Skedsheet Blog

Where we talk about the product, calendars, organization, and business

Which questions should I ask to find the value?

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I spend way too much time thinking about our sales process, mostly because I keep trying to use my engineering experience and apply it to situations that rely on people – aka, situations that are pretty unpredictable. 

For JobTracker, the way we try to sell is by having conversations about “specific indicators”, which are the problems that drive our customers to buy.  If we were selling shovels, the questions would go something like:

Q: How are you digging holes in the ground now?
Q: What works about that?  What doesn’t?
Q: Are your fingernails getting really dirty and you can’t stand the taste of mud anymore?
Q: Do you think you could dig an extra hole every week if you had a sharp blade with more leverage?

It looks like a few of the scenarios we already use apply to skedsheet.  By definition (combine a spreadsheet and a calendar), we have a decent idea of the problems our leads are running into with the two tools they have today. 

If it was a conversation – and it will be as I start interviewing folks to ferret out some new markets – my dream conversation would look something like this:

Q: How are you scheduling now?
A: I’m using a spreadsheet with all of the details, and transferring over some of it to outlook to move things around and share the calendar.
Q: What works about that?
A: I like having access to the information on the computer more than hunting through file folders and a whiteboard.
Q: What doesn’t?
A: Every time I need to change the schedule, I have to put the details on the spreadsheet and the dates in outlook.
Q: Keeping up with documentation in 2 places seems mistake-prone.  Is that a problem for you?
A: Yes.
Q: What’s the $ impact every time you forget to update the date in one place?
A: One zillion dollars.
Q: How often would you say that you make mistakes because you need to remember to put the date in 2 places?…..

The important part about a conversation like this is having questions that uncover the pain (I need to update my schedule in 2 places) that we can actually solve.  Then, if someone starts using skedsheet they’re happy because they’re solving a problem.  Even better, we hope it’s a solution to a problem that they can quantify – either money or time is great. 

And, we’re happy because someone’s getting value out of what we do… and if there’s value, they’ll be willing to pay.

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Written by Harry Hollander

June 18, 2009 at 8:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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