What is MakeProspect?#

MakeProspect converts software engineering job posts from across the web into a filterable database containing the company name, url, linkedin, and technologies that the company is seeking. It uses human and machine learning to appropriately tag the companies into the appropriate technology labels. We work diligently to shorten the time from when we find a job post to when it is made available in our database.

MakeProspect is a crawler sourcing sales leads for dev shops. The mission is to be a crawler that goes around the net and finds potential companies to reach out to and make that available as an API with relevant company name, LinkedIn, and URL. This is the only API made available. In terms of work for this API we need someone who fixes the AIrtable and moves Evernote leads into Close.

For whom is MakeProspect built?#

MakeProspect is built for development agencies, software tooling companies, and any company selling software engineering services.

What is the problem?#

At opsZero want to reach out to a particular set of prospective customers who need Kubernetes and Serverless. We want to target the prospects who are specifically looking to fulfill that need, so we are not annoying people who don’t have the problem we are solving.

Job posts are an effective way to figure out which companies are hiring for what opsZero provides. We want to extract the business information from these job posts to reach prospective customers rapidly using our CRM.

Who has the problem?#

opsZero was facing this problem, but we realized that any software consultant, software development firm, or developer tooling platform has the same problem. These companies want to reach out to prospective customers right as they have the problem they are solving.

What are the costs associated with the problem?#

Currently, LinkedIn sourcing using the traditional method of sales. There is a lot of energy spend on sourcing as opposed to just outreaching the company that months most need your services. So there is a lot of manual work that is done to find candidates that work the traditional way but necessarily the way we want it to work.

There is no sales sourcing and prospecting tool specifically for software consultants, developer tooling companies and development agencies. I had to write my own outreach tool so that I could make it easier to outreach to companies I wanted to work with. All sales tools are built for engineers to sell to other engineers

How do people currently solve this problem, and how do those solutions fall down?#

Right now people either buy lists or they do research on Crunchbase or other mechanisms. Everyone seems to reinvent the wheel a bit. This work is very manual and requires a lot of time since it requires hiring someone to do it manually.

Instead of there is a daily 5 of who to reach that would be the most efficient way to do outreach

What has changed enabling a new solution?#

I am applying crowdsourcing and data clean up specifically for this vertical. We have it highly optimized and working exceedingly well.

How does the new solution work?#

Subscribe and check out the Airtable.

How do you know it’s better? (Quantitative, Qualitative)#

I have been able to quickly outreach a customer within 4 hours of first job post. The system makes it super fast to outreach. Also it is focused completely on software roles.

Total Addressable Market#

How many consumers have this need or problem?#

There are about 100,000 dev agencies in the USA. Even if we hit 20% at \(49 that is \)980,000 a year in revenue.

How big is the need?#

Dev agencies struggle to find new clients and all the existing tools out there need you to wade through various company lists, etc. to make a decision. This cuts down on that.

For how many consumers is this problem big enough that they are willing to spend money to do something about it?#

Even if this tool is not something that a company uses everyday, having a steady stream of new leads helps the company.

If so, how much money would they be willing to spend?#

\(49-\)69 is the sweet spot for a tool like this per month. Sales tools are expensive in general but if we do not keep it high the potential customers may be inundated with requests that may actually be bad. The goal is to keep a balance.

How many of these consumers have the characteristics/capabilities/constraints necessary to make us of the product?#

Everyone knows how to use email. Regardless of if they use a CRM, etc. Companies that want the data pipe straight can be charged $499 a month.

Who are the existing competitors?#

Economics and P&L#

What are the per-unit economics of the service? That is, what is the expected gross profit and contribution profit per unit?#

  • Mechanical Turk + AI would cost around \(0.05 per lead. As the service does work we can bring down the cost significantly as we can just do the AI and not the Human Intelligence portion. If we consider that there are 1000 companies a month that is \)150

  • A reviewer needs to be hired for \(15/hr for 5 hours a week for \)300 a month.

  • If we can sell this for $49/month then we will be profitable after 10 customers.

What is the rationale for the price point you have chosen for the product?#

The price point is chosen because we have a unique advantage in being able to send the companies daily and a competitor is charging essentially the same amount. This competitor charges the same amount to deliver once a month I am fulfilling the same within a day.

How much will we have to invest up front to build this product in terms of people, technology, inventory, warehouse space, and so on?#

The application is built but we will need to add additional resources in terms of ongoing maintenance. This maintenance requires finding additional sources of crawl data, ensuring that the data is cleaned up quickly, and that we can add it to our system to reach out.

  • Reviewer to check the leads daily and ensure that they are high quality.

  • Coder to get the basics built.


Is it within our area of competence?#

Yes, we are already using it for our own use case so it makes total sense.

What are the challenging product engineering problems we will need to solve?#

The primary problem that MakeProspect needs to solve is around work. Some work is consistent and others aren’t as consistent as we’d like. We need to ensure that the data within our CRM is relatively clean with the data we put into it from MakeProspect.

What are the challenging customer UI problems we will need to solve?#

We need to figure out how to make a nice visually appealing email that we can send as a template. We need a beautiful template that conveys the information.

What are the third-party dependencies we will need to solve?#

We need to figure out how to send new leads on a daily basis to Close CRM so OpsZero can be more effective without having to have that remain within the database for a long period of time.

Other than that Sheepdog needs to be setup to handle selling MakeProspect and LandingCrew needs to be setup for a better looking website.

How will we manage the risk of the up-front investment required?#

We will use the consultancy to buffer the creation of additional resources.

Who is running this? Are they the right people for this project?#

We need to find someone to run the business side of MakeProspect. The person who would be right for this role will include someone who has done sales or worked at agencies before. They should be completely focused on selling the services and eventually becoming a full time partner if it makes sense.

An alternative is to have this business be run on autopilot and have Sheepdog sell the results. Once the leads are generating and being added to the system it will require very little input from us. In that case it may just make sense to own it and just dynamically allocate sales using Sheepdog.

MakeProspect find leads for digital agencies by crawling job boards and then uses Natural Language Processing + Crowdsourcing to find the relevant information about the companies. We send these leads to our customers daily through an email. I have been using for the last year to source leads for my own agency. Unfortunately, it is not my primary business so I haven’t done any work on the business side.

The app is almost completely running by itself with a reputation system cleaning up the leads as they go through the system. The human component requires minimal amount of work ~5 can be done using a virtual assistant every week. It generates about 25 new leads per day.