If you have just started a software business as a sales development professional, you may be eager to know how to get clients for a software company with no money. Let’s imagine that you are a SaaS founder with 0 to 10 clients and you are looking into getting your first paying customers all by yourself to minimize your expenses. So, there are five steps you need to go through to get your initial paying customers:
#1 Define your ideal customer profile.
An ideal customer profile is the type of customer that you would want to get for your business. You have to define the ideal customer profile prior to taking on any activity and allocating any marketing or sales budget. The first thing you need to do is you need to analyze any customers you currently have. As soon as you have them or presume who your ideal customer is, as soon as you don’t have any customers. If you don’t have them, never mind. You can presume an ideal use case an ideal customer and the value proposition for this segment. So, the first step is to outline your ideal customer profile based on your current client portfolio or on clients that you want to have.
#2 Sharpen your ideal customer profile.
You want to sharpen it to the point where your target audience is super unique. Therefore, you can apply a single value proposition for all the companies within the segment. The reason for that is lots of tech founders or founders of software companies have teams or platforms that they presume can do anything. It’s not that they think that the value proposition is only limited but the geographies they can serve and the type of customers they can take on in terms of size but it’s not
For example, call center platforms are being used in extremely different ways. Answering service companies use it to track billing time for their clients and to distribute calls. While sales teams use it only to make outbound calls. So, we have a single platform with multiple ideal customer profiles, multiple use cases, and multiple value propositions You need to focus on one value proposition, one ideal customer profile, and one segment.
#3 Find your ideal customers.
The only thing you need to do is to find anywhere between three dozen and a couple of hundred companies that technically fit into your ideal customer profile. Then go to LinkedIn and find decision-makers that might be buying your platform or service. The process is pretty straightforward: you can find companies on any sources that are relevant to your industries and go to LinkedIn. The next step is to find people who are making buying decisions. As soon as you are not sure who is making a buying decision for your product or service, you have to find a person who presumably will use your platform or service. You have to find them and add them to a sample spreadsheet. You can add basic information there as well as their names, emails, phone numbers. company names, titles, and any other information that is important for you as a business owner.
#4 Reach out to your potential customers.
If you want to start generating conversations that are later going to be converted into deals, you have to find the right balance between the time you invest into starting those conversations and the number of conversations you are going to have. So, I would suggest every newcomer in the sales development world start an email campaign. Presumably, you already have your value proposition use case and the list that you were able to generate.
So, now the next step is to create an email campaign. There is plenty of guidelines on how to create an email campaign that works. However, the only thing that you need to track is the open email rate and email response rates that you have in your campaign. As soon as you get to anywhere around 50 open rates and anywhere around a three to five percent response rate, you are good in a couple of hours to a couple of days. You’ll be generating conversations that will later convert into demos or discovery calls.
#5 Convert those conversations into demos or discovery calls.
This one is pretty straightforward you need to speak with prospects in the language they speak. The main goal here is to get them to the point where they are ready to invest some time into speaking with you and schedule a call or a demo. Everything is pretty simple but you have to expect that the huge portion of those conversations that you were able to generate will leave nowhere. There is no point in worrying, you just need to collect all the possible intel that you need about those prospects throughout the conversation spent with them.
You need to either have a call or an email conversation and get as much information as possible for you to adjust your email campaign. It is also a great idea to invest including calling campaigns social media campaigns etc. Your main goal is to have as many demos and discovery calls as possible and collect as much intel as you can. At the end of the day, you are going to get your first customer okay.
So, there are five crucial steps you need to take as soon as you would like to get your first paying customer. You have to define your ideal customer profile in as details as possible. The second thing is you have to sharpen this ideal customer profile maybe into a couple of ideal customer profiles and create a value proposition title. It is possible to use a case or a pain point for each ideal customer profile. The third step is simple you have to find prospects that fit your requirements and find decision makers within your prospective companies. The fourth one is you have to reach out to start the conversation. The goal here is to have as many conversations as possible for you to convert them into demos or discovery calls. Finally, step five is you have to convert those conversations into demos discovery calls to get as much intel as possible for you to move your campaign forward.
It’s even more important as soon as starting your sales process you have to calculate accurately. You also have to expect that to get one paying customer you would need to reach out to anywhere between three dozen and 20 dozen. Potential customers and have about 10 of those conversations for you to get the initial customer. Moreover, you need to remember that persistence is the key for you to getting your ideal customer. It`s crucial to respect it all the time. You have to handle as many conversations as possible and see you have to convert those conversations through a demo or a discovery call. Therefore, you should be good at a demo or a discovery call with your customer as well.