One thing I missed in part 1 of this journey diary was the development of a messaging framework for The Right Five. This was almost a day 1 activity after we said “we’re doing this”. The messaging framework ensures you communicate consistently across all channels.
It’s based on traditional PR practices and looks to consistently establish (in 25 words, 50 words, and 100 words) what the business does, who should care and why. It is based on:
To (target market), (company) is the (frame of reference) that (point of difference) because (justification).
Here’s our 25-word statement:
The Right Five automatically delivers B2B tech founders with the right five people to interview for their ‘first sales hire’, allowing them to get the right person into the market more quickly.
From there we developed a tag line, “The Right Five to Get the Right One” and a storyline version of our messaging based on problem/solution/result:
Many B2B tech founders struggle to successfully make their first sales hire. The Right Five automatically delivers the right five candidates for interview, thereby, saving time and getting the right person into the market quickly.
This is all worth the effort and will save any B2B tech startup a tremendous amount of effort going forward as well as ensuring consistency of messaging.
Back to the future, well at least the present…
In part 2 of this journey we covered the things that are top of mind and occupying our daily efforts while we wait for our product development to complete. We covered:
- Target Market
- Route to Market
- Creating Awareness
This is more about turning awareness into leads, opportunities and customers than creating a visually appealing website. It’s also heavily tied into the next category.
Volume Growth/Pricing/Business Model
We’re at the founder-led sales stage of growth but we already have an eye on scaling. We’re thinking about scaling and trying to ensure we don’t take decisions now that will inhibit scale. Meaning, in order to prove that some will pay for what we’re delivering and that we (the co-founders) can sell it, let’s not do things that we’ll have to unpick when we move to the next growth stage.
The pricing/business model impacts both the website development and funding (should we decide to go that route). Right now, The Right Five is a one-time engagement model. A B2B tech founder will engage once, hire their Pathfinder salesperson and move on. It’s very tempting, with an eye on potential funding and the recognition that recurring revenue trumps one-time purchases, to bend our model to try and create a recurring revenue model today. But that’s artificial and not customer focused. It also makes our marketing and sales effort harder in having to bend our messaging to explain a recurring revenue model that doesn’t really fit.
A one-time purchase model then has an impact on how we build the website to support the conversion of visitors to customers. Traditional SaaS vendors often use a free trial/freemium model which is not open to us.
Action – look for comps to see how they address this problem.
Note: scaling will encompass an expanded offering that will naturally support a recurring revenue model.
This is a self-service model so how do we on-board new customers? The product is simple to use. The Client Dashboard has been designed to most easily present information on the Pathfinder candidates together with facilities to compare and contrast.
Short 30 second helper videos should do the trick. We’ll probably use Synthesia to produce them and use talking avatars. Here’s an example that took all of 30 seconds to produce, a Christmas message from Santa Claus.
The underlying IP of The Right Five lies in our instrument – the assessment that tests and scores candidates against the desired Pathfinder skill sets. This was never a ‘one and done’ instrument. While we vigorously tested it last year, we continue to fine tune it ahead of product launch.
We’ve bootstrapped through development of MVP. We’ll continue to do so through the founder-led sales stage. Given success there, we’ll want to scale and scale rapidly. If we can continue to bootstrap, great. If we need external investment, perhaps to take us on an accelerated growth path, then we would need external funding. In that case, we need to think about it and prepare for it ahead of time.
Although very much on the back-burner right now, given that external funding is a possibility, we need to be mindful of it and try not to make decisions now that would impact our ability to raise externally. Of course, and as we stated above, customers come first and will always be the primary focus of our decision making.