Back in the summer of 2009 we were pitching VCs all over the country. At the end of each meeting, one of the next steps was for the VC to introduce us to a few of their portfolio companies so that marketers in the field could try out our software and report back on the effectiveness. Of course, marketers from fast-growing, venture-backed companies were right in our sweet spot to use the Pardot software. Here are a few thoughts on lead generation as a side effect of pitching VCs:
- Products that are more broadly applicable, like a B2B marketing platform, will get more leads from VCs
- Testimonials and other forms of social proof will be required for the leads, so have them ready in advance
- VCs that don’t offer to make intros to other portfolio companies or other potential prospects, aren’t interested in investing
- Positive feedback from portfolio companies is critical as part of building a story for VCs to invest
Even if VCs don’t end up investing in the startup, just developing a relationship with them and getting relevant introductions is a positive by-product of the process. Pitching VCs is more than just trying to raise money.
What else? What are some other thoughts on lead generation as a side effect of pitching VCs?