Nothing sells itself
Start-up companies are often struggling to find investors and backers for their technology and the trend (according to an article in The Washington Post) is that money will flow easier to more established start-ups. D.C.-area technology investment soared in 2017, but early-stage firms still struggle
Below is a quote from the article:
Jim Hunt, a technology investor who teaches an investment course at Georgetown University’s business school, said investors are flocking to more mature start-ups because doing due diligence on a lot of smaller companies can be overly time-consuming.
This development doesn’t surprise me at all because technology companies tend to focus on the fact that their technology can do certain things, often without regard who their target market is and how their solution could be of value to their audiences. They focus on the technology aspect as oppose to the Go-To-Market strategy.
This void is not unique to start-up technology firms, many very established organizations also believe that stellar technology sells itself… and the simple truth is, it doesn’t! And Start-Ups need sales to attract investors!
Nothing sells itself, really. In fact, even if a solution were the pinnacle of its kind, affordable, etc – a “terrible” salesperson could ruin the sale! (I once blogged about my own experience with that!). People don’t know what they don’t know.
So, if your target audience is not tech savvy, they will fail to understand the technology aspect of the solution. And the tech savvy might not understand the deeper value for their organization’s decision-making executives.
For example, if a technology is developed to manage workflow you will need to identify who within an organization will benefit from your solution. If it happens to be the operations department, you will need to find language that will resonate with them. By definition, an operations department is responsible for running your business successfully. … While the operations department is responsible for the bottom line, it also oversees the other departments in your organization, as well as the development of your employees and customers.
Looking at the above definition, you will need to position your technology so the Head of Operations understands that the solution will help them save money by streamlining the process for their employees, ultimately adding to the bottom line.
This is the only way that your technology offering will resonate with that particular audience. It’s not about your dashboard, the buttons that you can use to integrate, etc.
It’s never about the bells and whistles for the final decision-makers. In the real world of company owners or public-sector managers, it’s only about the value that your particular solution will bring to a particular audience. That’s the only way to grow your startup-technology business to become mature. And once you are more mature, you will attract investors.
It’s as simple as that – Nothing sells itself.