I usually take 1.5 years to go through a new A5 notepad. In a little over a month of Techstars I’m halfway through my most recent one. Suffice to say, I need to buy another quickly because I don’t intend slowing down on my note taking!
We’re halfway into the Techstars Boulder program. In some respects, 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 felt that we’ve been here for a year.
Here’s a quick round-up of our progress so far:
The first few weeks of the program were focused on 100x’ing your network. Not only to get an insane amount of feedback on our product, positioning, fundraising strategy or even design, but also to find mentors that will help us throughout the program.
This is a time that startups use to 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 in the problem 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 it’s far from specific.
Fine-tune our positioning
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 6 interviews we found a very clear pattern: These teams would spend 20-30% of their time researching about leads, usually leads that are not on their open pipeline anymore. They were either wrongly qualified, which can be fixed by the marketing team, or were just not ready to buy yet.
That’s exactly where Attentive can help – re-activating the leads that you have on your CRM, but were not ready to buy when you contacted them. We also found out that the minimum sales cycle would be around 3 months. Having a shorter sales process meant that you go through leads too fast to invest in researching about them.
Despite being very excited about the feedback we got, we had 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 them 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 to a waiting list model.
We have 5 pilot testers giving us great feedback and plan to keep adding new ones every week.
If you feel that your organization need help in re-activating dormant leads, let us know!