Kelsey Falter is the founder and CEO of Poptip, which analyzes and synthesizes social conversation in real-time.
Strong intuition that facilitates efficient prioritization is important. Leading is not the same as chasing, so leaders must have strong opinions about direction and understand the most important initiative to tackle first especially when you have limited resources.
I’ve started having 1-on-1 meetings with each Poptip team member every two weeks. They talk about whatever they want for 15 minutes, and I talk about whatever I want for 15 minutes. This takes the guesswork out of a person’s happiness or their concerns and gets everything out on the table.
Word of mouth leading to referrals is still the most effective marketing tactic for us. In B2B sales, it truly is about building strong relationships that are worth talking about and passing along. By prioritizing verticalization, you can go deep in one market via word of mouth and allow one vertical to segue into another.
We started peer and personal performance reviews. A lot of our performance review questions came from “How I Learned to Let my Workers Lead” – an HBR case study about Johnsonville Sausages. Yes, really, sausages. It seems cliché or too traditional, but it’s a cathartic process for everyone. The review process enables you to improve yourself and your peers in a transparent way.
My teammate Stacey, who used to be my college roommate, and I started using [INFORMAL LABELS] in the subject line of all of our emails. Eventually the whole Poptip team started to adopt it. Now, regular emails like [SALES UPDATE] follow a specific format, and there are no questions or frantic Apple Mail searches trying to find information you’re looking for. It’s an efficient way to find emails, call out actions, and transform your email into a to-do or to-read list.
Our first sales came from our launch press. Then because our product is inherently social and public (despite being a B2B product), as more customers came on board, the more visible our product became. By focusing our efforts on working with brands who had the largest Twitter presences, Poptip benefited from high volume visibility and inbound leads. The key to optimizing inbound? Allowing companies to just log in and try the product. To this day, we don’t force people to “request a demo.”
Raising money is like ...