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Balancing sales with full-time job

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Guidance

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Dec 2, 2018
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Hi all, I’m a software engineer and I’ve been thinking of entering a fairly crowded B2B industry (a lot of profitable companies in this specific market, so it should be able to accommodate me as well then, right?)

So far, I’ve been busy building the software for this, but my concern is sales. I have a full time (9 to 5) job (it pays well and I don’t hate it either) where I’m writing software most of the day. My question is, once I have a basic version of the application ready, how do I sell it given my time constraints? Do I cold call while at work? What if they want a demo or want to meet? Additionally, how do I handle customer support while at work (do I just limit it to email support)? This is a concern that I’ve had in my mind for some time now and I welcome your suggestions. I can’t just quit my job at this time.
 

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astr0

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B2B is harder to start on 9-5 than B2C.

Customer support seems the easiest - emails or delegate. Depending on the software you offering some kind of remote desktop/screen sharing session with clients may solve their issues much faster. It's hard to do while on 9-5, so I would delegate, but TRAIN you VA/freelancer/employee so that he won't screw up.

Selling would be harder. The higher the price point the more likely they would want a demo/meeting before buying.
Can you have some freedom with the schedule on your job? Do you have time to cold call (it may take longer than expected)? Won't get fired for that?
Calling is more effective than messaging, but you may not have a choice here.
Try to rearrange your work schedule to have time for meetups or appoint them at lunchtime.

Good luck!

P.S. Have you talked with your prospect before building software? If so you should have sales already, if not how can you be sure that your software is better than what they are using currently?

From my experience, businesses don't like to switch something that works fine for them, unless they have a really good reason.
 

Andy Black

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  • What are business owners already spending money on to solve the problem you have a solution for?
  • How can you get in front of the business owners already spending money to solve that problem?
  • How can you get known to them as a person who solves that problem?

I don’t cold call or cold email.

I often have scheduled calls with prospects who’ve been referred to me though. I give two possible times in the day to schedule those calls with me (11am or 10pm my time). If they’re interested enough they’ll make time for the call. If not, they won’t. (Don’t forget that sales is a screening process.)


I used to meet local business owners for lunch to let them pick my brains. I mention that somewhere in the Inbound Braindump in my signature.
 
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Guidance

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Dec 2, 2018
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I’m building software that targets a specific area in the HR department. I don’t have any pre-sales or prospects. I’m going under the assumption that every company at some point will have to use HR software and those would be my target customers.
 

Andy Black

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I’m building software that targets a specific area in the HR department. I don’t have any pre-sales or prospects. I’m going under the assumption that every company at some point will have to use HR software and those would be my target customers.
It might be worth figuring out how to get in front of the people who want to buy HR software.
 

amp0193

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Do I cold call while at work?
Yes.

What if they want a demo or want to meet?
Vacation Day. Sick day. Long lunch break. Long poop.

Additionally, how do I handle customer support while at work (do I just limit it to email support)?
Yes, email only. Call back when you can.

This is a concern that I’ve had in my mind for some time now and I welcome your suggestions. I can’t just quit my job at this time.
Cart's in front of the horse.

You don't even have a business, and you're worried about how you're going to provide customer service for the business. If you have so many customers you can't provide them support, then you also have income, and you can just pay a virtual receptionist to answer the phone for you. "Hi, oh sorry, Guidance is in a meeting right now, but I'll have him call you back in an hour".


Good tip I saw on the forum last week. Could use ringless-voicemail service like Sly Broadcast, and auto-send sales calls as voicemails. I think it only works on cells though, so you might be out of luck if most contacts are on landlines.



I double-dipped on company time for 1.5 years before I quit my job. Was in lots of retail B&Ms, and was having to make calls. A lot of the early ones I got using cold-email campaign software, like Quickmail.io.

Conversion rates on email are low, but it was able to run without my time input, so it worked well during the day.
 

amp0193

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I’m going under the assumption that every company at some point will have to use HR software and those would be my target customers.
Flesh out the niche a little more.

You'll find greater success, earlier on, by being hyper targeted. "Every company with an HR department" is much too broad of a target.


That's like me making a new knife, and trying to sell it to chefs. All chefs. Sushi chefs, italian chefs, mongolian BBQ chefs, poke bowl chefs, "sandwich artists"... etc.

Every one of them has a unique specific need for a knife that will work best for them.

Also, the more specific you get with targeting your offer and product, the more receptive those individuals will be to cold contacts, making the time you do find to make outbound calls more effective.
 
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Guidance

New Contributor
Dec 2, 2018
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Sorry for the late response. I’m specifically looking at employee database and performance review software. However, I do feel that selling these two items is nearly impossible when the customer can choose to use other HR software (like BambooHR) at the same price and far more modules/features (recruiting, payroll etc.)
 

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