There is a critical point where you expand your focus to emphasize sales and retention as much as you do building the product. This comes as you launch and begin to actively drive purchase and adoption, striving for product-market fit and early traction. While it’s easy to view these efforts separately, keeping product adoption closely tied to product development is critical to understand critical functionality and additional needs.

Goals of this stage

Deploy Pilots to Refine Your MVP

Leverage early adopter usage to validate product-market fit

Begin Building Your Funnel

Create a formal process to take customers from awareness to engagement to purchase

Outputs OF THIS STAGE

Demand Generation Plan

A plan detailing how you will build awareness of your product and convert into sales opportunities
Download: Building A Demand Generation Plan »

Customer Success Plan

Post-sales support and implementation strategy to strengthen customer relationships and ensure use/adoption

Pilot Plan

A plan to onboard and deploy your MVP to customers with a focus on gathering feedback and measuring/planning future enhancements
Read The Blog: Pilot Management Brings In The Test Data You’ve Been Seeking »

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

A defined set of metrics to track the important drivers of business success including traction, revenue, P&L, etc.
Download: Key Performance Indicators Guide »

Refined Pitch Deck

An updated overview of your business opportunity, including more details on traction, additional use cases and other new information
Read The Blog: How To Build The Perfect Pitch Deck »

Target Investor List

Descriptive list of potential angel investors, venture capital investors and other funding sources appropriate to your stage and sector
Read The Blog: Identifying and Engaging the Right Investors »

Investor Newsletter

An email provided to investors, advisors and prospects on a regular basis to keep them up to date on your opportunities and challenges
Download: Investor Newsletter Template »

Employee Handbook

An operational document defining the mission, history and values of company while outlining policy, procedures and expectations of employment
Read The Blog: 4 Time- And Money-Saving Reasons To Create An Employee Handbook »

Activities & Exercises to help you on your journey

Secure pilots

Perform two to five pilots studies to gather product feedback
Read The Blog: Securing Your First Pilot: Where The Rubber Meets The Road »

Customer acquisition strategy

Using appropriate channels to target likely buyers and stimulate product awareness and demand
Read The Blog: Landing Your First Customer In 4 Easy Steps »

Convert pilots to paying customers

Develop a plan to make customers want to pay for your product once the pilot ends
Read The Blog: From Try To Buy: Converting A Pilot To A Paying Customer »

Support strategy

Leverage your customer support strategy and KPIs to ensure customers are actively engaged with a product that meets their needs
Read The Blog: You’ve Launched Your product… Now Comes The Hard Part! »

Capital strategy

Assess the long-term financial needs of the business and build a plan for outside funding if/when necessary
Read The Blog: 8 Questions To Ask Yourself When Preparing For Fundraising »

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