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Sales Strategies for Start-Ups

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Choosing the right go-to-market sales strategy for your Start -Up can be a make or break decision. What do you do when you are just starting a business and need to build a customer base? This is the …

Choosing the right go-to-market sales strategy for your Start -Up can be a make or break decision. What do you do when you are just starting a business and need to build a customer base? This is the situation thousands of new entrepreneurs find themselves in.


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  • 1. Sales Strategies for Start-ups
    Kishore is co-founder and CEO of PK4 Software. He has over 25 years of experience building technology product and service companies. As CEO of PK4 , he is deeply involved in strategy , sales and technology direction for Impel CRM our flagship product. He’s a regular speaker in the areas of Cloud Computing, SaaS, CRM and Emerging Businesses at various forums like NASSCOM and TiE.
    @nmandyam
  • 2. Sales Strategies for Start-Ups
    Narasimhan (Kishore) Mandyam, 23 Feb. 2011
  • 3. Agenda
    Assumptions!
    Start-ups vs. Later-stage – what’s different?
    Defining your sales model
    Focusing your Sales Efforts
    Building a Sales Team
    Building Partnerships
  • 4. I assume…
    I’m talking to a “lean” start-up
    Lots of passion, very little money
    We’re talking India market – largely
    Some techniques may work elsewhere, but…
    You (think you) know what you’re good at
    And what you’re not!
    You want a scalable sales model
    Referrals work well, but only to a point
  • 5. Start-ups vs. Later-stage
    Market-space somewhat clear
    Sales techniques unclear
    Very small team – 5 to 25 people
    Multi-skilled people
    Founders sell, few others do
    Market-space very clear
    Sales model clear and established
    Team has some specialization
    Focused teams
    Founders market, others sell
  • 6. The sales model
    Product or service – differentiators
    What are you good at? What not?
    Customer demographics
    Who’s your ideal prospect? Who would never buy?
    Positioning
    What words work best to describe benefits?
    Lead generation
    Where will you get your Leads from?
    Pricing
    What’s the basis for your pricing?
  • 7. Some sales techniques
    Build Lead-flow
    Market online, advertise, whatever
    Target decision-makers
    But talking to the CEO may NOT help!
    Build a series of interactions
    Call, email, SMS – all BEFORE you meet!
    Sell a Story, not a Reference
    References work well for bigger companies
  • 8. Focus your sales efforts
    Analyze
    Figure out what went right or wrong in each Lead
    Role-play
    Develop reasoning to handle customer objections
    Replicate
    Prospects in areas you’ve sold in – will that work?
    Iterate
    Refine demo slides, pitch, product descriptions…
  • 9. Grow your sales
    Research prospects before you target them
    Use non-evangelical market positions
    Pitch your product but sell a solution
    Talk the prospect’s language, not yours
    Leverage your first Customers unabashedly
    Track Leads all the way to closure or rejection
    Tweak pricing, but only to a degree
    Look around for Partners
  • 10. Build a Sales Team
    Hire when sales are predictable or stable
    Today’s funnel should predict next month’s sales
    Build effective – but simple – comp model
    Be generous, be flexible
    Strengthen Lead generation
    Don’t look at Lead generation as a Sales function
    Hire for adaptability, not for brand
    Lots of experience may not be a good thing!
  • 11. Build Partnerships
    Think about who can bring you sales
    Partners bring sales, not resources
    Write up a clear Partnership model
    Domains, areas, percentages…
    Toot your horn
    Success brings Partner queries
    Deliver Leads to Partners
    Partners love success – their own!
    Track Partners like you do your salespeople
    Make them part of your CRM model
  • 12. Contact Info
    PK4 Software Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
    Website: www.impelcrm.in
    Email: info@impelcrm.in
    Phone: +91-80-3008-0000
    Twitter: @impelcrm
    All the best!