Anand Srinivasan
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How Little Startups Score Mammoth Client

Anand Srinivasan

July 06, 2015

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There are many startups that have begun as little more than garage projects. These projects bloomed into multi-billion-dollar powerhouses that today have established their brands as household names. They now offer scholarships, some of the best working conditions in the world, and an incredible engine that drives other businesses to create wealth in ways they couldn’t have done so until now.

One of the ways some of these folks have managed to pull their heads out of the water and fly sky-high was by scoring themselves some clients that have major bucks in their coffers. A big client is a major factor in determining whether you can market your product more widely or remain in the shroud of irrelevance.

When you’re just starting out, it’s normal for everything you do to be greeted with a very large dose of skepticism. You must keep in mind that CIOs or CTOs – who are most likely to be your customer if you offer a tech-oriented product – are very wary of making the companies they’re in charge of part with a large amount of resources for the sake of an idea that can simply disappear overnight at any point. Keeping this in mind: we come to a firm conclusion that you will start every endeavor as the underdog, no matter what you do. Every startup had the same scrappy beginnings with a miniscule amount of leverage.

For this reason, you have to take every single step possible to increase your chances of “winning the match” by creating a series of circumstances that make you attract bigger fish. It’s going to take a few tools, some very sharp skills, and a great deal of tact.

Disrupt your industry!

What are CIOs looking for when they’re fishing for a solution to a problem? They’re not just looking for a solution; they want something game-changing. If you’re not stepping into new frontiers and filling a reasonable gap in your product’s current market, you’re going to be left behind by competitors at the snap of a finger. What you do must have a mind-numbingly enormous impact on your prospect’s business. If you’re just selling another version of the same stuff everyone else is selling, you’re not going to stand out.

Remember, a startup is often a business that revolves around a single idea. If that idea isn’t embodied in a way that turns your industry on its head, you’re not going to be selling anything more special than the five or so other choices a CIO may have. Focus all your energy and limited resources entirely on making the product completely revolutionize what it is to operate in your industry. Google went ahead and transformed search into something much more interactive and simplistic than Lycos. That’s why Lycos doesn’t get any attention anymore and Google is currently worth over $350 billion with a 20 percent net profit margin. If you want those kinds of numbers, you’ll need to put an immense amount of effort in innovation.

Know your market

Whether you’re marketing to consumers or businesses, it’s always good to have a handle on who is going to be your main sales target or end user. When you put in the effort, you may find that some companies that you may have written off as uninteresting may become very lucrative partners. You may have more luck pitching your product to them in conjunction with the businesses you’ve had in mind.

To get a feel for who you should be looking at, you will need a B2B prospecting tool that enables you to find the right companies and the right persons behind them. A cloud platform like Unomy or Rapportive will provide you with access to a database of businesses and information such as employees, contracts, credit scores, news, patents, technologies they utilize, and social media profiles. With this information, you’ll have a way to understand who you’re more likely to sell to, who’s a great potential prospect, and who’s unlikely to buy what you’re selling.

When you start reaching out to various employees and engage with them on social media, you’ll need to use a social media platform. Oktopost, the only social media management platform specifically made for B2B marketing will come in very useful here. The new age demands a b2b social media marketing strategy to use in order to measure the effectiveness of your social media campaign. This means you can actually quantify the ROI of your social media expenditure which is something that more companies need to adopt.

Ensure stability and safety

The state of the product you’re selling could make all the difference between hooking up with a tiny shop in Alabama that just needs a quick fix and shaking hands with a Fortune 100 conglomerate that needs state-of-the-art solutions to massive inefficiencies in its inner workings. Panaya, a leading provider of ERP tools and implementation, says this about minimizing risk: “Enterprise customers have a strong reputation for avoiding risk. They have a vested interest in maintaining their complex IT environments in tip-top shape, avoiding downtime or any other events that may affect how they work at any cost. CIOs, the people who are responsible for keeping IT operations running smoothly, place a high priority on reducing risk. Startups that can exploit this by offering a very stable product will command significant interest.”

If you can keep a higher standard on uptime and operating efficiency than what your competition currently offers, that might just crack you the deal of a lifetime.

Be the best you can be, from cradle to infinity and beyond

There are startups out there that sell great products but never make bank. The reason for this is usually because they may have gotten a rough and patchy start that built them the kind of reputation that repels major clients. You need to be extraordinarily good at what you do, and you need to do that right from the moment you’ve announced your existence. This is especially true if your clients end up being businesses. Your clients make you who you are. Make sure you never, ever disappoint them for any reason whatsoever. Perhaps one day, you will be lucky enough to be acquired for a nice fat sum by the folks who’ve been using your services for years.


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