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Startup leadership, December 2011


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Slides I used at Startup leadership Session in December 2011.

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Startup leadership, December 2011

  1. 1. Customer Development and Sales for Startups Navneet Singh CEO,
  2. 2. Start-up is a business• Business is for customers while making profits and not about entrepreneur, directors, offices etc.• Our learning: – Build your business around your customers and not the other way around – Have metrics to measure customer satisfaction from the beginning – Focus on becoming profitable someday
  3. 3. Business 101• Basics – Good name, logo, business cards, website• Further – Linkedin, Google places etc.• Our learning: – Have clear roles – Building a business brand is very important in building credibility – Credibility is critical for sales
  4. 4. Getting pilot customers?• Use your network• Cold calls – more likely to work with customers who are also start-ups• Our learning: – We started with our network – ecommerce start-ups were more open to try us
  5. 5. Sales and marketing• Word of mouth works very powerfully in B2B. Be remarkable.• After a point, sales are driven by marketing.• Our learning: – Investors – they have huge network – Linkedin – Get premium account and start connecting – Forums – TIECON, VC-Circle etc
  6. 6. Mistakes• Trying to make all customers happy• Our learning: – Let go of difficult customers – Dont change the fundamental model of the business just for one customer
  7. 7. Customer development• Identify key customers to involve in product development• Our learning – Not all customers are equal – Involving customers is critical – Customers know the problems well, but mostly not the best solution, innovate “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” ― Henry Ford
  8. 8. Start-up CEO• Where should CEO spend his time? Customers or product? – 50% inside and 50% outside – Outside – fund raising, sales and talking to customers – Inside – should take part in product definition, the “what” of the product• Our learning – CEO is the TOP Salesman in a start-up
  9. 9. Financing• VCs are looking for – 10X returns in 5-7 years• Our learning – Potential investors will talk to customers – Introduce them to key customers – You might likely be asked to pilot with a investor portfolio company first
  10. 10. Thanks