There is no question that in the pre product market fit days the Founder has to do the selling, however the problem is much more complex than we give credit for. I found this series of articles by Martin Casado, General Partner at A16Z, which is absolute gold. Do you remember prepping for questions like “why is your solution better than everyone else?” or building the competitive quadrant pitch decks? Martin writes – “founders fill it in with a comparative set that’s often populated with so-called competitors that aren’t likely to be included in an actual sales bake-off ….so what you’re really positioning against is the status quo.”
So what does early market sales process look like? “(1) qualifying customers and deals ; (2) finding budget – in early markets there may not be an existing budget; (3)figuring who the key decision makers are; (4) navigating procurement and pricing” and more.
It is important to recognize the complexity of selling in the pre product market fit days. I highly recommend that this weekend you go through the whole set (links below) and wrap your head around the ideas as you get ready for 2020.
Not a day to loose.
Where I learnt this #346
When Sales Isn’t Just Selling: Advice for Founders in Early Markets
“Need More Time” or Lack of Product-Market Fit? Guideposts for Tech Founders Going to Market When No Market Exists
a16z Podcast: Creating a Category, from Pricing to Positioning
Going to Market When No Market Exists