It's indeed a chicken and egg problem. Been direct selling to Associates at PE firms/VCs/consulting firms. If you can deliver value there, lots of repeat usage for each new deal/project they have. The biggest challenge here is that incumbents like GLG provide white glove service and do a pretty decent job already, even if not tech enabled. The hardest part of this business is identifying the right people for a customer to talk to and onboarding them as an expert.
Startups and enterprise using this tool for customer discovery or user research is an interesting market but there seems to be less willingness to pay for information and it's one off, not recurring.