Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I wish I could go back in time with YCR to track more data


YCR is a little more than a month old and it's been a whirlwind ride so far. I think I've kept my mistakes down to a minimum. However, one thing that I would go back and fix is tracking my how people found out about YCR as early as possible in addition to having a solid plan whenever I would go out and pitch YCR at meetings and events.

My game plan was to show up, shake a few hands and re-tell my story to draw interest into YCR. What I really should have been doing is all of the above, but making sure that I get a person's contact information, logging it somewhere and tracking to see if that person actually filled out an application for YCR.

I recently subscribed to Salesforce.com as my CRM tool of choice under the $25/month small business package. For each applicant, I'm tracking in a systematic way to see how one goes from a qualified lead (10% into my pipe) to fill-out application (20%) to interview process (50%) to offer (80%) and hopefully and acceptance of an offer (100%). I think I'm using SFDC in an nontraditional sense, but it works.

So far I've learned that StartupDigest has by far led me to the highest applicant submissions to converted interview whereas HackerNews has led me to the highest quantity of applicants. It's too early to tell how the leads that I'm getting from meetings and events will turn out. I'm experimenting with other methods to get the YCR name out there, and I'll update you as soon as I get more data points.

It was a pain in the butt to put all the information into SFDC, but once it's in there it's beautiful. I recommend that every start-up has some kind of track able sales methodology in place as early as possible so that you know where to invest your resources. I'm glad I caught this issue one month into YCR's life as opposed to a year or so later.

BTW: I'm going to be at From Founding to Funding - What's the Sexy Part? on Thursday, 5/19 in Palo Alto, CA. If you're there, please come up and say hi. I think I have 1-2 minutes to pitch YCR, so you'll know who I am.

Image by pnoeric used under the Creative Commons License.

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