One of the things I love about entrepreneurs is that we have all learned some important lessons in business from doing it the hard way. Failing cheaply and quickly is how we stay in business. So when you come across some sage advice from someone who's struggled and prevailed, it's really great to share their insights so that our fellow entrepreneurs reading these insights will avoid these same mistakes.
I had an opportunity to connect with David Shear who is the President and co-founder of SheerID--a technology company that helps their enterprise accounts protect their special offers by instantly verifying customer segments. They work with the who's who of ecommerce, including Amazon, BestBuy, CostCo, Footlocker and The Wall Street Journal (to name just a few).
Mr. Shear shared with me his insights from launching his company and learning (the hard way) how to attract large enterprise accounts--especially when they company was just starting out. He explained that when first starting a business, most entrepreneurs have three basic things: (1) a business plan, (2) big goals, and hopefully, (3) a little bit of money. If you're lucky, you also have a partner or trusted mentor for guidance. No matter how prepared you feel, there is never a way to predict what to expect when you launch your own business.
"When we started SheerID", Mr. Shear explained, "we knew that the businesses that would immediately benefit most from verifying customer eligibility were enterprise companies. Our first enterprise clients represented major milestones as they provided the validation we needed in order to get more calls, win more customers, and speed up our growth. We set lofty goals and a bunch of meetings, and our strategy worked, but there are a few things we learned along the way that I wish we'd known from the start." Here are Mr. Shear's top 3 must-haves that he believes will speed up your sales cycle and improve your chances of success--especially if you're a new business owner that wants to win enterprise accounts.
SheerID learned these lessons the hard way as they navigated the ins and outs of working with big companies. It is David Shear's hope that you can learn from the challenges he faced so that you may avoid the struggles he went through to build his company.
It may take customers to get customers, but getting your first enterprise customers will be easier and faster if you invest in your product, audits, and legal resources before landing those big meetings. By following these three tips, the SheerID team closed some of the biggest household names. With the right product and a lot of hard work, you can too.