It usually takes me 1.5 years to go through a new A5 notepad. In a little over a month at Techstars, I’m halfway through my most recent one. Safe to say, I will buy another one ASAP, since I don’t intend on slowing down my note taking!

We’re halfway through the Techstars Boulder program. In a way, it felt that we just started yesterday (everything just happened so fast!), but, on the other hand, our company has grown so much that it feels like we’ve been here for a year.

Here’s a quick round-up of our progress so far:

Mentor Matching

On the first weeks of the program, we were focused on growing our network. Not only we got an insane amount of feedback on our product, positioning, fundraising strategy and design, but we also found mentors that will help us throughout the program.

This is a time where startups question their business, and potentially pivot (to give you time to build up a good story before demo day).

In our case, the response was overwhelmingly positive to the issue we were tackling, but it was also very clear that we needed to understand who would be our power users. “Every professional” is not a good definition of a target market. “Sales teams” is better, but far from specific.

Positioning Fine-Tuning

Our next step after all that feedback was… to get more feedback. This time not from mentors but from a specific subset of sales teams, from a particular subset of companies. We conducted empathy interviews (thank you @zachnies!) to understand their challenges and main roadblocks, without mentioning what Attentive does at all.

After six interviews we found a very clear pattern: these teams would spend 20-30% of their time researching leads – usually leads that are not on their open pipeline anymore. They were either wrongly qualified (which could be fixed by the marketing team) or simply they weren’t ready to buy yet.

That’s exactly where Attentive can help – re-activating leads on your CRM that weren’t ready to buy when you first contacted them. We also found out that the minimum sales cycle is around 3 months. A short sales process leaves little time for researching leads.

Even though we were very excited about the feedback we got, there were dozens of companies using our platform that did not fit that profile. Time to make a bold decision.


Sorry, we’re closed

To be able to deliver a great experience to this more specific market, we need to acquire each company individually and check-in every day to make sure they’re having a great experience with Attentive. Having to hand-hold dozens of accounts is hard for a five-person team, so we made the decision to close the free trials on the website and move towards a waiting list model.

We have 5 pilot testers giving us great feedback and we plan to keep adding new ones every week.

If you feel that your organization need help in re-activating dormant leads, let us know!