622: Why Less is More in B2B w/ Nic Poulos

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Nic Poulos, Partner at Bowery Capital.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/npoulos/

Are you struggling to come up with original content weekend and week out? Start a podcast, interview your ideal clients, let them talk about what they care about most and never run out of content ideas again. Learn more at sweetfish MEDIACOM. You're listening to the B tob growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping betb executives achieve explosive growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to the BB growth show. We are here today with Nick Pulos. He is a partner at bowery capital. Nick, how you doing today? I'm great. Thanks for having me. Thank you for joining us today, Nick. So we're going to be talking today about why less is more in B Tob, but before we get into that, I'd love for our listeners to just understand a...

...little bit of context about you. Nick. Tell us a little bit of that bowery capital and what you guys are doing up there. Yeah, absolutely. bowery capital is a seed stage venture capital firm. We are based here in New York, but investing all over North America. We focus exclusively on enterprise software. So that's all software plays, mainly as selling into the enterprise. So I'll be tob plays and that's really run again at from marketing sales software to analytics, security, RP, vertical software, you name it, we've we've probably thought deeply or or invested. Invested in space. We were working with founders to to really not only give them that initial foundational capital but also to help accelerate their growth and position and wealth of future rounds and that first two years post go to market. That's hopefully to get over you for...

...the audience here. So, Nick, as we were talking before we started recording about why less is more in BTB, you had three very specific things that were top of mine for you as you were thinking about this, this idea. The first one of those was related to testing channels, and there are a couple different things that can spun off of that. Talk to us about and as you're thinking, you know, with all the technology companies that you're working with a bowery, this idea of testing channels was was a number one for a reason. Talk to us, you know, expand on them. Bet For us. Yeah, absolutely, I mean I'd say this point, this point covers really just allocation of resources really early on in general. You know, as you're thinking about it from a marketing sales perspective, and and the reason it came to mind for me is, you know, when you first go to market or your first kind of raise your your seed round, I think there's an inclinations and say we have all these potential channels out...

...there. I got all the pay channels, you got social media and content marketing, you got an event strategy and you know, you could go on and on and specially if you include various sales strategies. But really, you know, you've got to recognize you have limited burn your limited resources almost more importantly, limited, you know, man hours, and then includes mind share of the CEO, and you can only really do a limited number of these channels as well as you can at the same time. So, in other words, what you should really do is choose the channels that you think are going to be most valuable for you then sure that you test them properly. So make sure that you have the proceeds and systems in place to collect information about you know, if it's marketing, it's marketing initiative, make sure that you have understanding how you going to test return on marketing investment. If it's...

...you know it's a sales strategy or channel, you know make sure that you're properly recording crm information, you're properly tracking pipeline and you're you know, you're asking the right questions throughout the sales process in order to understand is this converting better? If it's not, you can try new ones. But less is more when it comes to testing channels earlier. Where's the mistake make that you see a lot of companies making? Are they? They're just trying to go all in on all these channels before, before they test to see what's really yielding the best results. To be honest, if if ID to distill down to the biggest mistake, it is not properly collecting the data that you need in order to then retrospectively measure was this success or not. And this I think this applies both to marketing and to sales. Just to take one example and and draw it out a little bit, if you have a if you...

...have a theory that your product sells best into the CFO and you an SCR or, you know, an ad for that matter. Who is is talking to talking to Leeds all day? He or she should be recording. You know, am I getting into the CFO initially, like what initial role am I talking to? And then you look at your conversion to to opportunities based on that role. So, and of course, all that requires a setting up a crm, properly thinking about the appropriate fields and setting policy in your sales and Marketing Organization such that all then information is reliably recorded. Otherwise you really you really can't look back and say it's all it's all finding Dandy if you're crushing bookings every quarter, but if you miss bookings at first time around or you're failing to generate sufficient weeds as a marketer, you need to be able to look back and say why and and so that's why initial process in...

...order to collect data that you need, especially as it relates to share M, basic market automation, fiaveforms, it really pays to set up that infrastructure early. Awesome Nex. So this next thing that we're going to talk about is this idea of letting the prospect do the bulk of the talking. This is something I've heard a lot of people say before, but I think it's worth talking about again because of how important it is. Elaborate on this idea of letting the prospect do the talking. Yeah, I think you can apply this both to selling a prospect or nurturing a prospect. But at the end of the day, what you're trying to do is understand what the guy argue all on the other end of the phone wants and you're trying to understand what their problem is and how you could potentially help them and if you can, and if their problem is different. It's a waste of everyone's time and resources...

...if you continue the conversation too far or if you continue pestoring them or you overpromised. You know, there's an element of ask questions, not only to show that you're trying to solve a problem for them, but also you're collecting valuable information about your lead in this case that can help you determine do they fall under my ideal customer profile? Can we actually help them? Here and throughout the process you're also hopefully building a level of trust. Don't promise something you can't do. Instead, you know and said you can say some long lines of this is along the road map. But you know, you had the opportunity become an early customer and we can build this with you. To some extent. Less is more in terms of don't be two sales to you, right, I'm not going to tell sellers how to do their work or markers are do their work, but as many questions as you can can often be a good thing. Yeah, absolutely, and I think the more they're talking, the more opportunities that you have to identify a problem that your product...

...or your service can actually solve, and so it just practically to me. It makes sense. The struggle is is, how do you I think we're so hardwired and trained to want to talk about our product, talk about our solution, talk about how we can help. So we're just not thinking thoughtfully about, okay, what questions that can I actually ask to get them to do the talking, and so that's been something that I've of I've just been wrestling with a lot recently, is thinking thoughtfully about what kind of questions can I ask that will allow them to do the bulk of the talking and give me the insight that I need to actually be able to determine if what we can do for them is going to be helpful. So that's something I've been yeah, no, I mean that's that's a great point. Let me just add one final thing there. If you think about it, and I mean in this day and age, all of us, you know, have been are probably constantly being sold something over email. You know, think about when...

...when I seller comes to you and hits you at the paragraph of information about their product if it's not a perfect fit. If you don't happen to be thinking about that right now, it's just annoying. But if somebody comes to me and I say hey, it's not a fit, and I've gotten this many times from some great sales people, and they follow up and they say, Oh, you know, just out of curiosity, what were you using? Or you know, somebody opens and says, what's your biggest problem? That answer, that's easy. I know. I can respond it at quickly and I'm fine doing it and I'm still may not buy the products, but the very least you're getting information about so let's say I don't. Let's say say hey, stop emailing and not going to buy this. The more that you information you've cleaned from me before then the more you can figure out. Okay, nick wasn't a fit. Why is that? And how should we change who we go up to? So, yeah, yeah, I love it. This last piece we're going to talk about, Nick, is having a simple but highly resident, resonant value prop you know, this one again...

...makes makes perfect sense, but it elaborate on it a little bit so our listeners can understand the depth of what you're talking about here. Sure, yeah, I mean I think this one probably comes off as the most obvious, but you know, often I find it at it, especially early on, you can be difficult to realize how simple you actually want to eventually be. I mean you want. If you look at the website of successful growing grows stage companies, they rarely have a tagline, or subtitle, if you will, that's more than say, five or six words long, and you know that's because, like anything else, you only have about five seconds to grab someone's attention. So early on you're spending a lot of time on on engineering, on product development. You know, the entire team is full of data...

...points around how performing your product is, how it's better than competitors. It's various features a canon can't do, which, hopefully, for any prospect they'll eventually will eventually understand that. But your goal is, in terms of positioning the product, is to to come up with a very impactful like hey, where the couple words not only speak to what we can do, but that engage our prospects quickly, that help people understand how big the opportunity is. And you know, I'll address this final thing. They're this same thing, for better or worse, is relevant to entrepreneurs or start up leaders thinking about future investment as well, because you know the the often this simpler. Your elevator pitch is not only easier, it makes it for downstream investors understand what you're doing. Is But the more complex that statement is, likely the smaller...

Tam seems. Does that make sense? Yeah, and when you say Tam, just for the folks listening that don't understand that, that's your addressable market. Yeah, that's total addressable market, right, which is look, it's always a kind of subjective thing, like what's your, you know, current addressable market versus eventual and I get it. It's nuance, but to take the words from folks who have come before me, it's it's you know, you're looking to peel back the onion, right and so and this is both for the sales process and a potential fundraising start with the big idea and here's what we can do. There's what we will be doing in ten years, and then peel back to okay, you know, there's what's on the road map, here's what we're doing now, there's what's aspirational. Love it, but you know, you gotta. You got to hook them in first with that short and sweet value prop nick, this has been fantastic. If there's somebody listening, they want to stay connected with you. They want to learn...

...more about bottery capital. What's the best way for them to go about doing that? Yeah, you know you you can always come visit Bari Capcom or our crunch facebook. I'll get a better sense for the firm. If you're not interesting connecting with me personally or it's a probably most numbers of our team, you know, just to be up front. The easiest ways always a warm intro, just given volumes of the email. But I do also try to stay as active as I can on on Linkedin and and twitter, so that's definitely a good route as well. Nick, again, this has been fantastic. I really appreciate your time today. So I thanks a lot. Yeah, absolutely, I really appreciate having me. If you're a BB marketer, we want to feature you on sites like the Huffington post social media examiner and chief marketer. Every week we send that a question related to be to be marketing. We use the responses to those questions to feel the content we write for really popular websites. So head over to sweet fish Mediacom questions and...

...sign up today. Thank you so much for listening. Until next done.

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