The early stages of growing a company is both exciting and stressful.
Few things are systematized or proven, so it can feel like you have 150 different things to work on, and work out, every day.
One thing you can’t neglect with a new startup is sales, because the typical business can’t last long without positive cash-flow.
To help you generate those crucial early buys, here are seven sales strategies for startups.
1. Focus on Results
The process behind what your startup does may be fascinating to you, but potential customers are most interested in what you can do for them.
Make sure your sales team is explaining what kind of results your startup can provide, because that’s what leads want to hear.
2. Set Up an Efficient Sales Process
As the adage goes, time is money. If you waste time on an inefficient sales process, then you’re wasting money, as well. So think about how you can make your sales process more efficient and shorten that sales cycle.
Some ideas? Filter and disqualify leads that aren’t well targeted, so your sales team is focusing on high potential candidates. Make sure you’re talking to the right person (ie. decision makers) from the getgo. Contact leads as quickly and efficiently as possible (PhoneBurner’s lead distribution engine and dialer are a big asset in this department).
Use urgency and incentives to close deals.
3. Start with Smaller Niches
If you cast too wide a net to start with, you’re not going to catch much of anything.
Instead of taking a general approach where you try to appeal to everyone, pinpoint a precise niche that your company can help.
This allows you to tailor your approach to that niche for quicker wins. Plus, when those clients succeed, their case studies, reviews, and social are a major asset for closing subsequent deals.
4. Be Persistent with Leads
Two percent of sales are made on the first contact.
In other words, what seals deals is follow-up. Don’t tolerate giving up after one go. Instead develop a sales cadence for your sales team that ensures repeat exposure, and targeted, personalized follow-up. Use workflow automation to keep agents efficient.
5. Ask for Referrals
Leverage your connections. Referrals are an excellent way to get your startup’s foot in the door, and bag some easier wins.
Most leads and customers won’t come right out and mention referrals on their own, so have a plan for asking for or encouraging them.
6. Check the Metrics
Sales reporting is critical to a startup’s success. Focusing on the numbers is a surefire way to spot holes in your sales team, process, or productivity. It also provides a vehicle for establishing accountability – a must for all sales teams.
7. Set Expectations. Have Goals.
Expectations set standards for productivity. Goals push the limits of performance.
Both are a must for motivation.
Set guidelines for the level of activity that’s expected and set concrete goals that are both challenging to achieve, yet attainable. Celebrate wins and reward your team when goals are met. Then set new ones, so your startup always has something to chase.
Wrapping Up 7 Sales Strategies for Startups…
Sales are the lifeblood of any company, but it’s particularly important to get the ball rolling when you have a new startup. To recap, here are seven sales strategies that will help your new startup grows its sales:
- Emphasize the results people will see from your products.
- Make your sales process as efficient as possible.
- Target narrower niches first.
- Be persistent and continually follow up with leads.
- Ask for and encourage referrals.
- Track how your sales team is doing with performance metrics.
- Set goals and update them upon completion.