Many startup founders are deathly afraid of building their own sales team. They default to channel partnerships to try and get distribution. Sigh.
For those unfamiliar with the term, a channel partnership is when a person or organization sells products on behalf of another company. An example of this is how Duda Mobile uses Webs.com as a channel partner. Customers of Webs.com can mobile optimize their website through a partnership DudaMobile. Webs.com benefits from the partnership by filling out their offering to prospective customers and DudaMobile benefits from the distribution to Webs.com customers.
Partnerships like this can be great for both parties. But they also can also barely move the needle and be extremely time-consuming to develop.
Here are a few things startup …
The tactic I’m about to share is not only for sales and business development professionals; it’s a unique strategy that can literally be used to start an email dialogue with anyone who has an online presence.
One of the most important things in writing an effective cold email is to keep it short. However, communicating all the things necessary to elicit a response in 3-4 sentences can be extremely challenging. One way I’ve been able to overcome this and start dialogues with many c-level execs and big time entrepreneurs is by communicating my message in a more visually engaging format that’s easier to consume than text.
I’ve written about how to write effective cold emails before. The formula is simple:
Keep it short
Personalize it …
In the first part of this post, I shared how calling for a former employee can help you find a decision maker. Here’s a few other strategies to isolate the right contact at a large company.
Use Implicit Data on LinkedIn
Let’s revert back to the conundrum of there being 12 people in the marketing department and limited transparency to which one is responsible for your particular initiative. There’s a few places on a LinkedIn profile that contain implicit data from which you can draw conclusions.
The Skills and Expertise Section
The skills and expertise section contains granular endorsements (i.e. email marketing, social media, SEM). These can provide a strong indication what someone is responsible for at a particular company.
Say I was looking to …
Awhile back I wrote a post called Less Obvious Ways to Find A Decision Maker. I’ve discovered a few additional tactics since then that thought I’d share in a multi part post:
Call For Someone Who No Longer Works There
Calling into an 1000+ person company and asking the operator who manages a particular initiative (i.e. digital marketing) often results into getting routed to a department voicemail that never gets checked. Why you ask? Because you’re signaling that you’re a salesperson whose unfamiliar with the company. This is why it’s imperative to always have a name to call; it legitimizes yourself and compels people to take you seriously.
But Scott, there’s 18 marketing directors on LinkedIn and:
I don’t know which one is actually …
One of the first mistakes I made when I initially started doing BD was how’d I’d ask if someone if they were the decision maker.
“So X, would you say that you’re the decision maker for this.”
“Yes” was the answer I received 95% of the time. I’d say the number of actual decision makers I was talking too was probably closer to 50%. The incongruence emanated from the fact that I was asking all wrong.
Very few strangers have the authenticity to admit that they don’t hold much power:
“No, I’m actually just a minion to my overload boss.”
Of course someone is going to indicate they’re a decision making power when you flat out ask them. It’s like asking a parent if their …