A founder needs to master diverse skills during the initial stage of his startup life as he is expected to manage multiple tasks on his own to get the business up and running.
The primary goal is to get the first few accounts. This part is difficult without adequate resources and planning. Moreover, the absence of sales process can escalate the difficulty.
Creating and following a proper sales methodology is necessary to stay on track. It provides direction to reach your goals and later on helps in guiding your sales team. Being an entrepreneur, you need to pay attention to the following points:
- Understanding your market,
- buyer’s behavior and
- various challenges of sales.
Creating a successful sales process
The first step towards achieving success in sales is, having a systematic sales process for selling but before focusing on your sales process, you need to know what are your USPs and strategize in which direction you intend to go.
Planning is crucial for sales. It is necessary to build the route to success for which you need to define your value propositions and identify your target audience.
Defining your value proposition
Know your strengths before approaching your customers as the market is crowded with competitors. The challenge is to stand out by impressively displaying your competitive strengths. You need to give your prospect a strong reason to deal with you.
For doing that, you need to find answers to the following questions
- What’s unique about your product?
- What are the benefits of your solution?
- Why should any company invest in your product?
- How will your solution address the pain points?
- How will your product or service increase their productivity?
While approaching the prospects, you need to ensure your script is client-centric. Though you have found out your strengths, while presenting it to the prospects you cannot just keep bragging about it. You need to show your potential prospects how will your product benefit them. How will it solve their issue? Win their trust by assuring them you are here to give a solution rather than just selling a product.
Identify your target audience and create a list of prospects
The primary task is finding the best fit for your solution. You cannot afford to spend your time and resources on a deal that won’t turn into sales. So, do some research and find out which segment of the market do you need to target and how will they benefit from your product.
Set some search criteria like-
- Business size
- Geographical location
- Annual turn over
- Number of branches
- Number of employees
After knowing your target audience, invest time in building a directory of the prospect you need to approach. Though it is a time-consuming task but once you have a list in front of you it will be easy to connect and move forward.
Once you know your strengths and target audience, it is the time to enter the ground of sales.
To succeed in it, you need to arm yourself with a powerful tool that will support your sales efforts:
2. Implementing a CRM system
CRM is a complete sales solution preferred by businesses of all sizes. With this advanced technology you can-
- Manage your sales process
- Streamline your workflow
- Keep your data organized
- Manage your leads
- Keep tab on lead’s activities
- Track the emails
- Automate processes
- Integrate with your favorite apps
- Create insightful reports
- Forecast your sales
3. Qualifying your leads
After applying the best marketing strategies to capture the best of leads it is time to evaluate and qualify them. It is necessary to find out if the lead is a potential prospect worth pursuing. For that you will need to ask some qualifying question that will give you a better understanding of the quality standards of the lead.
Qualifying questions you should be asking-
- What business issues are you trying to address with this offering?
- What challenges are you facing in overcoming that issue?
- Have you tried any other solution in the past to solve the problem? If yes then please name them
- Are there any specific features you are looking for in a solution?
- Have you decided a specific budget for finding a solution?
- Can you brief me on the decision process in your company?
- Along with you who all are involved in the decision-making process?
- What concerns will the decision maker likely have?
- Based on the information you have got so far; do you think our offering will help you in solving your business issue?
Based on the answers to these questions you can identify and filter high potential prospects who are really interested in your offering.
4. Meeting them for a product demo
’’Seeing is believing’’; meeting a prospect is necessary to build trust and remove ambiguity. So, use your convincing skills to set an appointment for giving a demonstration of your product. A demo of your solution will aid in understanding how your offering will help them in addressing their specific needs. Instead of just focusing on its impeccable features. try to show them its value and potential to solve their business challenges.
Objectives of product demonstration:
- Stimulating interest
- Addressing product related concern
- Understanding their expectations
- Creating a positive attitude toward your solution
- Turning desire into decision
5. Handling objection
After meeting a client this is the crucial stage where you can make or break the deal. You need to stay calm and listen to their objections before handling them. Ask relevant questions to discover their concerns. Understand what is bothering them and present a neutral recommendation to resolve it for moving forward.
How to handle objection?
- Always stay prepared for objections. Analyze the common objection and find a strong answer to address it.
- Empathize with their objection, show your prospect that you understand their concerns
- If price is a concern then justify the value of your product or offer discounts
- Back up your statements with client’s testimonial to provide credibility
- If they hesitate to move forward as you are a startup then display you value proposition impactfully
6. Close the deal
After coming this far you cannot afford to lose the deal. You need to close it by hook or by crook. Be confident and choose your words wisely to ensure you do not miss the opportunity. Don’t allow them to stretch it for too long, try to close it as soon as possible. If required then create a need for urgency.
“One tactic that works well with most products or services is to create a strong sense of urgency. This can be accomplished through a limited-time offer or a discount. If you can make the prospect feel as though they are going to miss out on something special, and they are strongly considering purchasing the product anyway, you can get them to act faster and close the deal.”- Janis Krums
7. Track, measure and make continuous adjustments
Your job doesn’t end by just creating and following a sales process. Your sales plan needs continuous improvements. Review it regularly to measure its success level. Keep altering it according to your experience and customer feedback. Conduct regular meetings to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Understand what’s working and which areas need more efforts.
Along with capturing new opportunities, you even need to focus on retaining existing customers. Speak to them and try to know if they are facing any difficulties while using your solution. Work on enhancing your user experience. Old customers are the route to new ones; so, ensure you are providing utmost customer satisfaction.
As a start-up, surviving in the market filled with competition seems difficult but isn’t impossible. You just need to stay focused and keep exploring new ways to grow your business. Implement new techniques and technologies to increase your sales and revenue.
Technology like Salesmate can be of great help that doesn’t only aids in managing your sales but also helps in maintaining customer relationships. From tracking your leads to automating your daily chores and helping you follow up on-time it is the best tool for closing more deals in less time.