We are trying to prioritize our customer development strategies as we roll out our beta. This seems like a consumer internet strategy so we are trying to decide if this is a good use of our time. We have several other segments to test.
Pre-orders are always great for testing demand, eliciting end-user feedback and even generating a little revenue! You just have to be sure that you can fulfill whatever product or service the customer is paying for, beta or otherwise. Relative to b2b vs. b2c, I can't really speak to that based on the info you've provided.
To you success, Frank
Why would customers not be your #1 priority when creating your beta? They are all that matters!
Once you have a handful of pre-orders you'll be able to find common patterns across them - similar industry sectors, geographic locations, company size etc. which will give you a tremendous amount of data to help figure out your product/market fit.
Pour your time and energy into providing the product for the group of people who are saying they want it and putting their money where their mouth is.