AMAs May 16, 2019

I've been in B2B sales for nearly a decade and am co-founder of Recapped, ask me anything!

Mark Fershteyn @Fersh

Hey everyone!

I'm Mark Fershteyn, co-founder and CEO at Recapped.io.

I've been in B2B SaaS sales for nearly a decade, and do some sales consulting on the side for fun.

Recapped.io is a collaboration platform for sales teams and freelancers to use with their potential customers. Instead of relying on millions of email chains, you can manage all client communication in a single place, including a checklist of next steps.

I was lucky to be on the Indie Hackers podcast recently where we discussed these challenges and sales at large.

I'm partnering with Indie Hackers to host an #ama session on Thursday, May 30th at 3pm Eastern Time, and I would love to help.

Ask me anything!

  1. 7

    Could you explain in detail your how-to when prospecting from zero for a new business?

  2. 2

    Hi Mark,

    Thank you for being on the podcast and doing this AMA, it really helps this community!

    Are the 1-minute YouTube sales clips out yet?

    My question: for a service provider delivering value to multiple stakeholders at an organization, how do you craft your main page website message to appeal to all of them? It also applies to any other medium where you really have no segmentation option.

    We started an agency to freelance our way into a SaaS product and we've put together a simple web page that highlights value we are delivering. But instead of targeting the execs with higher-level deliverables all the way through, we decided to show some details other stakeholders browsing the site would care about. Because people at different levels always have different goals, KPIs, etc.

    What's your opinion on this and how would you do it? Thanks!

    logictaps.com

    1. 1

      Hey Neil,

      Absolutely - happy to hear you got enjoyment out of it. No, those will be coming shortly though. I'll ping my newsletter when they're live, so I would recommend subscribing.

      Honestly, this is something that we really struggled with ourselves. At the end of the day, unless your product is so horizontally-focused that everyone can use it (Notion, Google Docs, etc), I would recommend choosing a main customer profile and push on all content for them.

      Who is the person that'll be visiting the page? Is it the high-level executive or a peon? Target the messaging towards them, and then have separate landing pages.

      We started focusing on B2B sales teams, and built up separate landing pages with highly specific language and messaging.

      I wouldn't recommend trying to do a catch-all approach personally.

  3. 2

    What would you suggest for someone who doesn’t have many contacts in target industry?

    We have a restaurant management SAAS system and have one big client through personal contact. How do we go about finding more prospects? I did not find any online platform where the restaurateurs participate.

    1. 1

      First off, I would say most people starting out don't have contacts in their target industry. The exception is if you were a part of the industry for 5+ years and networked your way around.

      Can that contact refer you to others? Are there communities? I know reddit has a few subreddits for restaurant owners.

      Unfortunately, the answer is usually "pound the pavement and go meet them". Wherever they hang out (their actual restaurant in your case) is where you'll find the most success.

  4. 2

    Can you show us an example of a very well written cold email/message? Without disclosing any sensitive information, of course. Can you highlight its strongest points?

  5. 1

    Are you looking for an advisor role? Can you recommend someone from your network who might be interested to be B2B sales partner/advisor? My B2B SaaS https://robo-packing.ml

  6. 1

    Hi Mark! My question: Have you had any success converting free users to paid users? What kind of pushback can I expect in that first conversation? Thanks!

    1. 1

      You honestly won't know until you have the conversation. There are a TON of factors that play into this.

      We personally reach out via phone, email, and linkedin to all free trials that sign up. Every now and then someone will get mad, but that's a price I'm willing to pay.

      At the end of the day, your goal is to ensure they see the value from your product. They MUST see the "aha" moment before the trial runs out.

      If you start hearing that they don't want convert - ask them "why?". Don't hold back. Always push for transparency and honesty.

  7. 1

    Do you have any advice on how to handle B2B sales differently than B2C sales? A lot of my clients have struggled with B2B sales and how to handle this type of business.

    1. 1

      Personally, I hated B2C sales and loved B2B.

      You can't really cold call someone out of the blue in B2C, wheres in B2B it's the norm. People also act very differently when the result is focused around an ROI for their business, versus themselves.

      For example - most people wouldn't pay $495/month for a service unless it's a car or other high-ticket item. But in B2B that's a small contract.

  8. 1

    Hey Mark,

    Thank you for volunteering to do this with indiehackers community.

    Recently, I have been reading a lot about sales (from close.io and other related websites) because I've got a facebook group leads generation chrome extension i'm trying to market.

    Here it is: https://groupleads.net

    Now to my question.

    What sales tactics would advise someone who is trying to generate more revenue for a saas product as small as chrome extension?

    1. 1

      Cool extension!

      Honestly, this is a bit out of my wheelhouse (small b2c purchases) but I imagine all of the standard psychology tricks would work:

      • Discount emails

      • Triggering their fear of missing out or losing something (if it expires they lose their leads?)

      • Gamification

      • etc

      Hope that helps!

  9. 1

    How much should I follow up on my cold emails? It can start to get unwieldy to do followups when I'm sourcing 30+ cold emails per day. Sometimes it starts to feel like I'm better off just focusing on sending more 1st contact emails instead of spending my time following up on no-replies.

    Also, when dealing with a large organization, who do you typically cold email first? Middle management or chief execs?

    1. 1

      I know the feeling.

      You'll want to do at least 12+ touches on all "quality" leads. The sad truth is that most of your leads will take 9-12 touches (calls, linkedin messages, emails, etc) before they answer you.

      Giving up at 3-5 is the worst thing you can possibly do. At Recapped.io, I'm a firm believer of calling until someone either buys or tells us to stop :)

      It depends on your market, and their buying processes. Slack and Box start at the bottom and work their way up. Most companies target C-level and VP's. Personally I'm a fan of top-down and targetting the highest level decision marker from the start. It makes the buying process faster, and you have less hoops to jump through.

  10. 1

    Thanks for doing this!

    Three questions:

    1. What is your view on lead generation agencies that sell list of leads (that you eventually use for cold emailing?)

    2. What is the minimum LTV to do cold emailing / direct sales?

    3. Any advice to create a cold emailing funnel?

    1. 1
      1. Majority of them are total dog shit. Try to find referrals from your network that have been successful. A good friend of mine actually runs a great agency that does this, but they aren't cheap. Send me an email (mark at recapped dot io) if you're interested and I'll make an intro

      2. I have seen VERY successful sales teams sell $150/mo SaaS products but it does depend on your economics. You should try to figure out the math on what a salesperson would cost, and then aim for 5x their cost as their goal. If it's unachievable, then you either have to charge more or pay less :)

      3. HubSpot has written a lot on this, as well as Outreach and SalesLoft. I would start there, and then just experiment with A/B tests. It takes a LONG time to get right.

      Here's a great article that helps with #2:

      http://christophjanz.blogspot.com/2014/10/five-ways-to-build-100-million-business.html

  11. 1

    Hi Mark,

    I've a B2B SAAS product and I live in Nepal. Our sales team is also located Nepal.

    Our team is always able to impress the clients with the product and do better on the sales call and also impressed by our proposition compared to competitor. But later on they hesitate to close the deals when I say we're located in Nepal. How to handle such situation and how we can do better there ?

    Thank you !

    1. 1

      First off, is it mandatory that they know you live in Nepal?

      I'm definitely against lying to customers, but I personally wouldn't care where a team is located if they provide a great service for a great price.

      You need to find out what the true objection is. Why do they hesitate to close?

      Is it because they fear you'll scam them out of money? Offer a 30 day money back guarantee that makes it hard to say no.

      Do they think the quality of work will be second-grade? Have testimonials and customer stories of success.

      I would really dig in and find out WHY they're worried, and then come up with a great narrative and story around the true issue. Maybe your cofounder is from America, and after seeing success in America returned back to Nepal to give back to the community and help build a successful business that has greater impact.

      I don't know, just some thoughts.

  12. 1

    I love the concept of your product. My wife is a Director of Marketing for an LMS, and is an amazingly strategic thinker and approaches marketing and sales from a UX-like perspective --- I would imagine she would love a tool like yours in her efforts to better align the two teams. And of course for trying to close more deals =)

    My question is: when & why did you decide to act on this particular opportunity?

    1. 2

      That's awesome! Have her reach out, I'll throw in a heavy discount :)

      You absolutely have to collaborate and project manage the sales process. You can no longer push people into a sale. Your wife sounds really on top of her game.

      Honestly, it was something that was such a pain in my life that I wanted to solve it. My team was constantly losing deals (80% of the time), and I believed that the majority of them were winnable if we could properly align the buying process with the sales process.

      On top of that, I wanted to build a company with a SaaS model (compoundable growth), with a B2B sales cycle (I fucking hate B2C), and in an arena that I'm familiar (I don't want to create a Snapchat or e-commerce product).

      It all lined up really well, and I'm a geek for productivity software. I try to make EVERYTHING as efficient as possible. It's annoying.

  13. 1

    How do you warm a email list that is not opt in, nor a bought list?

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      Sorry, is this a question?

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