4 Steps To Scaling B2B Startups | Max Altschuler

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Max started his entrepreneurial journey in the eighth grade, selling his Halloween candy to the kids on the school bus. 

In college, he pivoted from architecture to doing a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS). He also started his bike-share program, Rack n Ride, for which he won a business plan competition and got a grant from the university. 

Max went on to do another startup called Last Call Social, where he did social media campaign management for small businesses. After that, he applied for several jobs in San Francisco and landed a job with Udemy, which was a big break that got him into tech. He then got a chance with a company that raised about a million dollars in venture funding. 

After starting Saleshacker as a media company, Max did a blog, meetups, conferences, started doing angel investing, and wrote his first book, Hacking Sales. 

Max ran Saleshacker for five years. 

One of his first investments was a company called Outreach in 2014-2015. He sold his company to Outreach in 2018 and became their VP of Marketing for the short term. A year later, he moved into a sales engagement role where he focused on category creation, evangelism, and strategic deals. 

He then started the GCM Fund and wrote a book on career hacking, detailing advice from his experiences from his career journey. He also wrote a book on sales engagement. 

Max wrote his first book, Hacking Sales, in six days because he wanted to make it an e-book. Although he knew nothing about writing at the time, tons of new sales technology was coming out, and he wanted to profile all of it. 

He sent out a form, asking about seventy vendors about their companies and their customer use cases. Of those, he got about fifty back. That gave him some content to thread through his book, along with his processes. He then spent six days in Bali putting it all together. After coming home, he had it edited and published. He sent it out to his Sales Hacker list and sold many copies of it. After two months, Wiley wanted to buy the rights to the book, and Max refused. Ten months later, he agreed, however, because he had saturated his network by that time. So he became a published author.

In 2017, LinkedIn had an algorithm for posting your career information that easily got vast numbers of views and likes. Max took advantage of that. After every post he did, he would copy and paste the post into Google Docs, along with the stats, to keep track of things. Max ended up with about 13,000 words of valuable information with which people were resonating. He decided to polish it up, figure out what he needed to add to it, and turn it into a book. He completed everything within three days, and that was how his book, Career Hacking, came about.

Before writing his books, Max compiled as much information as he could from credible sources.

He found it helpful to get his expert peers to help him out with his books because that made it easier for him, and it also added credibility to his writing.

Max shares three systems for scaling startups for small to mid-size businesses:
Figure out what your ideal customer looks like.
Find where those people are and get them into your funnel in some way. (Use an outbound strategy or drive them to your website.)
Perfect your messaging.

After doing that, you can run either a scalable or a non-scalable process.

The core framework for Max’s book Sales Engagement involved using information about 25 different companies. The things that separated the exceptional companies from the rest were:
The exceptional companies were clear about their ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) before starting the rest of their process.
The exceptional companies made lists of their target accounts to ensure that they were all lined up and ready to be sold to.
For their messaging, the exceptional companies had an outreach system of action to refine things over time.
The customer development of the exceptional companies was well-honed.

To improve your messaging, take a step back and talk to your customers. That will help you understand what you need to be saying to the different types of customers. 

Companies that have not yet raised from seed should make a concerted effort to get traction, show growth, and get the money they need. That will build a strong foundation. Once they have the money, they can step back and refine things. It would be wrong for those companies to continue focusing on doing that after acquiring the money they need. 

In other words, you need to find something that works first before you worry about scaling, rather than scaling first and then trying to find something that works. 

Some of the most effective tools for lead lists are:
Resources to help you find your ICP or the accounts you want to go after.
Contact information.

At Outreach, they use data providers for companies in their region. They use Zoom information on the sales side and Clearbit on the marketing side. They also use LeadIQ and Seamless.AI. Research your ICP and then find a database to supply you with the contact info you need.

It is critical to have an automated platform like Outreach that includes sentiment and attribution for successful outbound.

Currently, Max feels that there is more sales technology available than we need. 

Links and resources:

Follow Max on LinkedIn

Max on Twitter

At Outreach

At Saleshacker


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