER: New/better
products/services
➜  For PARTNER: New
contacts and products
➜  For INVES...
Features, Advantages and Benefits
➜ Features: What is it?
➜  Color, shape, size, location
➜ Advantages: What does it do?
➜...
DISCUSSION: What can you offer to your clients?
Page 6© Beth Zonis, May 2014
DISCUSSION: What do your clients get?
➜  Now ➜  Future
Page 7© Beth Zonis, May 2014
DISCUSSION: What examples, success stories or statistics can you cite?
Page 8© Beth Zonis, May 2014
DISCUSSION: Who is an ideal “prospect”?
Types of Organizations Roles
Page 9© Beth Zonis, May 2014
What do you know about your target, by role?
CTO: an Agent of Innovation (example)
“The many, wide-ranging
activities asso...
DISCUSSION: What is your value proposition?
Value Proposition Worksheet
For…
Who want/need…
We offer…
We are better than a...
Discussion: How do you reach your
prospects?
Page 12© Beth Zonis, May 2014
Assembling lists of companies (example)
➜  Top 100/500/1000 lists (general)
➜  Forbes Americas Largest Private
Companies
➜...
How can you find these people?
➜ Campaign: broad
outreach and
communications
➜  Lists/ directories
➜  Introductions
➜  Eve...
What to know about a prospect before
you reach out to them (suggestions)
➜  What business are they in?
➜  What are their m...
Where to collect this information (example)
➜  Online databases and search engines
➜  Hoovers.com
➜  D&B
➜  Google search,...
Preparation before meeting with prospect
➜  Know about the company whom you’re calling (see research questions on
prior sl...
A small % of leads progress through the
pipeline
Leads
Prospects
Qualified
Committed
Transacted
Page 18© Beth Zonis, May 2...
How can you maintain and build the
relationship?
➜  Make connections to multiple people within the organization
➜  Conside...
Takeaways: 4 Ps of Prospecting +
Maintain and Build
Value Proposition	

Profile ideal prospects	

Produce prospects	

Prepa...
Beth E. Zonis
Beth Zonis is the Commercialization Program Manager for the MIT Skoltech Initiative. She
has been instrument...
Questions?
Beth E. Zonis
617-324-8292
zonis@mit.edu
Page 22© Beth Zonis, May 2014
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Engaging prospects

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This was given as a workshop to about 40 entrepreneurs from various countries in Europe. There are worksheets that accompany the presentation.

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Engaging prospects

  1. 1. Engaging Prospects MIT Portugal Innovation Symposium Beth E. Zonis May 13, 2014
  2. 2. Agenda ➜  Objectives: Startups and Industry ➜  Offer ➜  4 Ps of Prospecting: ➜  Value Proposition ➜  Profile ideal prospects ➜  Produce prospects ➜  Prepare for meeting ➜  Maintain and build relationship(s) ➜  Contact information Page 2© Beth Zonis, May 2014
  3. 3. Startup objectives are… … to establish and build relationships with businesses who will: ➜  Purchase products and services ➜  Partner to sell, manufacture, and/or deliver products and services ➜  Provide funding to enable Startup’s growth Page 3© Beth Zonis, May 2014
  4. 4. Industry objectives are… ➜  For BUYER: New/better products/services ➜  For PARTNER: New contacts and products ➜  For INVESTOR: Investment to increase revenue and profit ➜  For ALL: Make money and/ or solve problems that improve society ➜  Today our focus is on the BUYER Page 4© Beth Zonis, May 2014
  5. 5. Features, Advantages and Benefits ➜ Features: What is it? ➜  Color, shape, size, location ➜ Advantages: What does it do? ➜  Functions, capabilities ➜ Benefits: What does it fix or improve? ➜  It makes the user happier Page 5© Beth Zonis, May 2014
  6. 6. DISCUSSION: What can you offer to your clients? Page 6© Beth Zonis, May 2014
  7. 7. DISCUSSION: What do your clients get? ➜  Now ➜  Future Page 7© Beth Zonis, May 2014
  8. 8. DISCUSSION: What examples, success stories or statistics can you cite? Page 8© Beth Zonis, May 2014
  9. 9. DISCUSSION: Who is an ideal “prospect”? Types of Organizations Roles Page 9© Beth Zonis, May 2014
  10. 10. What do you know about your target, by role? CTO: an Agent of Innovation (example) “The many, wide-ranging activities associated with the Chief Technology Officer role should deliver a measurable impact on a company’s financial and innovation outcomes… The result is a company that can make better, faster, and more efficient decisions.” – THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER, Scott Hartley, Industrial Research Institute, 2011 The Role of the CTO: Four Models of Success, Cabot Consultants, 2002 “We are on the lookout for developments that are truly going to be disruptive and try to tie ourselves to them. We constantly challenge ourselves and refresh that list of the large trends that we should be looking at…” – Gregg Zank, CTO, Dow Chemical, 2011 Page 10© Beth Zonis, May 2014
  11. 11. DISCUSSION: What is your value proposition? Value Proposition Worksheet For… Who want/need… We offer… We are better than alternatives, because… Proof points: Page 11© Beth Zonis, May 2014
  12. 12. Discussion: How do you reach your prospects? Page 12© Beth Zonis, May 2014
  13. 13. Assembling lists of companies (example) ➜  Top 100/500/1000 lists (general) ➜  Forbes Americas Largest Private Companies ➜  Fortune 500 ➜  Inc 5000 ➜  Top lists by industry group ➜  Deloitte ➜  E&Y ➜  PWC ➜  Industry lists (custom or off-the-shelf) ➜  Industry publications/journals (e.g., PFC Energy) ➜  Associations ➜  Social media ➜  LinkedIn Page 13© Beth Zonis, May 2014
  14. 14. How can you find these people? ➜ Campaign: broad outreach and communications ➜  Lists/ directories ➜  Introductions ➜  Events ➜ Warm calls and cold calls ➜ Inbound marketing (they find you) Page 14© Beth Zonis, May 2014
  15. 15. What to know about a prospect before you reach out to them (suggestions) ➜  What business are they in? ➜  What are their major initiatives and challenges? ➜  How does their mission relate to yours? ➜  How do they make purchases? ➜  How do they establish partnerships? ➜  How do they buy/invest? Page 15© Beth Zonis, May 2014
  16. 16. Where to collect this information (example) ➜  Online databases and search engines ➜  Hoovers.com ➜  D&B ➜  Google search, Google news ➜  Company website ➜  Home page/ About us ➜  Investor information, annual reports ➜  Leadership: Board of directors, Executive officers ➜  Latest news ➜  Jobs/ careers ➜  Social media ➜  LinkedIn ➜  Whom do you know? ➜  Who’s in your network? Page 16© Beth Zonis, May 2014
  17. 17. Preparation before meeting with prospect ➜  Know about the company whom you’re calling (see research questions on prior slides) ➜  Assemble a list of names, telephone numbers and email addresses ➜  Prepare an “elevator pitch” for a telephone introduction (2 minutes max) ➜  Use a personal introduction if possible (e.g., “So-and-so suggested I call you…”) ➜  Introduction to Startup and why you’re calling ➜  “May I speak with the person who is responsible for X?” ➜  “I’d like to share some information about how our solution could help your business. (e.g., What’s in it for them?) ➜  Do you have a few minutes now, or can we schedule another time to talk?” ➜  Leave only 1 message. If the person doesn’t answer or respond, try his/her assistant by touching “0” when his/her voicemail comes on ➜  If you can’t reach the person via phone, compose a brief email offering a time to talk. Page 17© Beth Zonis, May 2014
  18. 18. A small % of leads progress through the pipeline Leads Prospects Qualified Committed Transacted Page 18© Beth Zonis, May 2014
  19. 19. How can you maintain and build the relationship? ➜  Make connections to multiple people within the organization ➜  Consider how many “touches” it takes to close ➜  Have a new “reason to call” with something of interest each time you contact them, such as: ➜  Startup milestones, new products, etc. ➜  When you’ll be in their area so you can arrange to meet ➜  Link to relevant article or report ➜  Invitation to upcoming events ➜  Reach out multiple times in a variety of ways Page 19© Beth Zonis, May 2014
  20. 20. Takeaways: 4 Ps of Prospecting + Maintain and Build Value Proposition Profile ideal prospects Produce prospects Prepare for meeting Maintain and build relationships Page 20© Beth Zonis, May 2014
  21. 21. Beth E. Zonis Beth Zonis is the Commercialization Program Manager for the MIT Skoltech Initiative. She has been instrumental in establishing and growing the Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology in Moscow. Ms Zonis has spent her career in marketing, business development and program management. Early in her career she delivered 100% of new business to an IT start-up, including major Fortune 500 companies, driving growth from 10 to 1000+ employees. At IBM she built a foundation and culture of generating references to drive business growth as Global Marketing Manager for IBM Site and Facilities Services which delivered 125% year-over-year growth; and generated over 70% of customer referrals. Ms Zonis founded and ran Eco Marketing LLC, a successful consulting firm specializing in marketing sustainability and cleantech solutions. Since 2009 she has been a mentor to startups in the Cleantech Open. Ms Zonis holds a BA, cum laude, from Wellesley College; a Certificat de Science Politique from l’Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris; an MBA from Boston University; and a Certificate in Sustainable Business from the University of Southern Maine. She is fluent in French and Spanish, and has some knowledge of German, Mandarin and Russian. Page 21© Beth Zonis, May 2014
  22. 22. Questions? Beth E. Zonis 617-324-8292 zonis@mit.edu Page 22© Beth Zonis, May 2014

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