Selling into a Fortune 500 is a ton of work. If you don’t have sales experience or a warm intro, it’s going to be like digging for gold. You have to search the web, flex your network, and look under hundreds of rocks before you meet the right person that can champion you into the company – especially as an early-stage startup. Even after all that work, your contact can change roles or leave the company and then you have start all over!
Worse than rubbing elbows… corporations can be slow moving when it comes to cutting deals. As a startup, waiting for months or even years for the gig to land is a huge potential problem. We don’t have that kind of runway!
Since joining the BridgeCommunity we have been able to cut out both the introduction merry-go-round, and the drag-your-feet nature of corporate negotiations.
Here’s three of the biggest benefits we’ve garnered from the program:
Contacts are Hand Picked for You
This part is amazing. Literally, whatever problem your product solves, you will be connected to an executive with a budget line to review your product. The best part? You don’t have to search linkedin, referrals, or even cold lists. The BridgeCommunity selects corporate strategy partners from participating enterprises to talk with you and set up one-on-one meetings at the corporate HQ with the right decision maker. I guess you can consider it as an arranged blind date – you can guarantee that you’ll meet a decision maker, but it’s up to you to take it to the next steps.
You are coached
How often does an enterprise coach you to sell to them? Never. Unless, you’re in the BridgeCommunity where each participating corporation supplies a program liaison, or startup champion. Here’s how one of our intros went:
“This team is TopPick, they’ve built a platform to engage, screen and hire better quality talent. We chose TopPick as one of the startup companies we want to work with. When you meet with them, keep it informal and help TopPick understand our business and how they might best add value to us. This should be a two way dialogue with questions from both sides, not a pitch. If an opportunity surfaces, we’ll dive in later. TopPick has a lot of potential – they could use your guidance on how to work with us.”
Wow. Talk about setting the meeting up to build rapport and lower the barriers to entry. Here’s where you have your chance to shine and take it to the next steps.
You land gigs
Lastly, of course. This is what everyone wants… your startup lands gigs. Most teams that go through BridgeCommunity land pilots with at least one of the Fortune 500 teams. In 2016, nine pilots and proof-of-concepts were created.
For some, landing a pilot is even better than receiving funding for equity. 3 months in, we’ve received a verbal confirmation from one of the companies and within the next few weeks, we’ll update you all on how things ended.
After three months in the BridgeCommunity, we’ve been able to get in front of 10+ executives from 5 of the world’s largest enterprises. We have received a verbal agreement from one and two more enterprises are moving us to the next stages of the process to become partners.
We have already received such clear, positive results in our short time in the program. With no equity taken for enterprise sales training, help landing huge enterprise clients, and only a nominal time commitment, our involvement has been a win-win-win.
Author, Justin Ham, is the CEO of TopPick – the candidate engagement platform that engages your candidates faster than ever before with their bolt on application for your ATS – helping you reach candidates through text, calls and video.