I recently spoke at Traffic & Conversion in San Diego when the topic of product demos came up. And what I realized was quite simple but profound: Everyone has a demo problem. I mean… ev-ery-one. And I’m willing to bet that if you were to look at your own business right now, you’re either lacking enough demos to really make a dent in your growth…
I was 24 when I closed my first enterprise level SaaS deal. I had recently started Spheric Technologies and decided to go straight to the heavy hitters. We’re talking Fortune 500 companies like Johnson & Johnson, American Express and Procter & Gamble. (guess the JFDI ethos was alive and well) ;-) And while I had an amazing team of coaches and mentors around me (and an endless supply of Grade A boldness) to carry me through those early deals, they
Some of you are gonna hate me for even saying this. Might even have some intense fist-shaking action. But it’s gotta be said. There is such a thing as having too many leads.
Not all leads are created equal. Even if you’ve dialed in your ideal customer profile and built out your distribution channels to only attract the perfect prospect… ...you’re still gonna have to implement systems and filters to separate your buyers from your tire kickers. This is especially true in the scaling phase where spending too much time with non-buyers will tax your sales team, inspire bad decisions with “false negatives”, and create a whole slew of crushing inefficiencies. After taking
Prospect: “Great product. It’s just not a now thing” You: “Okay cool. Totally get it. Thanks for your time.” Boom. That right there is a masterclass on how to blow a SaaS deal, deprive a would-be customer of the value they could’ve received, and being forced to go back to your team with your tail between your legs.
Want to know the quickest way to kill your company and team morale? It’s super easy. Invest tens of thousands of dollars and man hours in building your software, only to find out after the fact that your market couldn’t care less. Done. Now you can happily go back to whatever world you just left behind. On the flipside, if you want to launch your startup the smart way by pre-selling your product BEFORE you build it…
Back when I was growing Clarity.fm, we were getting a TON of organic traffic. At its peak, we were clocking in at over 100K unique visitors/month. Which on the surface sounds like a number worth fist-bumping over. Problem was… Barely any of those visitors were actually converting into free accounts or paid calls. About 2% to be exact. (I can’t believe I thought that was OK) And it’s not like the leads were bad either.
During Flowtown’s peak, I had TWELVE people reporting to me. That was on top of my own workload that I was responsible for delivering on. Talk about overwhelm. I was literally inundating myself with reports/metrics/managers that didn’t necessarily serve the growth of the company. Rule of thumb:
A Mclaren F1 tops out at about 650 hp. A “street legal” Camry screams its way to 200. Both have engines. Both have 4 wheels. Both are technically “cars”. So what accounts for the difference in velocity? Simple:
When I was 25 and building my first company, Spheric, I closed an enterprise level deal with Procter & Gamble. Not only was it an “arrival point” for my company… But in the negotiations, I actually got P&G to fund an entire slate of new integrations and features, while we retained the IP. Pretty cool, right? Thing is, none of that would’ve been possible had I made the mistake that most founders make…