In this episode of Startups For The Rest Of Us, Rob does a Founder Hotseat with David Heller of Reimbi, about dealing with his specific issues with enterprise sales.
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Rob: Welcome to this week’s episode of Startups for the Rest of Us. I’m your host Rob Walling. This week’s show is a founder hot seat with David Heller where we talk through Troubleshooting Enterprise Sales. This is Startups for the Rest of Us episode 463.
Welcome to Startups for the Rest of Us, the podcast that helps developers, designers, and entrepreneurs be awesome at building, launching, and growing startups. Whether you’ve built your fifth startup or you’re thinking about your first. I’m Rob. Today, with David Heller, we’re going to share our experiences to help you avoid the mistakes we’ve made. Each week on this show, we cover topics relating to building and growing startups in an ambitious fashion, but in a way where we’re not willing to sacrifice our life or our health to grow a company.
We like to be meticulous, disciplined and have repeatable processes, have things that we could do again if we needed to, maybe we’ll run the same company for 30 years, but maybe we’ll wind up moving on, putting a CEO in place, maybe we’ll sell our company. We want to know that we can do this again with a relatively high level of success and that’s unusual in this world of startups. Because so many of the startups that we see are this one-off unicorn—1 in 100,000, 1 in 10,000 startups—and that’s not what we’re looking for here on this show. Today, I’m excited to speak with a TinySeed founder named David Heller. He is the co-founder of Reimbi, and we’re going to dig into his trials and tribulations in a hot seat format.
We have many formats on the show. Oftentimes, we bring folks on for in-depth interviews, we answer a lot of listener questions, we do some tactics, some teaching, sometimes I just wax philosophical. But founder hot seat is where we bring a founder in and focus on something that he/she is struggling with at that moment and try to think through it as two intelligent founders. Almost like we’re standing in front of a whiteboard, batting ideas back and forth. A lot of times it’s, “Here’s the problem. Here’s a potential solution. Have you tried that? Yes or no? What do you think? What’s your gut feel? Would you feel comfortable trying that?” That’s what I enjoy about these hot seat formats.
Over and over, we’ve gotten only positive feedback about the hot seat formats because they go beyond just teaching. I’ve had this concept I’ve been thinking about for a while, and that a lot of podcasts will teach, they’ll teach information, teach from a topic. But I feel I’ve enjoyed transforming this podcast into more of a mass mentorship. I believe more in mentorship than teaching. I think you get a lot more from being mentored and frankly, from being a mentor than just someone who is reading off instructions or giving blanket advice that you read in a book, or maybe you have experienced it, but that isn’t applicable to any one individual, that’s where mass mentorship has context. It has more context about a founder’s situation.
In the case of listener questions, we have context around when a listener writes in or calls in, they give us a background, and ask a very specific question. It’s not about just some random topic, “Here are 10 ways to do a landing page.” And they ask a question, “What’s an 11th way to do a landing page? How do you do that one right and this one wrong? What does it look like to do that right versus wrong?” They’re actually asking specifically, “Hey, here is my landing page. What have I done right? Here is my pricing. Here’s a conundrum.” Context is that next step towards being more of a mentorship relationship. Obviously, it’s not one-on-one, and that’s why I’m saying it’s a mass-mentorship idea.
The founder hot seat takes it even a step further, where we have a lot of back and forth. I can present an idea, a thought, a solution, proposed solution, and David, in this case, can respond and say, “We’ve already tried that. I’m not willing to try that. Here’s why I think it won’t work. Hey, I think that’s a great idea.” The beauty of it is, it’s not just to help David; it’s to help the tens of thousands of people who listen to this podcast. Both to hear the thought process of two intelligent, successful founders who are thinking through a hard problem, they might be struggling with something similar or something related, and they can take away some ideas from it.
In addition, on the show today, we walk through some issues that I think some listeners out there, you might be listening to this and think, “I’ve solved that already.” Or, “Here’s something I tried, and it worked.” I would love to hear it from you questions@startupsfortherestofus if that’s the case.
Before we dive into the hot seat, I actually had a listener ask me a question. I felt like it was worth addressing on the podcast. He said, “Hey, Mike, well, he took a hiatus and that made sense and now he’s coming on the show only once a month. What actually is going on there?” The answer to that is, Mike has really wanted to focus on Bluetick. As you’ve heard, he is off social media, he is heads down, he’s doing stuff with his friends, with his family, and he is focused on growing Bluetick, and that is his number one goal.
Frankly, I wholeheartedly support him in that. I have been in that heads down mode as well when I’m trying to get something off the ground. It’s not just the hours. It’s just the mental ability to focus on something and only think about that; that’s your one thing, the one metric, the one number you’re trying to drive. With that focus does come not wanting to show up every week, and record a podcast episode on something, and have to come up with an outline, and just do all of that.
Again, it’s not that it’s that much time, but it’s a lack of focus. Mike and I have been talking for a while about how to mix up the podcast because you get 450 episodes into something, we’re almost 10 years into this podcast, and it’s easy to get in a rut, and it’s easy to have a format that doesn’t change, and that can start to feel a little dated frankly. I took the opportunity—while Mike was off for a couple of months on his quick hiatus—to obviously revamp, and to do more hot seats, and do more interviews, and to do more thought pieces, and think about how, if I were starting a podcast today, how would I do it and how can I be different than all the other shows that are out there?
That’s what I’ve been trying to do during this time. For now, Mike is going to be coming on the show periodically. I think following his journey is valuable for me. I enjoy when he and I get on the mike; it’s like putting on a nice pair of slippers. Mike and I have recorded literally hundreds and hundreds of episodes. His are the episodes I prepare for the least, feel the most comfortable, and I think turn out well. All the other ones are outside of my comfort zone, so it’s stretching me, which is a good thing. That’s when I know that I’m learning.
That gives you an idea, hopefully, of what’s really going on behind-the-scenes in the podcast. We honestly don’t know what the future will hold—6 months, 12 months, what does it look like? We’re just taking it month-by-month at this point. Obviously, I think all of us wish Mike the best as he’s doubling down on Bluetick and he’ll be back on again a couple of episodes from now. With that, let’s dive into the hot seat.
I want to give you a little background about David Heller. David and his co-founder Paul Trojanowski founded Reimbi several years ago—and it is at reimbi.com—and it addresses the difficult and lengthy process of reimbursing job candidates for interview expenses. It’s kind of an HR vertical and have really good traction actually. Reimbi is a Tiny Seed company, they’re part of our first batch, one of the 10 companies in that first batch. They launched back in 2017. Paul is the technical co-founder and David—who I’m speaking with today—was a B2B product manager, worked in large organizations, he had eight years in the US army, and he brings a ton of experience. Reimbi has clients, including waste management Bridgewater, Kimberly Clark, and Peloton.
They have traction for a relatively early-stage startup in the space. I and the rest of the Tiny Seed team are impressed with how they’ve been executing on this opportunity. Today, we’re going to dig into just a couple issues that David is feeling with their enterprise sales process. He’s got it dialed in pretty well, and they’re landing big clients. We’ve moved from boulders to rocks to pebbles at this point, but it’s pretty fascinating to hear the things that are still troubling him with their process, and we troubleshoot and try to figure out how to fix those. I hope you enjoy this conversation with David Heller.
David, thank you so much for joining me on the show today.
David: Yeah, it’s good to be here, Rob. Thanks for having me.
Rob: You’re a listener as well.
David: I have been a listener for quite a while.
Rob: That’s cool. It’s a pleasure to have you. I think today’s episode, in digging into some of the challenges you’ve been facing and are currently facing, I think will be helpful to think through and helpful for the listeners. We don’t do that many hot seat episodes, they’re often hard to set up, and it’s hard to find a really good problem to dig into, but I think we have a pretty good one today. Do you want to kind of kick us off and explain the high level of what we’ll be thinking through? I know there are some individual points underneath that umbrella.
David: Sure. With Reimbi, we’re generally selling into larger enterprises. Fortune 1000 and up is our target customer. We aren’t selling where they just sign up with a credit card; we’re going through the contract process, there is usually a PO involved. We sometimes go through security reviews. We’re doing many of the steps that, if it was SAP or Concur or some workday, they would have to go through to sell into these companies, we’re having to do that but as a small startup. That’s the problem that I’ve been thinking through for the last couple of years, and working through, and iterating on to try to make better. That’s what I hope you and I can chat through.
Rob: Yeah. I’ve traditionally called these high touch sales. It’s not face-to-face, but it’s one step away from that. I’ve used this term in the past, I say, low touch sales is pretty much low touch or no touch is typically someone comes, self-sign up. I guess that’s technically no touch. Low touches, well, maybe some people need help to get on. Then I’ve always thought of medium as like what we did with Drip where anybody over a certain dollar amount, let’s say they’re over the $49 or over the $99 plan, it’s like, “Let’s funnel them into a sales or customer success call. Let’s get them on-boarded.” Because the lifetime value is there to be able to do it, but you really have been from the start dealing with Fortune 1000s and that, of course, is going to be high touch. They’re going to demand that, and they deserve it because of the dollar amounts that they pay.
As part of Tiny Seed, I know what your financials look like. Your LTV absolutely justifies the time that you spend doing this. It’s a good problem to have in a sense, it is a problem especially when you’re a small team to be doing high touch for every customer; it’s a good problem in that every customer you land, your MRR goes up by a lot more than most SaaS apps that are selling $20 or $30 a month. To give people an idea of that, on your website, you publish your pricing. What does your pricing plans range from on monthly plans?
David: Posted on the site, we have three prepackaged plans. The lowest one is $75, but we don’t have but a handful of customers on that, and then it goes up to $500 a month, and then we have what’s listed as an enterprise plan with a custom quote, and over half of our customers are on that enterprise custom quote.
Rob: Very good. Let’s dig in. I think this topic will be particularly interesting to those listeners who are also starting in this space. We’ve definitely had some emails about this over the past many years we’ve been doing the show. While I think the dream early on when you start a SaaS, for many of us, especially the developer types are that you build a no touch SaaS solution. But realistically, (a) that’s getting harder and (b) it takes a long time, your churn is high, you tend to peak out it whatever 10,000, 20,000, 30,000 MRR, you can’t get over that, so it depends on what you want to build. But having medium touch and high touch sales I think is relevant to almost any business specially ones where you can get customers at least 100 to 200 bucks a month and up.
Let’s talk about what kind of issues you’re facing and let’s bat them around.
David: Yeah, I think the first one is the long sales cycle. We’ll have customers that will reach out, and it’s usually somebody from recruiting that comes through us because they’re interested in improving candidate experience. They see Reimbi, we talk through it with them, and then they have to go off and talk to accounting or procurement because there are just multiple stakeholders that are involved in the candidate reimbursement process. There’s this circling of wagons inside of our customer—and we’ve got our champion and that’s great and we really foster that relationship.
But it seems like no matter what we do, the sales process is going to be long. Sometimes, we catch lightning in a bottle and it goes really quick, but generally, we’re talking up to six months. Sometimes it’s even longer than that where somebody will reach out to us and then they’ll just disappear, then all of a sudden—even after follow ups—unprompted show up a year later and say, “Hey, okay. We’re ready now.” The sales process and getting through that is probably our number one issue and selling the enterprise is just how long it takes to get from that first contact to a signed order form or contract.
Rob: Yeah. Is there a particular place where this gets held up? Is it often one demo and the stakeholder say, “Thumbs up,” and then it takes months? Or is it repeated demos to multiple groups to on and on and on? Where does the hang up typically happen or is it varied?
David: It’s usually in legal. Sometimes in procurement, so we’ll do the demo and over the last couple years we’ve gotten much better at getting the right people on the call for that first demo, so we don’t have to do a second or third one. Not that we’re perfect on that. We’ve done that and we’ve mostly solved that problem. Once everyone’s like, “Yep, this is what we need. This solves our problem,” and then send over the order form, and then it just sits in legal or whatever that is. This black box that no one can seem to crack of getting it through legal or through procurement. That’s usually the sticking point.
Rob: Right. It’s when there’s essentially a third party involved. I know they’re within the same company, but at companies this large, even if it’s on the same campus it’s like, “Yeah, they’re like a mile walk away because they’re in an entirely different thing, and I don’t know this person so I can’t rush it through legal, and it’s just in some queue somewhere.” That’s interesting. I mean the way I think about it is, is there any motivation for them to process it faster, and it doesn’t sound like there is. I think of like having an external motivator to make someone act. If you think about online marketing as an example, you don’t just say, “Send it from my newsletter.” You say, “Send it from my email list and you get this ebook.” There’s like an opt-in reward.
Oftentimes, to put time pressure on people, info marketers are taking it too far, but they’ll say, “Hey, this price is only available for the next 12 hours or on this webinar,” or whatever. I’m curious how this might pan out, I have heard of there being like, “Hey, this is our pricing if we can get this signed in the next 60 days or the next 30 days.” You don’t have to say in the next five days. You can say, “This price is only good for this long and then it goes up.” Whether the reason is our prices are going up or, “Hey, it’s the end of the quarter and we’re trying to make goals, trying to make a quota,” or whatever their justification is for it.
You could frame it as either a savings of like, “Hey, if you get this done, the real price is $500 but we’ll give it to you for $400. We’ll give you a discount.” Then you just raise your prices just to make that make sense for you or you tell them, “Hey, this has to go up at this point.” The reason that I’m internally able to justify that myself is, the longer it takes, the more headache it is for you, the more follow up; the more money is costing you.
I’m curious (a) have you ever heard of anyone doing that and (b) obviously, it could backfire, but do you feel it could potentially be a motivator for someone to say, “Let’s get this done. Let’s get this on the fast track,” because there has to be a way to fast track these and that’s what we’re trying to figure out as an external party, how can we help your stakeholder figure some type of carrot or stick to it to get it fast tracked?
David: Yeah. We’ve tried—and probably in the last three months—we’ll add a discount on the order form. “If this is signed by this date…” and it’s like you said, it’s not by tomorrow because that’s just not reasonable, “…but in the next 30 days or 15 days, then basically, what we’re doing is giving you this line item on the order form for free.” It’s almost like an upgrade in their minds and then they get that discounted out or lined out and get it for free for the first year if they can sign by this date. It’s hard to tell because no one will come back to you and say, “Yeah, we signed this quickly because you put that discount in.”
They’re not going to give you that feedback that your carrot worked—at least no one has so far. Then if it doesn’t work, no one ‘s come back and had a negative reaction to that, no one said, “That’s unreasonable. I don’t know why you’re doing that.” There hasn’t been any downside to doing it. I think about it from a motivation standpoint because I spent time working in procurement. Procurement people are measured by cost savings. If they can they can say, “Hey, we signed this contract and we were able to save $2,000 because we signed the contract faster,” then that’s motivation for that procurement person.
That was kind of my thought process of putting it in there, but that doesn’t work with legal. I haven’t figured out what that motivation is for legal yet. We have tried that line item and I can’t tell yet whether it’s working. We’ve had contracts that were signed before the date and they were kicked in. We’ve also had it where they were not signed. They ultimately were signed, but after the discount and I removed the discount and no one said, “Can you please still give that to us?” There hasn’t been any downside to doing it yet, so we’re going to keep doing that. Yeah, that’s kind of my experience with that so far.
Rob: Yeah. I like that. I’m glad you got there all on your own. I think it makes sense. I can’t think of a reason that legal would move faster either. I mean that is traditionally a thing. We pay our lawyers directly and they take way too long, you know what I mean? It’s one thing. I’m trying to wrap my brain of like, “Well, could you minimize back and forth by having your contracts extremely Fortune 1000 ready?” But you probably already do. Each lawyer is going to read it differently, each company’s going to have different standards. There’s always going to be some back and forth. I’m not sure if I have any insights there other than what you’re doing, which is I know you’re following up every week or whatever and just saying, “Hey, is it there? Hey, is it there?” I think that’s what I’d be doing too.
The biggest thing that I think about with long sales cycles is how can I get double the leads in the pipeline such that if it takes six months to close, if I only have one of the pipeline then I wait six months, but if I have six in the pipeline then I’m actually closing one every month. That’s the other way I like to flip it on its head, “Is there any way possible to get just purely just more leads to that point?”
David: Right. How about on the follow up emails? Because I don’t have the legal contact I don’t have the name of the attorney or the paralegal or whoever that’s sitting there holding the contract. In the follow up emails to my champion or to whomever that I do have contact with. Maybe even thinking about it like from a Drip marketing standpoint is like motivating those people to follow up or to arm them with how to make progress. I think I’m not doing a good job on that. I do follow up frequently, but it’s like, “Hey, any update? What’s new?” I don’t feel like that’s very successful.
Rob: Two things just came to me. One is, have you ever talked to anyone who you weren’t selling to, who worked at a Fortune 1000 company in either of these roles, either of the legal role or the kind of the champion role? Just to ask, whether it’s like your neighbor you know down the street or whether it’s someone you’ve been at MicroConf who you say, “How does this work? What should we be doing here? There has to be some inside secrets to this.” It’s like knowing the secret menu at In-N-Out or a secret handshake or something.
David: Yeah, I know we did it once. We have a customer, just incredibly long process that we’ve gone through with them, and then in the end there’s the procurement person that was actually on some of the calls, which is also helpful if you can get the procurement person on the call. He had to let me know that he was leaving the company and was handing off, so I kind of took that as an opportunity. Okay, I’m going to go talk to him now that he’s not tied to the company and like, “What could we have done better here to make this move faster?” He was just like, “That’s just the beast” and I don’t think they’re that much different than most companies. It just takes a long time and it is frustrating. The logical thing then is to try to raise prices to account for the lengthy sales cycle, but then you start running into this value equation problem. “How much value am I actually providing? Can I just price more because enterprises make it so difficult?”
Rob: That’s one of the reasons that enterprise apps are so expensive. When you look at $2000, $3000, $4000 a month, and you’re like, “Oh my God, our annual contract is probably $30,000, $40,000, $50,000. How can they justify that?” This is how they justify it—it’s that it just takes so many person hours to close a deal. This is a good one. If you’re listening to this and you are on the inside of a Fortune 1000 and you thought, “Wow, here’s something that David could be doing that you could help speed this up,” specifically with the legal side. Because it sounds like you’ve made some headway with the procurement with the kind of monetary incentive, feel free to write in questions at startupsfortherestofus.com or you can post a comment on this episode which is episode 463.
Back to your question about the emails. You’re saying you’re almost trying to arm them or allow them to do it. I think the two things I would think of—you have to try this to see how it works—but one is make the email summarize everything, so it’s easily just forwardable, so they can just hit F and say, “Hey, legal! What’s up? See below.” You’ve basically summarized the whole thing for them of, “Hey, just reminding you. I know this is in legal. I know it went in on this date. You could even say, “Typically, the turnaround is 14 days, but I haven’t heard from you,” and blah blah blah. They could kind of forward it over there. That arms them with something that they don’t have to create a big case. You create their case for them in the writing.
I think the other thing is as you said, getting them on the phone with procurement is helpful. If you’re not already suggesting that in your later stage, maybe you don’t do that in the first one when you check in, but if you’re on the second, third, or fourth is that part of your ask where you’re like, “Hey, just wanted to check in. Should we all just hop on the phone? I can totally do that.” At a certain point, you don’t want to be too forward, you don’t want to be the salesperson, so who’s stomping on feet, but at a certain point, that maybe worth doing.
David: Yeah, I’m always looking for that magic word or something. The phrase that’s going to unlock things but I haven’t found it yet but that’s good advice.
Rob: What else? I feel we’ve covered that pretty well. You had mentioned like these long forms or checklists or something that you have to fill out?
David: Yeah. It’s not uncommon for us to have to go through some sort of security review or fill out a form that talks about our security that we have with Reimbi. I would say, there’s an 80% overlap from company to company on the questions that they want us to answer. I think one thing we’ve done is we’re building up this library of, “Here’s a regular question and here’s our answer,” to try to make it so it’s that much easier to fill these out and just cut and paste and put that in there. But something that happened recently is one of the questions on the forms usually is, “How many people do you have?” Or, “Do you have like a chief security officer?” We’re really small.
I was on a call with the security person, actually, they’re already a customer, but they’re expanding internationally to use Reimbi outside of the US and that caused some additional scrutiny and reviews. I was on a call with their security person and he asked me, “How many people do you have?” The answer to that is three, but that doesn’t sound, at least to me, I definitely hesitated when I was answering that question. I want to be transparent. I’m not going to say something that’s incorrect, but I mean that’s just a topic for me. It’s always a concern going through those is, “Are we sophisticated enough in answering the security form? What our procedures are and all of this stuff when literally there’s three of us and we’re just grinding every day and just trying to get it done?” That’s been a challenge that we’re continuously trying to get better at.
Rob: Yeah. I can imagine that. With the checklists and forms, that’s also the cost of doing business as I see it and just getting more efficient with having a wiki, or notion, or whatever you’re using to collect that I think is good.
Delegate, that’s the other thin. Right now, I’m sure you’re doing most of it. I could see frankly, a $20 an hour VA able to fill that out. If 80% of it really is similar, and you train someone, and then you show them the repo of questions, you send it off, you pay $15 for three quarters of an hour or a full hour for someone to get 80% of the way there, they send it back and then it’s only 15 minutes of your time. That’s a really good human automation task because it’s something you can’t automate with code and you’re not going to fill them out. I mean, it’s a requirement of it. That probably would be the next step that I would consider taking.
David: I definitely can be delegating some of this. Another thing I’ve been considering—and I’d like to get your thoughts on—is contracting just like on a one-time fixed fee deliverable basis is like a CISO person. Someone that has the certifications, has been through this probably to work in an enterprise as a security person, and have them go through our answers and look at it from the reviewer’s perspective on what’s being looked at. Then also on those areas that we’re completely lacking on or insufficient on, what’s the right answer. What’s the right way to answer this question so that we can get through the security review?
Rob: I think that’s a great idea. I think the cool part about looking for the right answer is what’s the right answer such that we can make that be the truth? If the right answer is something we’re not doing today, how about we start doing that such that the right answer is actually what we’re doing. I love that idea. To be honest, I know a guy who was a chief security officer at about 175-person startup. If you need to connect who may be able to do that. I know a few who probably wouldn’t charge very much to walk through for a few hours and give you their opinions. I love that idea. I think that’s great. That’s the beauty of having the repository of your answers is that then those can be a living breathing document and you can really refine this over time.
Back to your other piece, I was fascinated by what to say when they ask how many employees you have. I mean that that is an issue with a lot of companies, especially a lot of startups folks who would listen to this podcast. I think you’re right. It’s not okay to lie because it’s not okay and whether you get caught or whether you don’t, you don’t want to be running a business like that. The way I think about it is this, your number is your number. I know that that you’re a three full time employees. Typically, I would think, if I had two or three part timers who are significantly—even if they were doing design work or support role or something—I would include them in there.
I would say, “Hey, there’s six people working on the product or whatever,” that gives it a little bit of a bump. But we talked before the call and that’s really not the case in your instance. I think that yeah, I think you’re loud and proud with the number three, but I think the way I would think about […] it is in my head, “Is three important? What’s the most important thing? What are they trying to get out with that question?” They’re trying to figure out, “Have you been around awhile? Are you going to stay around? Are you doing best practices? Are you any good?” It’s that kind of stuff.
The underlying questions they’re asking in that question, without trying to couch it too much, it would be like, “Well, we’re three employees but we’ve been in business now for 3 ½ years. We have 45 clients,” or whatever the number is including waste management. I forget who are your clients. You have some really big names that are already trusting you so that that’s credibility. You can point out that, ‘We’re a focus team, we don’t need a large team. We’re actually a profitable company and we have funding.” There are ways to build—credibility is the wrong word—but it’s build some concrete things for them to hang on to.
This is not the sales prospect; you’ve already sold the deal. It’s like a chief security officer, it’s someone who’s trying to assess it out. They don’t know all of that. They probably haven’t looked at any of your marketing material. They probably don’t know how long you’ve been in business or that Kimberly Clark or whoever are your customers. I think casually pointing those things out, giving them the exact right number, but then couching it with, “Hey, these are these are our other credibility building factors.”
David: Yeah, and that’s good. I didn’t do that and that would have been a good way of supplementing the answer instead of just saying three and then just pausing. It was an awkward pause.
Rob: He caught you off guard too. When you get caught off guard that often happens. You don’t think about the right answer until the next time which is cool because next time you will get asked this again, and you’ll be able to be prepared.
David: Yeah, like you said, its credibility. He’s just assessing risk. He’s just trying to make sure like how much risk are they taking on by handing off this process to Reimbi and is it going to come back to haunt them.
Rob: Right, and that’s the other thing you could land and I mean I know they already have it all laid out, your data architecture and your encryption and all that. I know your co-founder is the technical arm of the company. If he has any relevant experience where it’s like, “Well, my co-founder worked in the banking industry for 10 years as a developer.” Anything like that to imply, “We know what we’re doing,” basically I think is helpful or even yourself frankly. I know you worked in the industry before that and you worked for larger companies. “Yeah, I worked in the Fortune 500 for 15 years before this with my co-founder and we’re a focused team,” and blah blah.
Any time I get caught off guard with a question like that, I’m the same way. I tend to freeze. I’ll say something and then an hour later I’m like, “I did not like that answer.” Everyone can do that. The next step though, the way you get better is you say, “What should I have said? What’s the best answer to that?” Because now, every time it gets asked, you’ll have that answer right at your fingertips. It’ll come off smooth and I bet they’ll be impressed because I’m imagining that not everyone does well on that question.
David: Yeah, and then getting that documented as well. I’m not going to be on that call every time forever. Whether it’s Abbey or Paul, or whoever is going to be on that call that we are all like, “This is the answer to this question.” Every time there will be a new one, and we’ll add it to the library but I think having that, just like building up the team’s knowledge would be really helpful.
Rob: Yeah, I agree. There are several people in the TinySeed batch who are really into finding the right answer and then making sure it’s documented. That is a weakness of mine; it’s not a strength. In terms of process and documentation, I tend to flyby the seat of my pants. I get inspired and then I go do something and I like what happens and I get instant feedback, but I don’t go back and kind of systematize it. That I think is a real strong suit of yours especially when dealing with these big companies because you are going to do the same slog work as we’ve talked about here over and over: long sales cycles, large checklist, odd questions about company size on a call. The more you can do to document that I think the better off you’ll be.
Rob: Well, thanks so much for coming on the show today, David. I appreciate your time and glad we’re able to chat through this stuff. I think it was helpful for listeners as well. If folks want to keep up with you, aside from going to reimbi.com to check out what you’re up to, what’s the best place for them to keep in touch?
David: Because we do enterprise-y stuff, I’m on LinkedIn a lot. You can find David Heller and Reimbi so that’s one spot to connect with me, and then on Twitter we’re reimbi_app, and I’m @DavidHeller.
Rob: Sounds great. Thanks again.
David: Thanks, Rob.
Rob: If you have any questions for David or you feel like you have a thought or idea on how he could get around some of the issues that he’s facing, please do. Send us an email at questionsatstartupsfortherestofus.com or you can leave us a voicemail at 888-801-9690. Next episode, I’ll be talking with Steli Efti of clothes.com. We will, of course, be digging into sales topics.
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