Selling is what makes business happen
By Tim Bates
The company founder plays many roles, the most important is Chief Salesperson. In this role, they're responsible for attracting, enticing, cajoling, strong-arming, badgering, or essentially doing whatever it takes to produce those first company defining deals that launches their firm. If they play this part well, they will move their company forward. Done badly, it is likely their company never gets off the ground.
Now some say that a great product sells itself, so if you have one of these magical gadgets, count yourself extremely lucky. For the other 99.9999 percent of you founders, put your selling hats on and head to the door, because selling your offering is what will turn your little idea into a company.
Moreover, because many founders are not salespeople by trade, the Exponential Group and MESA, working with input from other startup CEO’s and sales professionals, developed the "Selling Framework for Startup Founders”. It is a simple set of actionable ideas that entrepreneurs can refer to when selling that will make them more effective and increase their odds of signing cornerstone deals that will in turn help propel their company to that next rung on the sales growth ladder.
1. Have a sales plan and a regular cadence to your plan of action. Structure it, early on, so it has you engaging with as many potential clients as possible to enhance your probability of sales success. Adhere to the plan.
2. Identify which prospects need your solution, determine if they are qualified (have the money to pay for it now), and want help now solving the problem that your offering can address. Your two most valuable resources for working through this are: Asking questions and listening to the answers.
3. It’s about them, not you, and not about the features you offer but what your offering can do for them. Focus specifically on what problem you solve for them and sell to it.
4. Don’t waste time with those that can’t make the buying decision. Time is a scarce commodity in a startup. Know who the decision maker is and don’t spend time with time vampires - those that want to talk about your product, for whatever reason, but cannot or will not pull the trigger to buy it or don’t have the authority to acquire it.
5. Have a sales plan for each account and get the account to commitment to it from its beginning through the buying decision and final implementation. Understand what each step entails and what action each step should lead to next. Likewise, know companies will pay to learn or try to learn on your dime, understand if that is part of the plan.
6. Prospects do not always know how to buy. However, they still have a methodology for purchasing. Understand what it is. Moreover, walk through it with them if they do not know.
7. Know your audience, get the right people into the meeting, tell a story, and always ask for their business.
Click here, to learn more about the Exponential Boot Camp for Startup Sales,