After beating all the odds and putting in a lot of hard work, you managed to set up your very own startup.
Now comes an equally challenging task – How to sell your product?
Yes, you have hired one or two sales reps to do the job. But out there, you have a bunch of competitors trying to grab your target audience’s attention.
If you think your sales reps will just call, use their charm and convince the prospects.
Well, then I am sorry to disappoint you. It isn’t that easy.
The difficulty in the sales field is escalating at a great pace.
There are many things that startups aren’t aware of when it comes to selling, which is why most of them fail to survive for long in the business world. They hire a few sales reps, set unrealistic expectations, and then fire them when they don’t get the returns from their investments.
Selling is difficult, but it isn’t impossible if you do a few things right. Many success stories of early-stage startups like Uber, Airbnb, and Facebook have been growing into multi-billion-dollar companies.
Sales is just like a puzzle. You need to put the piece in the right places to succeed.
Essential sales facts for startups
You’ve sown the startup seed; now it’s time to nurture and bloom it.
Besides keeping yourself abreast with the latest market trends, there is a lot that you need to know to sell successfully and grow your business.
Here are some of the sales facts that need your attention.
Sales fact 1: You need to focus on the customers
Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable compared to companies that are not focused on the customer. – Salesmate
More sales lead to more revenue, which is what most startup owners look for in the early years of their business.
Yes, you need to go higher on the sales graph. But for that, you need “customers”.
Most startups are so engrossed in selling their product that they give less attention to the prospective buyer’s problems.
Several people buy a product to address a specific issue. Without understanding the potential buyers’ business pain points, it would be difficult to convince them to invest in your product.
If you don’t provide the help the potential buyers expect, then they will look for other alternatives. And we cannot forget the competitors who are just looking for an opportunity to get ahead.
If you don’t take care of your customer, your competitor will.
– Bob Hooey
So, build a customer-centric culture in your startup. First, discover the prospects’ goals, problems, and challenges. Once the prospects’ requirements are clear, present your product as a solution explaining how it can help fulfill their needs.
Sales fact 2: Prospecting should be strategized
Half of all sales time is spent on ineffective prospecting. – LSA Insider
Prospecting isn’t just about making a list of random numbers and email ids and cold calling or emailing them.
Several startups don’t plan their prospecting, so they lose most of the leads in the initial phase.
Sales prospecting done wrong can result in wasting time, money, and resources, especially for a startup, which often outsources its leads from a digital marketing agency.
Effective prospecting is essential for driving more sales, so ensure you plan your startup’s sales prospecting.
- Make sure you create a buyer persona before you even start with prospecting.
- Familiarise your sales reps with your product’s benefits and how it can help your target audience.
- Ask your sales reps to research the prospects before analyzing them.
- Explore different channels for prospecting like social media sites and videos, along with calls and emails.
- Set a specific time for prospecting.
- Create and use sales scripts for prospecting but ensure your sales reps don’t read word to word.
Sales fact 3: Follow ups are essential
44% of salespeople give up after the first follow-up call. – Salesmate
Most startups are in a rush to close deals. They want to bring in customers as soon as possible. So, if one prospect isn’t responding, the sales rep will start focusing on the other lead in the pipeline. Due to this, most deals have stalled at a single stage of the sales pipeline for a long time.
Consistent follow-up is essential to move the deals inside the sales pipeline. Encourage your sales reps to follow up at certain intervals.
Ask them not to get discouraged when the prospects don’t reply to the follow-up emails. There are chances that the prospects might be busy.
However, you and your sales reps should keep proper gaps between the follow-up emails.
Make your sales reps work easier by implementing CRM software that doesn’t only helps in managing sales but also puts the tedious task of following up with prospects on autopilot.
You can add as many steps as you like and create an automated sequence of follow-up emails inside a CRM system. So, the follow-up emails will be sent automatically as per the pre-defined criteria.
By automating the follow-up, you and your sales reps will get more time to focus on creating new sales strategies for increasing your conversion rate.
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Sales fact 4: Trade Fairs are profitable
51 % of trade shows attendees request that a sales representative visit their company after the event. – Spingo
As a startup, filling the sales pipeline with quality leads is challenging. Especially when you don’t have an in-house marketing team, instead of outsourcing leads, you can invest a little money in buying a stall to exhibit at a trade fair.
Trade shows are a great way of capturing new leads. It acquaints you with a lot of opportunities.
Don’t believe me? Here are some statistics that will prove
- 92% of tradeshow attendees come to explore and learn about what’s new in products and services
- 81% of trade show attendees have the authority to buy
- 67% of all attendees represent a new prospect and potential customers for exhibiting companies
So, exhibit your product at a trade fair as you get a chance to meet and interact with many people. You and your sales reps can directly have face-to-face conversations with potential buyers and explain the benefits of your product.
Sales facts 5: Sales emails should be given attention
47% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line. – Salesmate
Emails are a very powerful route to reach prospects. Sadly, most startups don’t use it smartly. They just type a simple email and hit send without paying much attention to the subject line or email contents.
Your prospects are as busy as you. They don’t have time to spend on each email in their inbox. So, you need to stand out in order to capture their attention.
The email subject line should be precise and catchy enough to get a click. Along with the subject line, pay attention to the content of the email. Ensure it is to the point and engaging. Do add CTAs and email signatures at the end of the email. You can use an email signature generator to create professional-looking signatures to make a good impression on the recipient.
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Sales fact 6: Phones calls should be used smartly
92% of all interactions with customers are built on phone calls. – Callpage
Phone calls are very convenient for startups. You can instantly interact with your prospects and nurture them. However, it is essential to use this effective communication channel in the right way to reap maximum benefits.
No one likes interruption while working. So, if you call your prospect at the wrong hour, you might not get a proper response.
Therefore, you must choose the time to call your prospects wisely. Find out the best time day and time to call your prospects.
Salesmate CRM conducted a study to find the best day and time to call the prospect. After observing 12,480 calls spanned across 60 days, Salesmate found out that Wednesday is the best day and 4 to 5 in the evening is the best time to call a prospect.
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Sales is a complex game. Being a startup that just stepped into the market, you need to explore and do everything to win more sales and grow. Explore the best sales strategies, go through various sales influencers’ tips and use the best CRM for startups to manage your sales.
Salesmate is one such CRM used by many startups and small businesses. You can explore its features through a free trial to see how it can help you grow your business.