Sales For Founders
May 15, 2020

Zero to 5-figure MRR in just a few months by doing outbound sales - with Frank Breckner, founder of Finalytic

Summary

Frank Breckner is the founder of Finalytic, a SaaS tool that automates financial reconciliations between other tools like Stripe, PayPal, Quickbooks and Airbnb.

Finalytic has gone from 0 customers in January to £10-20K MRR, 5 months later. Impressive growth.

Frank talks to Louis on the Sales For Founders podcast.

It's quite a detailed episode so covering what I can below...

Lessons learned

  • Frank got the idea from manual financial reconciliation work he was doing at his first startup. It was time consuming, boring and error prone. But also mission critical.
  • He spoke to other companies and discovered they suffered the same problem.
  • Knew what the problem was, what the pain was and he'd already spoken to multiple companies with the same problem. The idea was validated. So after creating a solution it was a relatively easy sell.
  • For the first few months they told new customers “We’ll set it up for free for you, we want to show it to you, give us some feedback and you can always pay once you’re happy with how it’s running and how it’s set up”
  • Effective messaging by being focused on one niche (property managers) so you connect with who you’re speaking to. Narrow in one industry and with one type of person.
  • In B2B build a product that is deeply integrated into processes and systems. If it adds value then it gets left alone and is harder to swap for another solution.

On getting first customers

  • Because of solving his own problem in a market he knew well, he already had a lot of contacts to talk to.
  • Reached out to 10 founders he had relationships with and found out if they definitely have the problem, how painful it is and how many resources they spend on it. Then, "I can build you a solution for this, are you interested?"
  • Got verbal commitments and when they launched the first features, he got them to start using it. They only started paying after 2 months in exchange for giving detailed feedback.
  • Normally you should charge up front. You only really know if someone likes your product if they start spending money on it. But in this case, Frank had deep insight into the industry and was ok with the commitment to pay later.

On next 25-30 customers

  • Frank found the decision maker at target companies using LinkedIn.
  • Sent connection requests with message and got high 80% response rate. LinkedIn is massively underutilized for good messages.
  • Messages establish credibility, reason to connect and he gets to the point quickly. For example: “We’ve built something that others are using which does xyz, would you be interested in seeing that? It saves the average property manager x hours a week”
  • He then takes them through a process: phone call, demo, onboarding.

On success in short space of time

  • Why has he been successful in last 4 or 5 months and others who’ve put time in haven’t? Two things: Look at successful people and probably they’re good at execution (you actually do the right thing rather than just think about it) and good at prioritizing (working on the right thing)
  • You only start learning what customers want once you start speaking to them and then building something, letting them trial it and iterate that process for infinity.
  • Don't spend a long time building to find it’s the wrong thing, much better and easier to talk to people and then build. You’re doing them a favor by asking and then building rather than building and then showing.

In this episode of the Sales for Founders podcast, your host Louis Nicholls sits down with a Sales for Founders course alumnus... Frank Breckner.

Frank was previously the cofounder of a VC-backed startup, Lavanda, and is now working on multiple new projects.

A few months ago, Frank started work on a new business, Finalytic. And he's already grown it to 5 figures in MRR by doing outbound sales.

In today's episode, we'll dive into...

  • how Frank made Finalytic's first sales (and came up with the idea)
  • how he's handling sales in an industry devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • how Frank launched yet another SaaS tool, Growth-Hacking.io and grew it from nothing to $2k+ MRR in less than a week

... and much more!

You can find Frank on LinkedIn - or shoot him an email at frank@growth-hacking.io.

And don't forget - you get 50% off of your very own Growth-Hacking.io account with discount code "S4F".

Finally, make sure to head over to SalesForFounders.com and sign up for actionable, free advice and templates on how to get good enough at sales to grow your own business.

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