Breaking Through the Clutter as an Entrepreneur: Shawn Finder

Shawn Finder, CEO and Co-Founder of Autoklose, was one of hundreds who virtually attended this year’s SAAS NORTH NOW conference.

Autoklose is the first sales email automation platform powered by machine learning. Its searchable database is jam-packed with millions of verified B2B leads; allowing for automated lead generation software and email drip campaign management tools through CRM integration.

“This was my third year at SAAS NORTH and it was a great experience because you’re getting a lot of the SaaS companies here in Canada and in the ecosystem, all in one place,” explained Finder. “Because you’re getting a lot of tech minded entrepreneurs and investors all in one space, you can do a lot of different networking.”

Finder said that what he looked forward to the most about this year’s virtual conference was finding new ways to engage people who would come visit his team’s booth in the Virtual Exhibit Hall.

“We provided different incentives on why they should come to a booth to talk to us during the event.” he said. “We offered a lot of special deals, free coaching sessions and stuff like that to really try and get people to sit with us at the booth.”

Understanding Your Buyer Persona

During the conference, Finder spoke in a session about “How to Break Through the Clutter and Sell More in 2021

With all the turbulence that SaaS companies have faced in 2020, the session focused on how they have embraced the new normal and found ways to grow and expand.

“There are different strategies that you guys could be using moving into 2021 to help you continue to fill that top sales funnel,” explained Finder. “The most important thing right now is filling that top of the sales funnel so you can start the year off fresh and embrace the clutter.”

The session taught viewers how they could build and leverage their SaaS buyer persona and deliver value to their target audience.

“One mistake that I made early on was not spending enough time on my buyer persona.” Finder confessed. “You need to know your customers – and your customers are always changing. So therefore, if you think you should be selling to the VP of Marketing, if you really, really dissect it, you might actually need to solve for the VP of Sales.”

Finder recommended that it’s best to sit down and do an exercise where you can find out the pains and gains of each of those people, and then take those people and put them into your buyers persona.

“The buyers persona will really help your business. I was probably about six months too late spending enough time on my buyers personas,” he said. “We thought a buyer was one person, and then we realized our buyer was a completely different person after about six months.”

Advice for Entrepreneurs

Being an entrepreneur at heart, Finder dove into what new entrepreneurs should expect.

“I would say you got to continue to make pivots and continue to make moves and continue to learn and continue to test,” he said. “Being an entrepreneur is a roller coaster. There’s ups and there’s downs, and you have to make sure that you’re feeding those ups and downs as well.”

Finder explained that he sees himself more of a sales person, so when he entered the entrepreneurial world he expected everything to be done quickly and within days.

“Even though you might want to have something done in three months and you might be expecting it to be influenced when the developer tells you it’s three months, it’s probably gonna be six months.” he advised. “So just be prepared to have more patience as an entrepreneur than you would if you were just in sales. Things work a little bit slowly, there’s always change as an entrepreneur, you gotta wear many hats, and you really have to be focused.”

Don’t forget that if you attended this year you get $100 off next year’s ticket!

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