The most effective way to do this is through customer development.
Customer development is a non-sales conversation with potential customers to get a feel for their roles, goals, and pain points. Don’t go for the sale during these conversations.
Customer development is about applying a hypothesis to your business model to validate your ideas rather than assuming they are true.
1) Start with a hypothesis of your Ideal Customer Profile, why you think your product will be necessary for their situation, etc.
2) Set up informational interviews with these people. You’ll be surprised how receptive people are to conversation if you take a consultative approach with a lead asking for feedback and advice rather than a sale.
3) Begin the interview with questions about their company, then dig into questions about the individual’s role, goals, pain points, and specific questions about what pains your product may be able to relieve (i.e. how you handle employee on-boarding if that is your product). This is about deep customer insights vs. selling your product.
-Ask open-ended questions instead of yes or no questions.
4) Take the feedback and iterate on your ideal customer profile hypothesis, refine interview questions, repeat 10+ times, and record all data in a uniform way.
5) Make product or messaging tweaks after these conversations.
Use your own network to start - try Facebook and Twitter and be honest - just ask away. Make it easy for them to chime in. Go into FB groups related to your niche and ask around - you can even set up an easy poll in FB that will be fast and easy for all. Good luck - social media is the new focus group!
Start with finding a good system to track your customer feedback info. Without a system in place to collect and organize customer feedback, it will fall through the cracks. Use a tool such as Trello to keep customer feedback in a single place that all of your employees can access and contribute to.
You should also use a survey tool, like Fieldboom, that makes the process quick and easy to reach your customers best (and fast). It quickly brands your survey and configures all of your questions.
You can read more tips and techniques here: http://www.fieldboom.com/blog/customer-feedback-systems/.