Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is Nic Poulos, Founder of Bowery Capital, a thesis-driven early-stage investor backing exceptional founders. Among the topics Nic and I discuss in this episode are: why enterprise customers are becoming more willing to buy mission critical systems from start-ups, what strategies help a start-up to get through the growth stage, and how to structure an effective proof-of-concept trial that works for your buyer and you.
[3:01] Nic believes investing in enterprise solutions is extremely exciting for those who enjoy the latest technologies, such as SaaS, and how they impact the way business is done.
[5:29] Nic notes that enterprises are starting to recognize value and advantage in acquiring earlier, cutting-edge technologies from start-ups, rather than seeking established vendors with larger implementation costs.
[11:23] Nic emphasizes how knowing your customer’s exact pain point, and what will drive them to purchase.
[14:23] Understand your costs before entering into a Proof of Concept trial with a buyer. If there are significant implementation and support costs beyond just offering a free trial, then you should consider a paid PoC trial.
[15:45] Nic identifies the key to a successful Proof of Concept as having the mutual agreement and commitment to a specific set of milestones (the successful achievement of which should lead to an order.)
[20:59] Nic counsels new companies to watch how much budget is directed to sales automation, and whether the investment is producing the desired returns.
[23:50] Why it is important for founders to answer this question: Is this is a product that solves a problem only for companies in Silicon Valley, or does it provide solutions and value that are widely applicable to enterprises (other than growth-stage tech companies.)
Who is your sales role model?
Mark Roberge, author of The Sales Acceleration Formula.
What’s one book that every salesperson should read?
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey.
What music is on your playlist right now?
The Revenant soundtrack, Gigamesh, Zara Larsson and Drake.