The Truth About Sagetap

Hear what Stephen Burton, former CMO of Bionic (acquired by Crowdstrike in 2023), says about his success using Sagetap.

The Truth About Sagetap

I started using Sagetap in 2019 with a simple use case, understanding our target buyers and where the incumbent technologies fell short. I would speak to tech buyers(Sages) about their experiences with CI/CD tools (e.g., Jenkins, Spinnaker, and so on). I wanted to know what customers liked and disliked, what worked, what didn’t, and their top pain points and frustrations. As I worked for a new CI/CD startup at the time (Harness), I wanted to know the exact strings to pull with prospects and real buyers.

My first impressions were good, very good. In just a few days, I spoke to several large enterprise customers who walked me through their experiences of deploying CI/CD at scale. I quickly validated which of our existing market analysis was accurate and, most importantly, which intel was pure BS. I could then arm our sales team with real-life customer experiences of where the incumbents fell short and why we were in a superior position to solve CI/CD.

This experience made me think, what if I could validate more of our GTM activities using Sagetap? What if Sages could validate our pitch, first-meeting demo, website, pricing, datasheets, and more? What if I could prove to sales with real buyer feedback that my team in marketing doesn’t just make shit up? And that is precisely what I have done over the past 5 years.

However, like anything, you only get out what you put in. You can’t expect results without listening to feedback and improving.

What Sagetap isn’t

Sagetap is not a place that magically creates sales meetings, pipeline, logos, and revenue.

In my last few startups (Harness and Bionic), I revised our first meeting pitch at least 50 times in the first two years. Why? because that is how you improve. If your software or product evolves daily, so can your story and messaging.

What Sagetap is

Sagetap validates your pitch, demo, product, pricing, website, and more. This allows you to continuously improve these assets until buyers are compelled to act when they see or hear them.

Like anything, to improve, you need real candid feedback.

Simply put, Sagetap gives you high-quality, unbiased opinions and measurable feedback from modern tech buyers.

A Sage is not your friend; they are not an investor; they are not someone who owes you anything. They are anonymous and, therefore, don’t give a shit about about filtering their comments, feedback, or hurting your ego. This is perfect for identifying every objection a buyer has about your product. You remove those objections one by one, and you’ll eventually end up with sales pipeline, customer logos, and revenue.

Less than 1% of software startups make it. Keep this in the back of your mind when you engage sages on Sagetap. Finding product/market fit is about listening and acting on what the market tells you. At Bionic, we were missing 2 key features when we first went to market with security buyers, which was reflected in our Sagetap feedback early on. Fast-forward a year, and those features became invaluable for us; it also eliminated two fundamental objections for buyers to move forward.

Over 18 months at Bionic, we conducted ~130 meetings with security executives on the Sagetap platform, resulting in $4 in closed-won business for every $1 we spent. If you’re confident that your demo resonates and the story is relevant, you can validate that on Sagetap with unprecedented access to tech buyers. Validation is pretty simple; how many buyers convert when they listen to your pitch and demo? And is that conversion improving over time?

How do you get started with Sagetap?

Here are 5 easy tips for getting started today with Sagetap:

  1. Clearly define your ideal customer profile (ICP)
  2. Create 3 questions that would qualify whether a Sage would meet your ICP
  3. Grab your best sales rep and sales engineer
  4. Schedule 10 x 30-minute Sagetap meeting simulations with your ICP to validate your pitch and product demo.
  5. Analyze the detailed feedback on what these sages think of your pitch/demo

Whether Sages opt-in or out after your meetings, you’ll have the data to understand why. Trust me, this is WAY better than finishing a first meeting and the customer saying, ‘Let me circle back with my team and get back to you,’ which means, ‘You’ll never hear from us again.’

Having measurable feedback on your pitch and demo is invaluable, given that startups spend millions on demand-gen and sales reps. Nothing is worse than telling a bad story to someone who doesn’t care.

I hear what you’re saying, but these Sages get paid to play.

Yes, and that is exactly why vendors rate Sages after every interaction. If Sages are dishonest about their experiences, skills, and intent, vendors are more likely to give them low ratings. The opposite is also true. From my experience, there are 1,000s of legit buyers on Sagetap, you just need to find them.

In summary, use Sagetap to validate and measure your GTM assets before you spend millions on campaigns and pipeline generation.

If your demo sucks, then it doesn’t matter how many people see it, it still sucks.

Don’t be that vendor who sucks.


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