Topic- Customer Discovery and Development
Rishi Kulkarni is a serial entrepreneur with more than 15 years of startup experience. Currently, he is the CEO and co-founder of Revvsales, a business document management system. Prior to this, he founded a pluggable video infrastructure company called 1Click which was acquired by Freshworks inc .He shares his experiences with the startup community as he talks about the importance of customer discovery and customer development in a startup journey.
Rishi believes startup is a Marathon and not a Sprint and that building a great long-lasting company takes time. It is very important to know who your customers are and why they would want your product. During the customer discovery process, the objective is to drill down into the problems. Rishi emphasized on clearly defining a problem statement and thereby identifying ways for a possible solution. Knowing your strengths is critical as that would help engage with the right customer segment by aligning your strengths with their problems. Hence, reducing costly mistakes and helping to focus MVP development and customer acquisition, he added.
Next step is to conduct surveys using various platforms like LinkedIn, review sites, communities and groups, Twitter polls, paid interviews and industry events with the people who you believe could be your potential customers. These surveys are very effective and low in cost. Subsequently, request for a follow-up brief call/meeting with survey respondents. He advised the startups to use mind mapping tool to compile feedback and re-asses product-market fit. Is the information sufficient for you to move forward? If not, you may want to conduct iteration by redefining your problem/solution.
Outlining the above steps, Rishi concludes, customer discovery is very effective at an early stage but it is equally important while scaling your business or during pivoting your strategies in challenging times. You should always keep learning about potential market and customers. The customer discovery and development process help organizations minimize initial cash burn and conserve morale and energy of the organization. This process helps in fine-tuning business model and customer value proposition.
Rishi Kulkarni |CEO, Co-founder-Revvsales
Topic- Increasing sales, growing revenue and thriving during the pandemic
Avinash is a serial entrepreneur, an INK fellow, was named Business World “40 under 40 achievers” and “Game changer under 30” by Indian Express. His current venture, Aware is a mindfulness meditation startup – helping users practice mindfulness. Prior to this, Avinash founded zoojoo.be, a habit formation platform. Avinash shares his startup advice regarding survival tactics and best market-driven practices that will help navigate your startup through a crisis.
Avinash advised startups to focus on finding solutions to the problems caused by the pandemic. He believes this is the time to focus more on a market-driven strategy than investing time to develop or modify the product.
Avinash recommends startups to “stock up” on sales prospects. Startups should get aggressive with their lead generation at this challenging time. If there was ever a time for lead nurturing and acquisition, it is now. Devote extra time, efforts and resources to prospecting and lead generation.
Coronavirus has catalyzed digital transformation across the globe. Attending webinars and other virtual events are proving very instrumental in creating leads for Avinash’s business. He highly recommends to all startups to participate in their industry-specific webinars for doubling their lead generations.
Additionally, look for ways to re-organize a part of your team for cold calling, which will help in lead generation. You may accomplish this by assessing your team members skills and capabilities. Hence, enabling the leadership team to focus more on the strategies and deal closure.
Lead generation at this time is not only important for future growth, but it will also help your company survive during and post COVID period, he added.