Sales October 30, 2020

Free Sales Advice Friday

Ryan Doyle @royledoyle

Sales rep for 6-figure SaaS here.

What's your business? I'll reply with actionable advice on where I'd find customers and what I'd say to them.

Here's a post in Notion on pre-selling your ideas.

  1. 2

    Hey! This is great as I’ve been trying to hone in my sales skills. I’m building newclick.io for e-commerce and support teams to display informational messaging on their website (think promotional announcements, product updates, etc).

    1. 1

      Hey Alex! Very slick product. I imagine it'd be helpful to go after Shopify users first. There's the trust that comes with being in the marketplace, and getting you some good early reviews can help start a flywheel to get you discovered.

      How can we find some Shopify stores that want to use us? I just googled "Shopify Conference" because I figure, like every business, conferences are going digital right now. I'm guessing if there's a Shopify conference of some sort, they'll be talking about all the new tactics they're using to perform well.

      There were so many results, and one directory I found was the partner community events. You're a partner and you want access to the community, right?

      Clicking into any one of those events shows the speakers and moderators for each of the past/future events. These are people I'd want to reach out to. I'd want to be personalized - the great thing about your snippet is you could go to their page, inspect element, drop it in, and include a screenshot in the email:

      "Hey, found you through this event! Saw you had a sale going on, check out this mockup I made of your site to let users know what you've got going on:
      (image)

      I make newclick(link to shopify listing) which makes it easy to increase conversions by sending announcements like that. Would love to be a part of your success story this holiday season, are you open to trying a new conversion rate optimization tool?"

      I'd repeat that for as many stores as I can, showing my product on their page. Let them see what it would look like, while knowing you're a real person and not some bot. This tactic always worked for me :)

      1. 1

        Solid advice! Thanks Ryan. Really like your idea on dropping the snippet into their page and taking a screen shot. Brilliant.

        1. 1

          Hey Alex, I'm compiling every Free Sales Advice I've ever done (from a bunch of communities).

          Would you mind if I included this one? It'll only be visible to people in my sales for bootstrappers group

          1. 1

            No problem, Ryan. Go for it!

        2. 1

          Glad to hear it! I wrote up more advice, linked in my post up top. Getting a bootstrapper's weekly guide to sales going, hope it helps!

  2. 2

    Hey Ryan thanks for doing this.

    I'm building Podcast Ping : Uptime monitoring built for Podcasters.

    1. 2

      Mubs! Thanks for joining. Great product, very niche. I love something this niche because it's so easy to locate our potential customers.

      Question: If you had a directory of podcasts, could you just run websites through your tool to see who's down? Or run a script on your backend to loop through them all?

      If you could do that, you've hit the holy grail: providing value up front before you even try to sell. Whether you choose to message those downed-podcast owners on Twitter, email, FB, whatever, you could say something to the effect of:

      Hey X,

      Saw Podcast was down in Europe - take a look at this screenshot:
      (screenshot)

      Thought you might like to know! I ran Podcast through my tool Podcast Ping (link) to find out. There's a free trial and would love to help you from having this happen again!

      --

      If you can't do something like that, I still want to go to these podcast directories and message the owners. Googling "podcast directory" returns so many results. I go to a random one, and I see "premium podcasts." Surely they care about uptime. I click one and I'm taken to a self-hosted website. Great, surely they have a means of contacting them. I see they have a "send a message" option. Great! Let's say:

      Hey X,

      Saw your last episode got X downloads - congrats!

      As you're growing, are you able to see when your podcast goes down in a certain location or on a certain platform? I ask because I make Podcast Ping, which monitors all of that for you.

      I'd love to be part of your success as you grow. There's a free trial, maybe you'll see some insights you didn't know about!

      1. 2

        Thanks Ryan.

        I can and will do both of these, the templates for the emails are very helpful indeed!

        1. 1

          Glad to hear it Mubs! I linked a resource in my main post I hope is helpful for getting more sales. See you on Twitter!

  3. 2

    Hi Ryan,

    Would love to hear your thoughts on how would you promote www.userTrack.net, a website analytics tool meant to replace multiple other tools and also improve privacy by self-hosting.

    I am personally not a fan of cold-emailing, as I don't like receiving those kind of emails either.

    Any ideas are highly appreciated!

    Cristian

    1. 3

      Hey Cristian, first off, fantastic service. I can see myself using this.

      I think there's a lot we can do to organically talk to people about userTrack without straight up cold emailing.

      For instance, if I set up a Tweetdeck (free) for terms like Hotjar, Privacy Analytics, etc. I immediately see someone asking about doing Hotjar in a privacy focused way.. That's a great opportunity to subtweet and say: "Hey, I build a service that does that. Check it out and let me know if you have any questions: usertrack.net".

      That's incredibly helpful! And can be replicated on other platforms by using like a tool like Syften to monitor keywords on Reddit, or if you're in slack groups of web devs, setting notificiations to monitor those same keywords.

      I really advocate that - being where your potential customers are, the moment they voice their issue. You can swoop in heroically!

      1. 3

        Thanks a lot Ryan, those are great suggestions!

        I actually already use Tweetdeck and AlertHN to get involved in related discussions, this is really powerful.

        I was thinking of doing that for reddit too, I didn't know about Syften, will check it out. One problem I'm starting to have is getting too many notifications and becoming hard to go through all of them and see if they are relevant or not.

        1. 1

          I agree - it gets difficult when there's too much to consume. At some point I step back into my inbox and my inbox only, working on cold emails

      2. 3

        I actually just got notified of this post becuase you linked to my Tweet and userTrack looks awesome and I'll definitely check it out!

        1. 1

          Thanks for the nice words about userTrack James!

          If you have any questions about it you can DM me on Twitter

  4. 2

    Hi Ryan!

    I'm currently growing DetailsPro — iOS-based UI design app created for Sketch/Figma designers on iOS and iOS developers. I've had a little motion on Twitter but feeling a bit stuck at the moment.

    Thank you for any advice!

    1. 1

      Hey Sahand! I found Detailspro.app through google - looks like that link is to .com.

      It looks like it's free at the moment, which is great for expanding reach. I imagine you built this to truly help people because you know a bit about the space. So when you're reaching out I hope you can be of the mindset of "I am helping people!" because I hate to see folks be scared of sharing their great free work.

      So how can we find and help more people? To follow up on your Twitter success, I'd want to set up a Tweetdeck (free) for keywords like "figma", "sketch", "ui design" and more. That way I can organically recommend designers your tool when they talk about it.

      To get in front of more professionals, I search something like "ui" or "figma" on Linkedin. I see a UI group w 120k members, I bet some would use your app! Besides posting the app, I'd message individual members who are asking for tool advice. Something to the effect of:

      Hey, Saw your post in the UI group! I make DetailsPro which I think could help with what you're after. It's free too.

      Is there any particular issue you're having with (tool mentioned)?

      --

      This lets us help by advocating for DetailsPro while sniffing out any specific issue that we can use to further follow up and explain our value, or take back and build into the product.

      I'd also want to message a group moderator:

      Hey! Been here for about a week now, thank you for building a great group. I wanted to get on your radar if anyone's asking you for tool recommendations - I build a free tool called DesignPro and am hoping to get the word out :)

      1. 2

        DUDE! This is great advice. I fully had no idea that LinkedIn had groups, I didn’t know about Tweetdeck, and your examples are super helpful. Thank you x1000000

        1. 1

          Appreciate the kind words! If you want some easy tips on automating sales stuff + more, I linked a Notion page in my main post. I'm building a newsletter on sales advice for bootstrappers and that's post 1!

  5. 2

    Hi Ryan,

    Would love to get your insights on pry.co - financial planning software for startups. We make it simple for companies to manage their budget, hiring plan, financial models, and cash runway forecasts.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. 1

      Hey Tiffany! Pry looks slick. And great to see you're already partnering with VC firms - my first thought was, long-term, VC partnerships are great because all new investments can be guided towards Pry.

      But where can we find customers outside of your VC network? I'm guessing you see a lot of interest when a company either completes a funding round or makes one of their first hires in finance.

      On the free side, I'd subscribe to Fortune's Term Sheet and check Crunchbase daily to see what companies are getting their Series A funding. I'd reach out to the CFO if there was one, otherwise the CEO, and say:

      Hey X,

      Congrats on the round today! Saw you didn't have a finance hire in place. (or, if they have a CFO, saw you're already building a strong finance resource).

      I've been working with a few Sequoia/Nomo companies since their A round, because my company Pry.co is an all-in-one tool for finance + runway planning.

      Is there someone tasked with finance in the interim? (Or, if they have a CFO, are you looking into tools you can build your department on?) If so, I think we'd both benefit from an intro - we're in early access and looking for partners we can grow with.

      --

      Keeping this short and sweet, while touching on the main problem (you just got a few mil in the bank and you don't know how you're going to manage it) has gone a long way for me.

      If they're of the same mindset, you've explained yourself in a simple enough way that they'll want to know more. If not, you didn't waste too much time going after them.

      --

      On the more paid side, If you can get access to Linkedin Sales Navigator (about $70/m), you can set certain criteria like:

      • Show me everyone who:
      • is in this geographic area
      • is in a C level finance role
      • is at a <20 person company
      • has started their job within the last 90 days

      that's the strategy I love, because you can capitalize on someone starting a new job and get in while they're setting up their department!

      1. 2

        This is amazing, thank you for taking the time!!!

        1. 1

          Hey Tiffany, I'm compiling every Free Sales Advice I've ever done (from a bunch of communities).

          Would you mind if I included this one? It'll only be visible to people in my sales for bootstrappers group

          1. 2

            Absolutely, not a prob :)

  6. 2

    Hi Ryan!

    I'm currently bulding EmbedTables.com - tool allowing you beautifully embed data from Google Sheets or Airtable in your website using pre-designed templates in 5 minutes.

    Any advice is on weight of gold!

    1. 2

      Hey Nicki! This is a fun one.

      I love this because we can get technical and data driven. How can we find people who need to embed tables. Well, who's currently linking to tables? I bet if we found some nice sites that were sending people to external resources in Airtable and Sheets, they'd be prime to message. Let's help them up their user experience while keeping users on-site.

      How do we find what sites are linking to sheets? Google search operators! If we were to Google "docs.google.com/spreadsheets -inurl:google" we'd receive every website that links to a google sheet that isn't Google itself. That's what the "minus inurl google" means.

      We get back 3.7m results for that, or 3.7m sites that could potentially use EmbedTables. Even if it's only 1% of that, that's 37,000 potential targets! Assuming a very safe 10% of those become customers at a very safe $10/year, that's $37k a year. Sorry, math rant over.

      There are going to be a lot of shitty links here. I'd challenge you to scroll through some results until you find one that looks reasonable. Maybe it's someone's personal site linking to a sheet. Make note of how it's different from the other shitty results. Is there some special keyword in the title? Like "Resource"? If so, we'll adapt our search to "docs.google.com/spreadsheets -inurl:google intitle:resource" so we can find more sites like it.

      THIS is the fun part of sales, where we can start to hone down and find our people. It'll be on a case-by-case basis, but you should be able to find some contact at each of these sites. Say, hey! Saw you link out for this resource. I have something so you can easily embed it. It'll keep users on-site and provide a better experience. Want to try it? Or should I talk to your dev?

      1. 2

        Thank you for your time, it’s a very interesting advice! I’m going to use that strategy

        1. 1

          Hey Dominik, I'm compiling every Free Sales Advice I've ever done (from a bunch of communities).

          Would you mind if I included this one? It'll only be visible to people in my sales for bootstrappers group

        2. 1

          best of luck! if you happen to compile a bunch of emails and want to send in bulk, I wrote up some tips that I linked in my post up top. Getting a bootstrapper's guide to sales going!

  7. 2

    Hey Ryan!

    I'm building a productivty tool that lets teams build their own internal tools. These tools are as easy as spreadsheets to setup yet powerful enough to handle Project Management and Sales CRM (these are the two verticals we're focusing on initially).

    Sales advice is much appreciated!

    1. 3

      Hey Jaison! Very cool! I'm guessing I might be able to compare it to something like Airtable but with more productivity features, yes?

      In my mind, the people who are going to need something like this are just on the cusp of hating how much they live in google sheets, while being too small for a $100k software. Where do we find businesses like this to test our hypothesis?

      I'd look at what businesses are just getting their Seed or A round funding. They now have the money to invest in new tools. They need to organize and get internal systems into place, and you have the potential to help them. You can subscribe to Fortune's Term Sheet to get a daily email of many different funding rounds. You could go on Crunchbase and sort searches by date funded.

      Company name in hand, you could Google "<Company> CEO (or CMO or whatever)" to get their Linkedin. Either message them on Linkedin or email them by trying "[email protected]".

      I'd say:

      "Name,

      Congrats on the round! I read it on X.

      Who's tasked with setting up the internal tools for all the processes you're spinning up? I ask because my tool JaisonD handles everything from Project Management to Sales CRM, and I'd love to partner with Company.

      Appreciate your guidance!

      Thanks,
      Jaison"

      I've sent some variation of this email to businesses that just received funding for most of my career. It's a very powerful tactic that I did probably 50% of my business from.

      1. 2

        Great! Thanks mate! I can use this. Loved the approach.

        1. 1

          Glad to hear it! I'm trying to share more founder-focused sales advice. Would really appreciate if you checked out the post I linked above and left any advice you may have :)

          1. 2

            I don't have any advice on the post but I got plenty on tryChatty:

            1. The landing page is too wordy
            2. I thought it was a drift alternative (maybe put a recognizable website like Forbes and put chatty on it, could work)
            3. Beta test the sh*t out of the landing page after you've improved it. Show it to a layman for 15 seconds, hide it, ask them what the website is about. Redesign. Repeat.

            Hope this helps.

  8. 2

    Hey,

    I'm building a twitter tool for developers to help them grow their audience by saving them time and make their code snippets beautiful all in one go.

    Ideas?

    1. 1

      Hey Eamon! So the value for Twitter users on your tool is less time on Twitter logistics, better results from their work?

      If we're to think about the Twitter users who care about this and where they hang out, it stands to reason that if they care enough about joining their audience they also care to join some type of group to help them do that better.

      Searching "Twitter" on Facebook and Linkedin reveals a bunch of groups of users who seem to care about the Twitter hustle. Also, by using Tweetdeck, I can monitor for words like "Tweet Scheduler" or "grow audience." That way I can be right there when it's the right time to mention the tool.

      To the people in the professional groups, I want to say something to the effect of:
      "Hey, saw we're in the same group. I made this tool to help grow my audience and am trying to see how helpful it is for the rest of Twitter. Want to try it for free? Just looking for your feedback"

      To the keywords tweeters I'm monitoring, I want to respond to their tweets that mention the keywords. "Hey, I'm building something that does that. Want to try it and let me know what you think?"

      1. 3

        Nice! Didn't think of using a monitoring tool like tweetdeck !
        Groups on linkedin are something i never though of either.

        Cheers!

  9. 2

    Trying to build a sales course for old school, service based small business owners / freelancers. Will be teaching basic concepts of objection handling, negotiation, framing good questions, preparing rebuttals, habits and mindset.

    I've got over over 20k cold calls under my belt, high value accounts, small value accounts and everything in between. Managed and coached sales teams and account management teams at startups and Fortune 500.

    Where do I find people who would want this .Willing to make one on one outreach until my marketing efforts gain traction.

    1. 2

      Hey Naeem! Glad to help a seller sell.

      You've already got the product expertise. Getting people to engage with you seems like the gap we're trying to fill. How would I go about finding service businesses to sell this to?

      On a small, local scale: Most cities and towns have a chamber of commerce. If I google "<town> Chamber of Commerce," I can find their website. Most every one of these sites has a member's directory, essentially an old school phone book of every business in your area.

      I'd definitely start here because the local association is something I can call out in my outreach. Bridging gaps and building trust earns us customers, and being from the same place is like a cheat code for that.

      On a larger scale: I'd be looking at Facebook groups for small business owner or service business groups. Some are pretty noisy, but you can find a good one by getting very specific. For example, if I wanted to find business owners of maid businesses, I'd look for facebook groups of Zenmaid users, the software behind those businesses.

      On the largest scale: After some proven success in the other two areas, I'd be reaching out to saas owners for partnerships. Every time someone signs up for a business like Zenmaid, they should be offered a coupon to your course. It's a win-win-win. You get a new customer. Zenmaid's customer stays in business. The end customer gets the tools they need.

      Hope that helps!

      1. 2

        Boom! Thanks Ryan. Didn't think of the Chamber of Commerce angle - time to make a few calls

  10. 1

    Hi Ryan!

    I'm currently growing devondemand.co a frontend dev platform on demand.

    Thank you for your advices!

  11. 1

    Swipe.page

    Thank you.

    1. 1

      Hey Gene! Love Swipe.page, looks very slick. I see you have a lot of testimonials from founder types and I imagine it's a big investment to grab swipe.files. If we can get in front of some businesses, it's so much easier for them to justify a $187 purchase. A VP of Growth or similar might not bat an eye at expensing a tool that can give them a 1% edge.

      So how can we find relevant people at businesses to sell to?

      Searching "growth marketing" on Linkedin reveals a bunch of groups of growth hacking users, like this one. The great thing about these groups is I can see someone's role, if they may be a relevant target, and then message them directly from the platform.

      Of course selling in these groups can be a crapshoot, but you have the expertise to provide value up front and set yourself apart. If you took a look at someone's website for 10 seconds before messaging them, I bet you could find something you would fix.

      I want to say something to the effect of:
      "Hey X, saw we're in the same group and was on your website. Really slick and I think a CTA like // a welcome email like // condensing your form like // these guys (link to relevant example in your swipe files" would really help you.

      My company Swipe.files could be a great resource for improving 1% every day and driving a higher conversion rate. Would love for you to take a look and use it if it's relevant!

      --
      That's the best type of sales - the type where you still helped the person (and inevitably, your brand) even if they don't buy. If you were to invest in a tool like LinkedIn Sales Nav ($70/m) you could reach out to growth marketers who just started a new role. Use the same pitch and frame Swipe.files as a way for them to stand out in their first 90 days.

      1. 2

        Thanks for this, appreciate the advice!

        1. 1

          Hey Gene, I'm compiling every Free Sales Advice I've ever done (from a bunch of communities).

          Would you mind if I included this one? It'll only be visible to people in my sales for bootstrappers group

  12. 1

    Great article, I just cant understand why you use Excel when there is free tool for tracking everything https://bit.ly/37YJOtG ?

    1. 1

      thanks mtonev! mostly because I've never heard of it until now ;)

      1. 1

        This is maybe the best software for this, also there is a free version to try its power and easy to organize everything in your campaigns.

  13. 1

    Hey,

    My business is https://www.unitMeasure.xyz

    Basically an android app that is a unit converter with some bonus features that don't exist in other apps.

    Would love any tips n how to improve and get more users.

  14. 1

    Launching out of stealth with Relaytivity.com next month. We've created a universal transport layer that normalizes interactions between virtually any cloud, service, API, etc.

    How would you get the attention of Software and DevOps Engineers in a B2B/Enterprise environment?

    1. 1

      hey rndlph! congrats on getting it off the ground. My career was in B2B + Enterprise. Seeing as you tie a lot of systems together, you'll likely employ a similar strategy to what I did in my role. We were always looking for people who we're on the "cusp of complexity," so to speak, and who were experiencing an event that could be a catalyst for using a service like this.

      When you couple those two things together, people are much more likely to listen to your message. I say that because it seems like your message here, like ours, is to simplify and bring order to that complexity.

      On the free side, a business receiving venture capital funding is one of those events that's both big enough to be a catalyst for change and a signal to an increasingly complex business. Subscribing to Fortune's Daily Term Sheet (free) or watching new Crunchbase funding every day (free and paid) will show you businesses that are targets.

      On the paid side, using Linkedin Sales Nav ($70/m) will allow you to set criteria like:
      Show me everyone who:
      -is in this geographic area
      -is in a C level eng/devops role
      -is at a <20 person company
      -has started their job within the last 90 days

      You could also sign up for the paid version of BuiltWith, to see when businesses first adopt new technologies, or simply to see who's built on Mongo or PostgreSQL.

      Once you have your target companies, my note to someone in Engineering/Tech leadership would be simple:

      Hey X,

      Congrats on the new role!//Congrats on the funding!// Saw the news on Crunchbase//Linkedin.

      Reaching out as I imagine you're setting the tech foundation to build the next stage of Company on. My company Relaytivity is the infrastructure that can unite your (if you know the tech they use, mention it here).

      Are you making any tech infrastructure decisions right now? If so, we'd love to be part of the conversation and potentially partner.

      --

      This works because of its simplicity. You want to hook folks who are thinking about tech infrastructure and then have the bigger conversation from there. Of course you could say a thousand things about Relaytivity in this intro email, but people don't read thousand word emails. Sell the meeting with you, then sell Relaytivity in the meeting :)

      1. 2

        Ryan, this is dead-on. Some of this overlaps our strategy, but you filled gaps, rounded the corners, and buffed some rough spots. Will take this running.

        Anyone is lucky to have you on their team, and I hope this isn't the last we speak. Grateful for your insight, you have an exceptional view on the process!

        1. 1

          Wow rndlph, incredibly kind of you to say! Thank you for taking the time to leave that nice comment.

          If it's helpful, the post up-top links to a "preselling to your first 100 customers" guide I did. I'm testing the waters on doing weekly guides for bootstrapped sales.

          1. 2

            I'll get a hold of that guide and relay some feedback/ideas to you this week

            1. 1

              I appreciate that rndlph!

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