One of the biggest issues with having a startup is the start of sales. Who will do it and who has time to do it from your team? Where and how you should start? These are all the questions you might have even in an established startup which has some cash coming in from a variety of customers.
In this blog post, we answer little bit into why you should start sales in startup early to showcase that your idea will be a success. Mixing inbound marketing into it can be a daunting and too heavy of a task in the beginning. More about inbound marketing on this blog post.
Why indeed? A lot of investors, for example, want to see your startup have some kind of traction. It’s a validation of your idea if people are willing to pay money for it. Would you invest yourself in a company that doesn’t have any income yet? I thought so.
It has been bombarded from multiple news outlets that time of unicorns is at its end. Investors are becoming careful and some are worried about “tech bubble” bursting. The similar thing that happened in 2000 when nobody thought Nokia would come down.
Convinced you on my point why you need to start sales earlier rather than later in your startup? I sincerely hope so!
That’s the big question. Where should you start? It can be a daunting task in the beginning. If you however have some clients already it will be easier to start identifying similar companies. Start from there to create a buyer persona from your current clients to make it easier to identify potential future clients.
If you don’t have any customers currently and are in full mode developing your product, solution, app or service. Then it is high time to start looking into potential customer segments. Talking to people in events and trying to get in front of as many people as possible to understand how they perceive your idea.
This might force you to pivot your startup but that ain’t necessarily a bad thing. Better to pivot than take a nosedive from which you won’t survive.
This can be another pain point for your team to figure out. Does someone in your team have experience as that would make it a logical choice. Usually, CEO is the one that will do sales in the beginning.
Once you are starting to create traction for your idea you can hire a salesperson to handle the sales so in this case CEO can focus on building the company on other aspects and focus on the big picture. The first salesperson is essential for the growth of sales and revenue. He should be also compensated accordingly and have qualities that enable him to lead a sales department.
You don’t need to be an extrovert to do sales successfully. Most sales today is about understanding your customer and helping them in the best way possible. It is acceptable to back off from them when you realise they aren’t a suitable client or won’t get the full use of your idea.
The sweet relief of when you are getting your first paying customer on-board. Remember to treat them as such! The first customer is the toughest one to get and the most demanding. They will often be the one where you either bring forth success or it can bring all crashing down. Depends on the size of the market also and how niche your idea is.
I hope you got something out of this blog post and it shined a light into the sometimes terrifying world of sales. Sales isn’t evil but you might have had that impression from movies or series as the car salesperson trying to get you buy no matter what.
If you are a marketing person or interest in it I recommend you to download our guide of 6 Marketing Metrics Your Boss Actually Cares About. Might give you more ammunition for getting more budget for your marketing efforts.