#Events: Entrepreneur meets Corporation at Campus London
Unblandeur's first event on Friday at Google Campus London was titled "Entrepreneur meets Corporate" and provided participants with insights how to deal with Procurement processes in large companies and how to pitch their company successfully.
Around 30 entrepreneurs from sectors as wide spread as agricultural technology, executive coaching, creative talent management, artificial intelligence or supply for the petro industry were present. We even had some guests from Barcelona Spain who learned of the event last minute and decided to join.
The event covered insights into corporate Procurement functions, how they operate, what drives them and how they are evolving. Then speaking about how SMEs are viewed by Procurement, how they can navigate the often lengthy and complex selection processes in large companies. key "Procurement geek" terms to know and advice on what to watch out for when finally getting to sign the contract..
Entrepreneurs got candid advice what can make them successful or get doors closed when approaching Procurement or other stakeholders in large companies and trying to position their unique services/products. There were many questions specific to participants' businesses during and after the event which showed that a generic "that's how you do it" answer is not enough, but the approach to successfully network and land business in a B2B environment depends on the industry, how differentiated the product is, initial references and many other factors.
Highlighted was the importance of having a clear, concise elevator pitch capturing the essence of the business in a memorable way ready at any time. Claudia shared that at many networking opportunities, small businesses come across as not clearly differentiated or unrealistic and miss the opportunity to land a favourable impression that sticks. She also shared that even if the company you speak to may not have an opportunity at this point, there may be one in the future or the SME may be favourably mentioned to other companies.
Potential stakeholders at large company include many different parties. Procurement may not be the first point of contact, but it's important to be aware what role they play once a formal and certainly more extensive engagement comes about and approach the Procurement discussion with knowledge and constructive attitude rather than the disdain for the function often heard in startup circles. That is what businesses successfully scaling their business with large corporates eventually learn to do.
All participants expressed that they find it difficult and time consuming, which means expensive as well to do business with large clients. But then, if it was easy everybody would do it and the event also highlighted the challenge for large companies to filter a huge marketplace and the many unsolicited approached effectively for the best partners. Having a quality online and social media presence with excellent content is certainly becoming very important besides the enduring value of face to face networking and personal referrals.
We had great feedback and the participants expressed that they appreciated the very honest, candid advice and practical tools to manage the B2B sales process with large clients. And lots of interesting insights into the practical challenges entrepreneurs in different industries (and markets) are facing.
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