Aug. 22, 2020

Product managers as champions in your sales to businesses - SC Moatti on selling through product managers.

Product managers as champions in your sales to businesses - SC Moatti on selling through product managers.

SC Moatti, Managing partner at Mighty Capital and a founder at Products That Count in this episode of Fundraising Radio explains how to make sales through product managers, when should startups start working on content generation and how long it might take to pay off.


We also discussed different strategies of getting in touch with those product managers and Moatti explained why product managers are the best points of contact in the organisation.

Mentioned in this episode:

Webinar by Products That Count (with Ravi Mehta, who was on Fundraising Radio as well) - https://productsthatcount.com/events/

Sandler Sales Training: https://www.sandler.com/

Toastmasters, improve your speech: https://www.toastmasters.org/

Mighty Capital: https://mighty.capital/

Our YouTube record: https://youtu.be/RJzcXmYEny4

 


Transcript

Redo and today's a guest speaker managing partner at mighty Capital founder, add products that town to lecture at Stanford and a few of their titles that I forgot to write down in this episode. 

We'll discuss prod managers as a, the introduction to the big corporations, and how to make B, two B sales how to acquire those leads and how to get your first customers. 

So the last few calls by you giving us some background on yourself and on mighty capital yes, yes, absolutely. And thank you so much for having me constancy and I really appreciate it. 

So, a little bit of background I spent a dozen years building products and companies. 

I'm originally in engineer and MBA by by training and then after I sold my last company, 

I joined Facebook started there a network of product managers called products that count. 

Which has grown to be one of the largest networks of product managers in the world. 

And then I've been angel investing also, 

since I joined Facebook and started my venture firm, 

mighty capital, 

a few years ago, 

reason being we were getting so much amazing deal flow from products that count from these product managers who are starting great companies, 

like amplitude.
We're investor in that we saw an opportunity, and we spent out this venture capital firm. 

That's really cool. So, first. Congrats. I'm sorry your own venture capital. That's that's really impressive. But let's start by talking a little more about what you're investing at. What stage do generally invest in. 

Yeah, so we typically invest at Series A, and B stage. So once you already have some customers, some traction, and you're looking to accelerate your go to market. 

And this is where we help you the most we help you with that based on. Of course,
our experience,
my partners, 

my two partners,
and I,
we have a lot of experience scaling companies, 
but we also help you because we give you access to this very large audience of product managers, three hundred thousand product managers who all work at big corporations. 

And by getting in touch with them, you can turn them into internal champions and they push your products through sales deployment which makes you go to market very successful. 

We just some data points were able to accelerate the sales cycle of our portfolio companies by thirty percent. 

And help them generate millions of dollars in revenue because we have that privilege access to three hundred thousand product managers. That's awesome. And that number three hundred thousand project managers. That's just very impressive. 

So, how exactly do you manage to? That's a large of an audience of those product managers. Is it through projects? That matter. 

The challenge yes, yes, exactly. 

And so three hundred products, three hundred thousand product managers, just to give you a sense for what that represents, where each one in five product managers in the world about twenty percent market penetration. 

And the way we have that access is through my other organization products that count products that counts. 

The way we engage with product managers is through content, like, think of us as a niche media organization. So we run a hundred events a year. Obviously. 

Right now, with Coby, their old virtual in regular times, they're all over North America, some global and then we also publish content daily. We have we keep we key blog series. 

We can use letter everything. 

That's that's impressive. I have daily podcasts, so I'm more frequent, but just one just podcast so not in. The newsletter is that's that's really that's a lot of content. So, let's talk more about those early stage entrepreneurs. 

How can they get at least a tiny, tiny chunk of that product managers fields unless you take them all. So how, how exactly? Would you recommend them, you know, getting in touch with those product managers through content generation? 

Is it through cold outreach on LinkedIn or what's what's the best way for you? Yes, this is what we see for for companies when they're very early. 

There's still sort of in that prototyping stage the best way to get access to that.
Audience is to sign up for one of our webinars if you go to the products that counts dot com,
slash events products that count,
like,
or then you can sign up for any of our webinars.
There's a free way you can sign up for them. We're a nonprofit organization, so if you wanna make a 
donation, you can also do that, but anyways, you can sign up for free. Each webinar has. 
What we call a shout out section so there's a speaker who gives a talk she has best practices after that. We give the audience an opportunity for ten seconds each to say, hey, I'm looking for testers for my new service. 

I'm hiring I'm fundraising. Whatever it is. You need you get to do a shout out so that's sort of usually how most very early stage companies get in touch with us. 

And then, as you sort of become more successful, you have a few customers, and you realize that product managers are essential to you. 

Then you can just email us,
you can email partner,
add products that com and we can explore ways that we will put your content, your speakers,
your,
your events,
any opportunities in front of our audience in a larger way. 

And that's how we get to know you. And then, once we understand who you are, and we see the traction you have, then that's when we consider making an investment and so we make sure that we add value at every step of the way. 

So that you always think of us as a value, add partner and, and we do that through, like I said, best practices, marketing and sales, like pipeline generation and then eventually investments. 

That's awesome. And just for those who are completely unable to digest the, the information is being spelled that line name of product. That accounts. 

I'll make sure to leave a link to that webinar in those episodes. So, just take a look at the episode and copy paste the link and let's talk more about this first customer generation. 

I mean, product managers is, of course, a great way to to generate more customers. They're great champions. That's true. But are there any other ways that he would recommend founders to do that? Yeah. 

So, you know what's really interesting and this is a change we see in the industry across the board. And I think a lot of it is the accelerated with and I'll explain why we. 

So we see that in any industry, whether it's technology, but also finance and health care, and retail and everything. They are product teams that are emerging. 

Because, you know, software is eating the world. And so,
when when you,
when you eat the world, 
and and technology is becoming a as strategic part of every organization in every industry product, management team tend to emerge because they are the link between the business and technology. 

So, what's happening now is across all industry. So, with all of your customers, if you have a B to B business to business offering, you will have product managers in an organization. 

And typically, when you go to market with these enterprises, you go from the outside. 

And so, you'll try to sell, just like, picking an example you'll sell to the marketing department and then you'll convince marketing and then they'll tell you, like, okay, yes, we're convinced. 

But now you need to convince the technology team or the it team and you'll go from the outside. Most of the time there's politics between these organizations, and they're fighting and they're, you know, they hate each other. 

And so, 

what we do we help to do is we help you go either from the inside if you connect with the product managers or the vp's of products, 

and you convince them that they're,
you know,
that your product is valuable to their organization. 

They will become your champion and they have already done the job of breaking silos inside these organizations, because they have to do it in order to do their job. And so they'll break the silos for you. Right. 

They'll say, hey, we got to implement the solution because it's good for the business marketing. Are you onboard it? Are you on board? Okay, let's do it. And so they'll accelerate your sales cycle and because sales is not the only thing you need to do. Right? 

To have a successful business, they'll also accelerate your deployment and adoption cycle, because a project manager who releases something that nobody uses Jeremy to get fired. Right? So right. 

So they want to make sure that they're gonna be using that people in your organization are going to be using your product and you back to my earlier point, we see that this is accelerating at organizations because of it. 

And I'll tell you why I've been, you know, I wrote a book on what makes a great product. 

And, you know, one of my key pieces was products, like technology is an extension of ourselves. So, if we want to build a great product, we have to think about what makes a great person. 

And then I described, you know, what that is, but was covered when we can all get together in person. In a way we are becoming an extension of technology right? 

You and I are right now connecting through technology as opposed to technologies, enabling us. And what it means is that it's even more important for technology festival to, to help us be better people. Right? 

Because otherwise, it's a little scary but also, that technology is becoming an even greater pride of organizations across the board. 
And so, that idea of the product manager, being the link between the business and technology and therefore being a key enabler of you are go to market. 

If you're selling your product to that enterprise is even more important in this new decade, where, you know, covet is sort of changing the way we do business. 

Absolutely, and that's completely true. So now, let's talk about and bring more of those leads so, you know, you're doing content generation. 

I know that there are a bunch of tools that do kind of what you do for free, but those tools are extremely expensive so to get this insight introduction to someone who can actually make the decision, or who can become a champion in a big company. 

So, like, product managers, I seen the prices for those leads started, like, thousands of dollars and what are your thoughts on this who should actually think about, you know, acquiring those least for this amount of money and where are the ways around that? 

Yeah, absolutely.
And your entirely,
right that,
you know,
depending on the level of people you want to reach, if you want to reach decision makers, 

we regularly hear that people will will spend, 

you know, 

five to ten thousand dollars to reach a V. 

P of product. Because that's how influential they are. And so obviously, you know, we, we changed that for the companies we fund and and the companies we support. 

That's that's really nice. But, for those unlucky founders who are not working with mighty capital, by the way nice name I just realized capital but for those could don't work with you. 

And they don't have that, you know, the ability to get in touch with those people. How how would you recommend them approaching that? Do they have a chance of, you know, LinkedIn or cold emailing them? 

Or what's the best way for those people who don't have direct access to the to those influencers? Yeah, well, first of all you have direct access by attending the products that count events, and that's free for everyone. 

I mentioned to you, our webinars are free and so, you know, we're really here to democratize access to, you know, product people and help everybody build great products. 

So you do have access through our Webinars and then, you know, for, for people who. 

Maybe you wanna do something that's a little more personalized or want to follow up with you attending a webinar then following up. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I would say, you know, LinkedIn is a very, very effective, a business development tool. 
They are a number of email marketing tools that you can use in the market. 
Some of the ones that we see work really well, there's one a polo reach up to Mixmax. There's a bunch of others. 

But but these are the ones that that we see very popular with our audience. Great entrepreneur. 

I'm a big fan of occupants couple of my insurance for fundraising, where you use it on a regular basis to reach out to new partners, and making those new helpful connections. 

So, yeah, I'll definitely I'll make sure that we've a link to as well just so that you can review it, but let's talk more about content generation. I mean, it takes enormous time of a ton of time and takes a long time for Google to index the whole thing. 

And actually, for you to start showing up on the searches, there was a huge competition and so on, and so forth to how much do you think an early stage startup should actually put? How much time should they put in this content generation into this five? With others? 

For the place under the Google indexing son. Yes, that's a really good point. 

You know, we hear sometimes founders early in the in the lifecycle tell us all we've been able to sell without doing any marketing and my question for them is always like, why aren't you doing any marketing? Alright. 

Why are you slowing yourself down and you're good to market because a lot of founders at the early stage make that mistake of thinking that what really matters is the technology and what really matters is 

actually money and revenue and being able to generate leads and,
you know,
I,
if there's one advice I can give to the CEOs who are listening to this podcast, it's really like, 

you need to be the best salesperson you can ever be. 

Because your job as a CEO is exclusively to sell, you're selling to customers and prospects. You're selling to people you want to hire you're selling to investors you want to get money from you're selling to the press. 

You're selling to influencers. You're selling to everybody. I recommend to every founder and CEO. We, we back to take a sales class if I was gonna start my life again. 

You know, early on in my career, go and try to sell cars or motorbikes or, you know, door to door and the hard way. Because this is the best lesson to learn. How do you establish report? How do you demonstrate value? 

So, you can sell your volume or premium. It doesn't matter. But selling is the most important skill you can acquire as a CEO. That's a really great advice. 
I myself, that candidates try to get into this cold calling from where I would have to call people and just, you know, try to sell them on the phone, literally, on the cold conversation like that and never got the job by the way. 

So I know factual. 

Works, 

but in terms of recommendations for sales people, 

you know, 

a lot of people are trying to improve their sales skills, 

et cetera, 

et cetera, 

but don't necessarily have the opportunity to get this, 

you know, 

hard selling job where they will have to sell cars or more cycles or go door to door, 

what's your advice to those people in terms of? 

Where can they acquire the knowledge that some good book that you could recommend or maybe some specific class or webinar or something like that? Yes, that's a really good good point. 

The methodology that I think is the most accessible and very effective is Sandler Sander sales. If you, if you maybe either link to that in your in your recap. 

I think that would be super helpful. There are a ton of books on, on selling. So, depending on what kind of sales you do, if it's volume versus consultative or premium, you may want to read several. 

You'll get something out of any of them that said, you know, sales is really a practice, because you can read just like you said, right you can read about. 

Yes, I know I need to call call, but until, and unless I do it, I don't know how to do it. I'll just give you a simple example. 

I used to in one of my previous jobs when I started my career, I was a product manager, and I was trying to get a couple of my customers to give me a case study. 

And at first, I called them and I was like, I'm so sorry to bother you Mr customer. I wonder if maybe, you know, sometimes the small I could give you a short interview. 

So that I capture, you know, information to put in a in a case study. And nobody would ever get back to me, and that changed my approach. 

And I said, hey, hi, Bob, I have an opportunity to do an interview tomorrow at twelve and I would love to have it, you know, to give it to you but I really need to get your answer right away. Like, was in the next hour. 

Because otherwise I will have to call another customer and then all of a sudden they started calling me back because fear of missing out. And so. 
Often, you know, just the practice of getting all these rejections we'll teach you how to get to the yes, I, then there's this setting in sales, which is the more rejections you get, the closer you are to. Yes. 

And so, you know, the books, the trainings, super helpful, the practice that's what really matters. Absolutely. That's so true. And in some of the practice, you know, not, I think everyone has an option to to practice their sales. 

So oh, nice. That question. But would you recommend any groups that you like a safer opportunity to practice that stuff? So, like, I know Toastmasters is a good one to us. Still never got a chance to try it. 

But I feel I'm still trying to get there. But would you recommend some groups like that where the environment is less dangerous for you to try you know, that keeps you some practicing self confidence maybe yeah. For sure. So you can do Toastmasters. 

I think that's a great way to practice public speaking. You can also do. 

Volunteer at a nonprofit try to fundraise for them. You have nothing to do is you're just gonna do something that's good. For the world. If you're, you know, involved in in the addiction this year and tried calling people to encourage them to register to vote. 

So, rather than maybe what you're touching at is some, some things are, you know, trying to sell products. Like, why am I doing this? 

Well, if you want to do something that's good for the world, do that fund raise for a nonprofit encourage people to vote? Just volunteer and make these calls, you'll learn it out from that. That's just perfect advice. 

I think especially now, when electricians are called coming up and no one knows if button or Trump will win. And, of course, I hope none of my listeners want Trump to win. Do you can actually do that? That's awesome. 

They happily accept volunteers and, you know, that will be great. 

Great practice for your people, so awesome. Perfect advice. Love. It also leave the link to toast masters in the description of this episode. 

But let's talk a little bit more about the average that off creating this content that I've touched on four times already. 

Whenever someone writes a blog posts, whenever someone creates a video on some subject, how long you take on average to actually pay off. 

So, should they expect the results to capture half a year of non, stop work on that or should be a year, or should be a week? What's what's the times time zone there? Yeah, but a great question. 

And constantly people here. Your listeners probably have a lot to learn from you because the podcast takes it out of dedication and that's basically what it takes. 

What it takes is really the consistency of doing it over and over and over again. You can do a bunch of one offs. It's gonna lead you nowhere. 

This is just not a game where you, you, you try and then you stop. You have to just keep doing it and you have to be in it for the long term content strategy is really working out the layers by layers by layer. 
So, the framework that I share with entrepreneurs, is this like. 
You know, most people are absolutely not visible in whatever conversation. My conversation about, like, let's just pick your topic. Right? You're building an AI startup. 

So ninety nine percent of people who work in or a building companies in the field of are just doing their job. 

They are absolutely not visible and so the first thing to know is, if you're gonna do something, if you're gonna ride or post or something, you're gonna be in the top one percent. That's amazing. Right that's like Wednesday once you're in that top one percent. 

It's sort of a, you know, it's absolutely not linear so there's a way that you join the conversation, then you shape the conversation and then you drive the conversation. 

So, joining the conversation is something like, you know, you're gonna post a tweet or LinkedIn comments once a day. 

You just like here, like you're like oh, that's interesting. Or, hey, I like this article or that podcast from constancy is really cool. That's joining the conversation basically, like saying, once a day. 

I'm here I am in the conversation as opposed to. I'm not even in the conversation. The next step after. That is shaping the conversation. 

So,
for example,
if you're a guest speaker on Constance in spot cast,
or if you write an article as a one of your giving your two cents on the topic of the, and so you're contributing,
you're shaping the conversation. 

And finally the way you drive the conversation. Is by doing what you're doing, which is, hey, I'm hosting a podcast I'm hosting a broadcast on the topic of right so I'm actually driving the conversation. I have a point of view. 

I select my my guests, I really move things forward in the topic that I care about. And so when you're thinking about your content strategy, that's how I recommend you to do that. You, you have to you walk before you read. 

So, first, joy then shape and then drive. 

Perfect, that's perfect advice and I wish I folded, because I think when I started the podcast, I never really listen to any of the podcasts before I started my own and then I started, like, okay, how to other people actually do this. 

I mean, time and time mistake there, so definitely good advice here. And here, we're moving onto the last question, which is a call to action. What's the one thing that you want to lose her to do? As soon as the episode is over? Yeah. 

So goes subscribe to our newsletter on the products that com, we send our newsletter once a week. It's purely about like, giving you resources to build great products. If you find value in it. Just respond. 

I read every single response every single week, and I would be happy to help you after you you re, you become a member, you want to find more value I'd be happy to, right? Yeah. 
As you mentioned earlier, getting the conversation sure it's gonna be direct. So, yeah, my call to action would be go to the script for this episode and tweak at least one link. I'm, I'm promising you. All of them are gonna be good. 

So quick one, random one you will stumble upon something good. No doubt and have.