The transition from product development to sales

2 Jan

bird flirst flight

Jumping into sales after such a long time, 15 months, working almost purely on product development is a scary and exciting concept.

With a solid date for Rize completion – End of February – all wireframes, requirements documents and designs completed it’s just a matter of testing my developer’s builds as he completes the coding to finish iOS and Android versions, and simply preparing to make Rize go global.

A quick replenisher for those who aren’t yet acquainted with Rize – Rize is a multi-platform app that integrates therapeutic concepts into simple information and interactive exercises to help those who need it to understand, track and improve their mental well-being.

I really love where my business model for Rize currently lies – individual, weekly subscriptions to the app (£1.99 per week) and alongside I provide in bulk – employers can pay annually, at a discounted rate for their employee’s to access for free (we came up with a way that we can provide employee’s with anonymous access codes to remove the weekly charges).

So this means I will have two customers – individual users, and employers. …later down the line I could provide as well to schools, counselling groups, etc, but for now I think two is enough.

I have already been through an online course on SAO (Search App Optimisation) to help bring in individual users, and I’m now creating a press release to send to a long list of healthcare, technology, and app journalists and reviewers. So in terms of free marketing/press I’m doing right.

But business to business sales….phew sales is going to be a different thing! Employee well-being is becoming recognised as a very important requirement by employers for a successful and motivated workforce. Still I am very new to the world of business to business sales. It’s different to business to customer where I can create a digital message – website, social media, blogs, etc, release it into the ether and allow people to find me, take interest and download. With sales, at least for the way I want to go about it requires a much more personal touch – reaching out to HR Departments and employers, offering our service, pitching the product in a tailored way each time, negotiate prices, offer a demo, and finalise a payment.

These sales will be juggling more zero’s than I’ve been used to on my meal deal budget so it will be a step I am not used to. That’s why I am using the picture as a metaphor above. I don’t yet have my sales wings. I haven’t yet made a big sale and soared confidently, I don’t even know what the rush of wind feels like.

I was given some fantastic advice from one of my mentors at Accelerate CambridgeBrewster Barclay – when you’re talking with a potential customer encourage them to describe the problem’s they are facing (in the context of your product), work out exactly the pain this problem is causing them and make your pitch personal. And, importantly for me, listen. Stop telling them they need your product and listen and allow them to fill the silence. If you don’t make a sale then at least you’ve done some fantastic market research.

So now I will preen my feathers. I’m going to take a deep breath, step to the edge of my perch, and in a week’s time, when the time is right and I have my tight pitch prepared I will pick up the phone and take the jump.

Of course, these sales can only happen if I am able to complete product development. The product will be ready for the end of February if I can afford to continue to pay my developer. To make this happen I’m currently running a crowdfunding campaign – https://www.indiegogo.com/campaigns/therapeutic-software-to-improve-mental-well-being/ – to raise £5k to complete product development. Please feel free to take a look, contribute as little as £10, and receive a range of valuable Rize gifts in return. If you can share the link with your network that would be incredibly appreciated by me.

Happy flying!

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