Yorso and 500 Startups with Sberbank. Week 2 Lectures

The second week of the started challenge gave us three new mentors and knowledge in new areas such as design mindset, digital marketing and sales.

Some key notes to keep in mind — below


Design mindset

The topic was provided by Pree Kolari — the expert in UX and design with such great products participated in the past like Microsoft Kinect and Moto G.

Pree Kolari explaining the hot topics on UX and design

The key points of his lecture were:

  • It is all about empathy and pride: be user-centric, build in iterations, analyze, collaborate
  • Be fast, lean, agile: design helps not just be quick, but be quick and right
  • One of the best tactics — design sprints. The recipe is simple:
  1. Understand what users say and do
  2. Learn their needs and inspirations
  3. Define the desired outcome
  4. Identify meaningful problems together (through brainstorms?)
  5. Make to think, test, test, test…Go to 1!

What I really liked about Yorso advice: “You don’t need a designer! Go and talk to your users instead!”

A High-Converting Digital Marketing Funnel

The topic was provided by Justyna Piotrowska — the expert building content strategies and digital marketing campaigns.

Justina Piotrowska explaining the key approaches in product marketing and case studies

The key points of her lecture were:

  • You are not in a business of making money: you are in a business of solving problems
  • Talk to people
  • Build the customer avatar: whom are we selling to?
  • Talk to people
  • People don’t buy based on logic. People buy based on emotions. (Anton: I do not agree that it works the same way in B2B, btw. At the same time, even companies don’t buy from companies, it is all about people buying from people)
  • Talk to people. You know :)
  • VP is something that solves the customer problem. It is not about describing how good is your company. The best VP is clear: what is it, for whom and how is it useful. For instance, in the case of Yorso, it is “Sell without intermediaries on the B2B fish and seafood market”

The separate topic (I never knew it before) was about sending the right message depending on your market sophistication level:

  1. Hello market. You are the first introducing the product to the market. For instance, “Go online and find new customers from all over the world” or “Automate your sales process and increase the efficiency of your sales department up to 30%!”
  2. What is it. When you already have competitors and you are not the first one. Try to differentiate. Yorso today is a managed marketplace but not just an IT solution: we automate and support through all stages of the deal starting from promotion and ending up delivering the product to the customer
  3. How does it work. The market is crowded. Lots of competitors say the same thing. In this case, we must shift the emphasis from what the product does to how it does it. Show what is inside, what makes it special. Fancy technology, AI/ML stuff, etc.
  4. New mechanism. Elaborate more on how it does. More technical details.
  5. Experience. Talk to emotions. Yorso brings fresh fish to your home. It makes sustainable fishing real. It saves the ecology of the ocean. No features or advantages but emotions.

The good insight for Yorso: “Don’t do any marketing at this stage. Go and talk to your customers!”. This is especially funny because I was many times told to spend on marketing a lot and finally this angry article was born.

Scaling sales

The topic was provided by Taz Patel — founder of Captiv8 — influencer marketing platform.

Taz Patel is starting his sales pitch about sales :)

The key points of his lecture were:

  • Spend time in pre-sales. Identify customer and conduct outreach => focus on customer challenges => align with sales materials
  • Different types of sales formats (cold calls, direct meetings, etc.)
  • Sales funnels. Pre-sale, sale, post-sale.
  • Sales flow. Create a connection => Ask questions / listen => Negotiate (tension is ok) => identify needs and be a sales champion, celebrate the WIN => Engage, work on retention
  • Never afraid of getting “NO”: it is not about you, nothing personal!
  • Try to ask firm directional questions that lead to real answers
  • Dissect any losses to understand why, don’t be afraid to change
  • Getting others involved. Everyone is salesperson: you, developers, CTO, cleaning personnel
  • Always try more and more and more. Never stop.
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” — Wayne Gretzky

#sber500startups #500Strong