Crowdsourcing Sales Teams
Lead Generation in a Startup's Life
Here is the typical journey of a startup. Founders tap into their LinkedIn networks. They pitch their product / vision and in the process discover a ton of things such as how to sell, what messaging is resonating, and who the target customer is, when the product is likely to garner interest, and what questions potential customers will have. As you can imagine this is a lot of figuring out, and there is a lot of trial and error. It does not take time before the founder exhaust their LinkedIn networks. It is also very rare that by this stage they have found product market fit. But the founders have to continue to generate a steady flow of leads. Rather the pressure is even higher because as time passes by the startup needs to show sales traction. However, companies can't hire a sales team. It is strongly recommended that they don't do so. Because if you hire a sales team prematurely you will sink your company. So here is a chicken egg problem you can't hire a sales team and you also have exhausted your connections. So what do you do?
Crowdsourcing Sales Team using AI
Once a target company is known the lead generation task is to find a personal connection in the company. How about you remove the assumption that you need sales people for this. Non sales people such as engineers, product managers, customer service, etc all have LinkedIn Connections based on work, friendships or school. They also don't have to learn all the details of your product or service offering. Imagine if they logged in to an app that went through their linkedin and then ranked / scored the leads that are most relevant to a product/service offering. They could then simply contact their connection, with a personal message stating that they have started working with an innovative company in ABC space and they would just love to connect. When they do get a call setup, someone in the startup most likely the founders join those calls. The opening statement can be delivered by the person who sourced the lead but the founders can do the job of explaining the product, its differentiation, and any other questions the contact has. As a side benefit the non-sales person gets on the job training on how to pitch the product or service. If the introduction leads to a pilot a certain amount is paid, if it leads to a sale a much larger amount is reached. All the person had to do was simply contact his connection and make the intro.
So what takes to design a system like this?
1. You need a site where prospective people can see a list of companies, and their product offerings
2. After one selects a company then you need a system that logs in to their LinkedIn and then scores each connection based on their likelihood to buy the product.
3. Each successful contact then needs to enter a CRM systems like hubspot or salesforce where then the company can track all the introductions being made
4. You also need a system that helps in scheduling a conference call that includes the founders or someone else in the company who knows how to pitch the product.
In such a system AI plays the role of scoring the linkedin network so that the right contacts can be made. If you are interested in learning more about this program and using a system like this for your company please contact firstname.lastname@example.org