It’s time to start testing our work in the #gxmxp with customers in your intended market.
Our goal with this initial market outreach is to generate enough conversations to test, iterate and re-test all of your hypotheses for several months moving forward without pressing down the pedal too hard so that it overly taxes your limited resources.
We’re still not ready for scale.
You already know who you want to talk to and what you want to say to them. It’s time to actually start doing it in a way that matches your resources and that answers the specific questions you have.
Initial market outreach is about seeing what’s working, but it’s also about seeing where there are leaks so you can start to place bigger, more capital intensive bets on your outreach efforts in order to acquire new customers and revenue.
We want to find the obvious blockers that would completely halt your efforts if you hit the scale button.
To effectively test your messaging, conversational frameworks, pricing, customer on-boarding, etc., you need to be having constant conversations with potential customers. And the only way you’re going to have enough conversations is if you have a steady pipeline of new conversations flowing into your pipeline through consistent campaign strategies.
You need to have enough conversations to test, iterate and re-test all of your hypotheses for several months moving forward. Without a steady stream of market outreach efforts on your end, your stream of new conversations and therefore opportunities to learn are going to run dry.
With the goal of validating your hypotheses, we’re going to:
✓ Volatile pipelines kill startups. One of the biggest mistakes companies make is not planning out their tools, systems and collateral before doing Initial Market Outreach. Failing to plan ahead negatively impacts the consistent flow of leads and conversations. People often underestimate the time commitment and the level of effort it takes to get new conversations going.
You reach out to 50 people, you hear from 10 of them, and then you bring those 10 people through your pipeline. One of them closes. What’s next? You took three months doing that and now you have to start all over again. This means you’re three months away from your next conversation!
Waiting three months for a dead pipeline to start building momentum again could mean the end for a startup and force you to compromise on your ICP, pricing or customer acquisition strategy. The easiest way to avoid pipeline volatility is to avoid outreach volatility.
Initial market outreach helps you stage and launch outreach while capturing insights to help you make each subsequent effort more effective based on data, not instincts.
✓ Don’t forget about the data. Data is king here. Set everything up so you can actually track information. Good data will help you identify how to get better at this. Your gut instinct isn’t helpful when it comes to these marketing efforts. If you’re not collecting anything and analyzing it, then you’re just playing a guessing game with your business.
✓ Use your resources. As you’re starting Market Outreach, look back at your resources and identify who is going to be responsible for these efforts. Does this person have the time to do it? How does their bandwidth and their experience match your expectations? Whether you assign this to someone or do it yourself, make sure that you’re building realistic expectations with the quantity and quality of outreach and the amount of time you have to consistently do it well. Who can make this a part of their job on a daily basis?
At the end of this section, you’ll have a portfolio of marketing assets (like demo decks, white papers, email and ad copy, collateral, etc.), and you’ll have created a closed-feedback loop to test messaging across your customer acquisition channels.
It’s time to revisit your work so far starting with Resource Review and working your way back through the #gxmxp Series to Building Your Marketing and Tech Stack to make sure everything is complete and current. All of these resources are required to effectively move on to Market Outreach.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll be ready for our next step together in #gxmxp: Campaign Creation and Execution by Channel.